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Gillian Anderson almost quit acting after one 'horrendous' review

That's not a world we want to live in.

Gillian Anderson at the 81st Golden Globe Awards held at the Beverly Hilton Hotel on January 7, 2024 in Beverly Hills, California. (Photo by Tommaso Boddi/Golden Globes 2024/Golden Globes 2024 via Getty Images)
Gillian Anderson pictured at this year's Golden Globe Awards. (Tommaso Boddi//Golden Globes 2024 via Getty Images)

Gillian Anderson came very close to packing in her job as an actor back in 2000.

Having garnered huge recognition throughout the 90's thanks to her TV role as FBI special agent Dana Scully in The X Files, Anderson went on to appear in the late director Terence Davies's adaptation of The House of Mirth alongside Dan Aykroyd, Eric Stoltz and Laura Linney at the turn of the millennium.

In conversation with The Guardian, the Sex Education star revealed how the film's reception made her realise just how "bonkers" the industry truly is.

Read more: Gillian Anderson had 'mini breakdowns' while filming The X-Files

"I thought about this recently, going to the Baftas and the Golden Globes. All of these artists who have put everything into the work: blood, sweat, tears, money. Put their families second to this singular vision and then... it doesn't get nominated. I wish there was an award for effort. For even, actually, getting the thing made at all!" she argued.

Referring to The House of Mirth, Anderson added: "One particularly horrendous review about my performance almost made me quit acting. The mixture of that and the bland reception was a real eye-opener for me, a rude awakening to the fickleness of the industry."

Original Film Title: HOUSE OF MIRTH.  English Title: HOUSE OF MIRTH.  Film Director: TERENCE DAVIES.  Year: 2000.  Stars: DAN AYKROYD; ANTHONY LAPAGLIA; GILLIAN ANDERSON. Credit: SONY PICTURES CLASSICS / BUITENDIJK, JAAP / Album
Gillian Anderson as socialite Lily Bart in The House of Mirth. (Sony Pictures Classics)

It's unclear exactly which publication's review she meant here, but despite this, the film now proudly boasts a positive 82% rating on Rotten Tomatoes.

In case you're interested in checking it out, The House of Mirth follows "ravishing socialite" Lily Bart, played by Anderson, who quickly recognises the "precariousness of her position" when her beauty begins to attract some unwanted attention.

Read more: Gillian Anderson explains how Sex Education got her obsessed with true crime

"She seeks a wealthy husband and, in trying to conform to social expectations, she misses her chance for real love with Lawrence Selden. Her quest for a husband comes to a scandalous end when she is falsely accused of having an affair with a married man and is rejected by society and her friends," adds the official synopsis.

Next up for the actress is Netflix's Scoop, where she portrays real-life journalist Emily Maitlis.

Watch: Gillian Anderson and Rufus Sewell to lead movie about Prince Andrew's Newsnight interview