It was the middle of the night where she was, so keep that in mind, but Gillian Anderson is pretty lousy at X-Files trivia. Not that she hasn’t been busy since her long-ago (and recently—if somewhat regrettably—relived) time as FBI Agent Dana Scully on our TV screens, but just don’t pick Anderson for your X-Files trivia night pub team, is what we’re saying. Appearing very remotely from her home in England on Tuesday’s Jimmy Kimmel Live, Anderson was technically there to talk about her no-doubt Emmy-nominated turn as Margaret Thatcher in the fourth season of The Crown, but she was game for Kimmel’s mid-interview game of “Did you and David Duchovny bust [insert monster here]?”
Kimmel did ask his guest about her high-profile latest role, with Anderson explaining the pros and cons of working with/for your significant other (Anderson’s partner is The Crown creator Peter Morgan), noting that, after landing the role, neither was allowed to give each other notes. That made for some tension, sure, as Anderson’s unwillingness to bring forth the imperious Tory politician in full during rehearsals left Morgan, at one point, to blurt, “We’re all wondering when she’s going to show up.” (Look for Anderson’s Thatcher to make her appearance when the new season of The Crown premieres on Sunday, November 15.)
As to her career-making previous gig, Anderson was, as mentioned, a little late-night punchy, but gave Kimmel’s true or false X-Files plotline game the old FBI try. First paying tribute to the late Alex Trebek’s one very memorable line in series highlight “Jose Chung’s From Outer Space,” Anderson did okay in the game—at first. Sewer monster hiding in the toilet? Check. Scully being attacked by an infant with adult strength? Of course not, don’t be silly. Not that Anderson—whose continual slighting by X-Files producers remains the most baffling crime ever associated with that series—can be blamed for not recalling that, at one point, Scully did, in fact, discover a teenager that could control bugs because he was half-bug (on his mother’s side). (Anderson also was surprised to be told that future Breaking Bad star Aaron Paul was in that episode.) Be fair, there were a lot of monsters, you guys, and that was more of a Doggett and Reyes joint.