Gillian Anderson Explains Why She Left Hollywood Following 'The X-Files' Success

Gillian Anderson has explained why she decided to leave Hollywood and move to the U.K. when The X-Files came to an end in 2002.

After making her name as FBI Special Agent Dana Scully in the long-running sci-fi series, Anderson moved to London, where she still lives today. Over the years she's pursued a super-varied acting career including award-winning theater work, acclaimed roles in series including The Fall, Hannibal, and Sex Education, and movies as varied as Johnny English Reborn and The Last King of Scotland. In 2016, she received an OBE for services to drama from Queen Elizabeth II.

"A lot of people didn't understand when I moved to London after the success of The X-Files and asked why I would disappear from Hollywood," she told Australia's TV Week. "I always missed the U.K. and always knew I was going to end up back here."

Anderson, who is British-American and lived in the U.K. for a large part of her childhood, added: "But back then, part of that decision was also that I had a complicated relationship with becoming so famous so young and seeing the worst part of what the industry can be. I really hated it and wanted to get away."

"Now I'm older, I can put it all in perspective," she added. "The rewards that I've been blessed with for following my instincts are many, and I never got to the point of even considering moving back to America."

Anderson's latest role is portraying controversial British Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher in the latest series of The Crown, which premiered Sunday on Netflix. You can also check out our recent feature on some of the many times Anderson was completely iconic.

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