On the surface, Gillian Anderson appears icily controlled, but under the cool facade, there’s a wild side. On the eve of The Fall’s third season she speaks to Jessamy Calkin.
One night in the summer of 2014, during the Young Vic’s sell-out run of A Streetcar Named Desire, Gillian Anderson, playing Blanche DuBois with a rapture that seemed to almost deify the role, took to the stage for the customary standing ovation with blood coursing down one leg.
Her knee had been hit by a splinter of china from a plate hurled by a furious Stanley Kowalski (Ben Foster), and the wound had split open when she dropped to the floor. ‘Never have I seen a production of the play that was so raw in its emotion, so violent and so deeply upsetting,’ said the Telegraph critic Charles Spencer.
I was in the audience that night, on my feet and cheering what was an incandescent performance. Now, two years later, Anderson shows me the scar on her leg. It had been bandaged up backstage and she thought it would be fine. The next morning, she lifted the bandage to take a look, and ‘I lost consciousness.