Gillian Anderson: Mulder and Scully are in love
When “The X-Files” returns on Jan. 24, don’t expect one of those highfalutin’ reboots: The six new episodes are all about continuity — down to star Gillian Anderson’s signature hair color.
Back in 1993, when the Fox show first aired, Anderson dyed her blond hair red to play FBI Special Agent Dana Scully. This time, she opted for wigs.
“The first [wig] wasn’t quite the right red, so in some light it came off as strawberry,” she tells The Post. “The second wig was more the original color.”
The coherence goes deeper than hair color: Back also is David Duchovny as Fox Mulder, Scully’s colleague, confidant and, later, lover.
For Anderson — who also plays a witty society matron in the miniseries “War & Peace,” premiering Monday — there was a sense of unfinished business that not even the 2008 movie “The X-Files: I Want To Believe” resolved.
“I felt we needed another chapter,” the 47-year-old says. “I realized these new episodes could be a really fun thing for the fans, and potentially for us.”
pre bonded hairEven before the era of social media obsessiveness, “The X-Files” had a passionate following. For Anderson, this was a challenge too.
“One of the concerns was whether we would be able to re-create exactly what it was,” she says. “Would we be able to give people what they enjoyed and was taken away from them?” she laughs. “These new episodes have that unique balance of story and cheesiness.”
David Duchovny and Gillian Anderson reunite on “The X-Files.”Photo: Ed Araquel/FOX
If there was one through-line to the show, it had less to do with alien abductions than the bond between Mulder and Scully — and the actors playing them.
“There was the dynamic that had been written for us and the one between us,” Anderson recalls, possibly alluding to her often-stormy off-set relationship with Duchovny — though they’ve always denied rumors of their dating. “The writers were smart to keep [the characters’] relationship fluctuating. But the foundation is that they care about each other so much. They’re the love of each other’s life.”
From Scully’s mouth, fans.
Anderson, now a mother of three, didn’t easily slip back into a role she created when she was 24, and which earned her an Emmy and a Golden Globe. “When I first tried to connect with [Scully] again, I was reaching too far back into the past,” she says. “I had to allow her to be a grown-up version of herself, while tapping into her playfulness.”
Playful roles aren’t something the London-raised Chicago native has had many of — “[those] scripts don’t land on my desk,” she moans. Instead, she’s combined work in the sci-fi and thriller genres with dramatic period pieces like “Bleak House.” Her next venture’s both classic and contemporary: She’ll be at Brooklyn’s St. Ann’s Warehouse this spring playing Blanche DuBois in “A Streetcar Named Desire,” set in the present.
No mention of aliens, though. We can’t have everything.
Only med students and fans of Cinemax’s “The Knick” will be able to watch “Mercy Street” without gagging. This new period drama is as buttoned-up and as packed with classy crinolines as you’d expect from something on PBS — and then the camera zooms in on someone having a hole drilled into their skull or the amputation of a rotting limb.
This is as out-there as “Mercy Street” gets, though. The rest of the time, this six-episode miniseries — premiering Sunday at 10 p.m. — hugs the middle of the road so steadfastly, it makes “Call the Midwife” look like something by David Lynch.
The action is set in 1862 Alexandria, Va., a Confederate town occupied by Union troops. The two sides co-exist uneasily, especially at the Union-run military hospital that’s the show’s main locale and is staffed by central casting’s finest.
The audience stand-in is Mary Phinney (Mary Elizabeth Winstead), the newly appointed head nurse — and willful abolitionist — who needs to establish her authority despite her lack of experience.
Feels familiar? It gets better!
remy hair extensionsHannah James and Radnor tend to a patient on “Mercy Street.”Photo: Courtesy of Antony Platt/PBS
Also on hand is the obligatory handsome, brilliant, brooding surgeon — enter Dr. Jedediah Foster (Josh Radnor, from “How I Met Your Mother”). Needless to say, Dr. Foster doesn’t have it easy at the hospital, especially since his willingness to treat everybody equally puts him at odds with Dr. Byron Hale (Norbert Leo Butz), who’s loath to spend any time and energy on Southern patients. Co-created by “ER” alum David Zabel, “Mercy Street” is so conventional that it’s TV’s answer to a warm, decidedly unchallenging bath. Of course there are brave, noble free African-Americans (McKinley Belcher III, Shalita Grant). Of course there’s a spoiled, sheltered Southern belle who’ll eventually toughen up (Hannah James).
Wouldn’t it be nice to see an even-keeled, practical Southern woman facing off with an airheaded Yankee for a change?
The show’s idea of edginess consists of making Dr. Foster a morphine addict — completely different from what we’ve already seen on “The Knick,” “Nurse Jackie” or “House,” then.
This is typical of a show that overexplains its intentions and messages. Forget about that morphine business: When two characters discuss a back-alley abortion, they are literally standing in a back alley!
This is all the more frustrating because the production values are quite good, and many members of the cast overcome the material they’re given. Gary Cole is inventively wily as a Southerner pondering switching allegiances for business reasons, while Grant and Belcher bring welcome nuance to underwritten roles.
Tara Summers is especially delicious as a nurse who’s trained with Florence Nightingale and won’t let anyone forget it.
It’s great to see PBS making original drama again — there’s no reason to leave that field to the Brits — but it needs to trust its audience more. We can handle complicated stuff, we swear!
I’m not a big fan of the phrase “having a moment,” which I find #trite.
But I don’t know how else to describe the television resurrection of Jennifer Lopez — who is, well . . . having a moment.
