Emru Townsend: Are you thinking of doing any other voiceover work? I know you mentioned you're generally avoiding anything that's along the lines of science fiction and such, but...
Gillian Anderson: Well, when things get presented to me I consider them. I'd love to do more advertising voiceover stuff with some import, but it seems to be a very difficult arena for women especially to get into. But I enjoy it very much, and I'd love to.
So what is it in particular you like about doing voiceover work?
There's something about sitting in the room and having the headphones on. It's like you go into a time warp. You sit there with the cans on your ears and you get connected to your breath, you get connected to... I don't know, it's something very mysterious, and very--you also have complete control, to a certain degree. Because you can feel and you can sense in your body when you're in that kind of an intimate space. Just the different intonations, and the different ways you can control and affect your voice.
I've done a little bit of voice work, and my general feeling was that you're just being reduced to one component. Everything else doesn't matter at that point.
Yes, exactly. Like being in a time warp.
Any general thoughts on Princess Mononoke?
I really hope that people see it. I really hope that they take the risk. I think that they don't really have a frame of reference in the West here, especially with reviews pointing to the so-called violent aspect of it, and parents possibly having an aversion to taking their kids to see it. I think regardless of whether they take their kids to see it--I hope that they see it anyway, and that people will see it on Friday date nights or whatever. It's just such a beautiful, beautiful film and it makes you think, it forces you to be grounded. I remember so many times during the premiere just feeling like the movie itself was reminding me to breathe... and we all need to remember to breathe.
Have you seen any other Japanese animation aside from Miyazaki's work?
I think so. Years ago I saw... I can't remember what it was called.
Japanese animation in general has a reputation for being very violent, and there's some kind of truth to that. But at the same time, there's also the more introspective works that are out there. What's your overall impression of Japanese animation aside from Miyazaki's work?
I don't think that I've really seen enough to warrant a reaction. I think most of my experience with Japanese animation has been narrowed to Miyazaki.
How about animation in general, like North American animation? You'd offered some opinions on Disney heroines, and of course since The Lion King especially, there's generally been noise in the press about the idea that, hey, animation can be for adults as well as kids.
Well, there's also Nick Park. I mean, Wallace and Gromit--I've been a fan for years and years, and actually I got kind of territorial [laughs] when it started to become more mainstream, because it was like my little secret [laughs]. I hated that everybody was finding out about it, but of course that's great for him. I remember when Pixar started to do those... you know, the lamp, that mommy lamp, the baby lamp...
Right, Luxo, Jr.
Right. And they'd have those little clips before features, and I just always loved that stuff. And then they started to get into doing features. I've always, always loved animation, and I've gone to animation festivals and stuff like that. Off the top of my head, I couldn't give you any more specifics, but I've always been fascinated by and titillated by and have so much respect for the work that's done in animation.