Around my house, there are certain people and things that are thought of as nigh timeless and endlessly relevant: Marx Brothers movies (the more the merrier), Formica tables from the 1950s, double-breasted suits, Nehi Grape Soda in glass bottles, River Phoenix and LOST are but a few of the hallowed chachkies we hold dear. Somewhere on that list, if you look quite closely, is the seminal Fox series The X-Files and – by her association with said show – actor Gillian Anderson. Through eleven hit-or-miss seasons of the Chris Carter created series, Gillian Anderson was a solid and exciting counterpoint to David Duchovny’s wide-eyed FBI agent, her mere presence lending an air of gravitas to the proceedings that, in a lesser thespian’s hands, might have come across as ham-fisted and cheesy. Why do I bring all of this up now? Simply put Dear and Constant Readers because the resplendent Ms. Anderson has landed a prominent role in the Hulu series The Great, according to the little grey men over at The Hollywood Reporter.
The Great is a comedrama series loosely based – very loosely, we might add for those looking for a real history lesson – on the rise to power of one Catherine the Great of Russia (played by Elle Fanning). Emmy and Golden Globe recipient Gillian Anderson has reportedly been tapped in the recurring part of Catherine’s mother, Joanna. The commitment for Anderson, who keeps mighty busy these days in projects such as The Crown and Sex Education, is a minimal one to start with: The master thespian will act in but two episodes of The Great’s second season.
According to the character description, Anderson’s Joanna “is a glamorous socialite known as ‘the maestro of marriage’ for her ability to arrange partnerships for her daughters. After hearing rumors of Catherine’s coup, she travels to Russia to see for herself. Though she’s a doting mom and Catherine loves her, Joanna may also have more sinister motives.” Can we say “plot twist” Ladies and Gents?
The casting of Gillian Anderson in The Great caps off a busy first-half of 2021 for the in-demand actress: She’s already been announced to play none other than iconic Eleanor Roosevelt in Showtime’s anthology show The First Lady.
Keep your gauntlet turned towards Vents for any and all Gillian Anderson news as it comes to us. And remember folks, “the truth is out there.”