After years of trying to find a niche on TV, J.Lo, 46, is experiencing a small-screen renaissance. Not only can she be seen for two hours each week on Fox warhorse “American Idol” — now in its final season — but she’s logging another hour of valuable prime time over at NBC, where her new series, “Shades of Blue,” launched to a solid start, snaring nearly 13 million viewers for its premiere episode. That puts J.Lo’s overall weekly viewership at roughly 25 million pairs of eyeballs between the two shows.
And even if those numbers go down a bit as “Shades of Blue” finds its sea legs, they’re still nothing to sneeze at. And, more importantly, it opens the door for Lopez to build on this television success.
perruques cheveux naturelsGranted, TV is not her chosen medium. As one of the world’s biggest music stars, she’s focused most of her extracurricular entertainment energies on her movie career, which has been checkered at best (“Maid in Manhattan,” “Jersey Girl,” “Monster-in-Law,” Shira in “Ice Age: Continental Drift,” to name a few).
But her past efforts in headlining a TV series have, for the most part, fallen on deaf ears. (It’s not unprecedented for this tough medium: Frank Sinatra, for all his magic and charisma, was never able to translate that certain something to television.)
You’d be hard-pressed to find anyone who remembers J.Lo’s early-in-the-game roles on “Second Chances” (1993), “South Central” (1994), “Hotel Malibu” (1994 again). And, to be fair, those efforts were over 20 years ago (after Lopez first appeared on the scene as a Fly Girl in Fox’s “In Living Color”). She’s come a long way since then, both in her music career and as a pop-culture icon, which makes it sweeter now that she’s experiencing success on both “American Idol” (her second go-round on the show) and “Shades of Blue.”
And, if “Shades” continues to succeed, it will earn another season on NBC — nice validation for Lopez in a medium that wasn’t always very welcoming.
And how cool is that?
At a staggering 609 pounds, 32-year-old Brittani Fulfer was too heavy to have sex with her husband, Bill.
But thanks to gastric-band surgery, she lost more than 200 pounds and has finally consummated her marriage, according to the Sun.
Fulfer is featured in the TLC reality series “My 600-lb. Life,” which follows morbidly obese Americans as they undergo life-saving surgery to slim down.
perruques cheveuxHer food addiction began after being sexually abused by a family member from the age of 5. She also suffers from a thyroid disease and was diagnosed with cancer of that gland at age 19.
When she married Bill, she tipped the scales at 392 pounds, refusing to undress in front of him.
“I don’t walk around naked because I am afraid that he will be absolutely disgusted if he sees me and that he will never look at me the same way again,” she tells the show.
At 600-plus pounds, she would sit on the couch all day, moving only to get food, and struggled to shower and clean herself. But after undergoing weight-loss surgery, she shed 217 pounds in a year — and now, she can finally go on dates and sleep with her husband.
“We’re closer together and now intimate like man and wife instead of just roommates,” she said.
“We’re like a newly married couple!”
“My 600-lb Life” airs Wednesdays at 9 p.m. on TLC.
Former Laker Girls Taylour Paige, who stars on VH1’s NBA drama “Hit The Floor” — back for Season 3 on Monday — knows a thing or two about blending the worlds of dance and basketball.
Paige plays Ahsha Hayes, a team dancer for the NBA cheerleading/dance team LA Devil Girls — and the daughter of team director Sloane Hayes (Kimberly Elise) and head coach Pete Davenport (Dean Cain).
“Ahsha was first introduced as a naïve young dancer who just wanted to make it on the dance team,” says Paige. “But for Season Three I think she will be more aware. At the end of last season, it was discovered that Ahsha’s current boyfriend, German (Jonathan McDaniel), killed Olivia (Charlotte Ross) and held the envelope that contained her secret. And this season Ahsha’s secret will be revealed.
“You just have to watch and see what happens.”
lace front wigsLanding the role was a dream job for the 25-year-old from Santa Monica, Calif. but she kept her audition under close wraps before graduating from Loyola Marymount with a BA in Communications (and a minor in theater).
“I wasn’t open about the auditioning process because I didn’t want anyone to put their opinions or judgments on it,” she says. “I only told my professors.”
Paige has been dancing since she was two years old, joining celebrity choreographer Debbie Allen’s dance company when she was 12 and, eventually, becoming a Laker Girl in 2010 (a dancer for the LA Lakers).
Every dance experience was not the most enjoyable, she says.
“When I was a Laker Girl I only danced for three months. We did not get paid that much money and I was working two jobs at the time,” she says. “ I thought that it would be a little more fun but it was quite stressful. It’s all about your weight, your hair, having the right hair extensions, what to wear, the kind of shoes you wore. I found myself dumbing down my dances to fit in and that was just not me.”
But nothing compares to the real life drama that surrounded Paige and “Hit the Floor” when fellow dancer/actress Stephanie Moseley, 30 — who played Arelly on the show — was murdered in 2014 by her husband, rapper Earl Hayes, 34 who then took his own life.
To commemorate Moseley, the “Hit the Floor” producers named a character after her, a Devils dancer named Stephanie.
cosplay wigsI will never not speak her name. She really triggered a lot of changes in my life as well as in my relationships.
- Taylour Paige on her late castmate Stephanie Moseley
“Stephanie was such a big part of our show and she inspired a lot of us. We want her legacy to live on in the physical realm,” says Paige. “We actually reference her character, Arelly, this season. I will never not speak her name. She really triggered a lot of changes in my life as well as in my relationships.”
With that in mind, Paige’s DJ boyfriend, Kyle de Pinna — aka Neo Fresco — has been playing a positive role in her life. And with an independent movie called “Jean of the Joneses” set to be released later this year, Paige is the happiest she’s ever been.
She credits Moseley with helping guide her life choices.
“She pushed me to live a life where I am conscious of who is in it, and how I am being treated,” she says. “She taught me to put loving me first.”