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The Gillian Anderson Sex Education Interview


– You know, they did it again. I mean, I actually think that perhaps the second season is
stronger than the first. (upbeat bass guitar music) When I first got the script,
I threw it in the bin. Which is true. I read some of it and I thought, this is too broad for me. And then, my boyfriend who’s a writer, read it and said, you have to do this. It’s so funny, just read it again, read it again, read it again. And I did, and I couldn’t put it down. Maybe I was in a bad mood, (she laughs) I don’t know what it was. You know, it was clear in the first season how bold and brave the writers are. There are so many predictable ways that the storylines could go, and gratefully, consistently,
pleasantly surprised. I definitely feel like
a proud mum sometimes when observing Asa and Ncuti. I’m constantly surprised how
mature their choices are. When you’re talking about acting, and certainly, their teenage
years are closer to hand than they are for me, for instance, where I can barely remember whether I even had a sex ed class or, who my first snog was. It is interesting that they are so able to give themselves permission, I guess, to go back and to re-experience some of the horrendous
and tumultuous aspects of their teenage years. And I remember thinking that when I was watching the first season and watching Asa’s work and thinking, you know, he’s really properly good, there’s nothing predictable
in his responses to things. Jean and Otis, from the very beginning, felt like the least complicated
and difficult element of it. We immediately fell into a rhythm and a tone, it just felt very natural and effortless from the beginning. Yeah, they’re all properly good. As an ancient adult, it was hard for me to really discern what
that reaction was gonna be. And I’ve been shocked before by successes of things that I’ve done. Mostly in the opposite
direction! (she laughs) But it was hard for me to
judge whether it would be got. Whether people would get it. Whether the fact that
it was both seemingly British and American,
that is was in the past and in the present, and
sometimes even in the future. Well, there’s certainly a sense when going into a second season, knowing that a fan base has
properly enjoyed something. That one can imagine what
the reaction might be to certain things that happen. And you know even in the reading of it, when you’re sitting round the table read and when you’re reading
it for the first time, you think, oh my God,
they’re gonna love this! Or whatever, and then
so in the doing of it, it’s a lot of fun to be
able to play with that and to stretch it to its extremes. Knowing that you’re held in that place by a sense of love and appreciation. I think a show like this
is extraordinarily helpful in different countries,
in different cultures, in different neighborhoods
even, in different religions, in different emotional relationships. One of the extraordinary things that the show does is it
shows that whoever you are, and whatever your feelings
or thoughts or proclivities, or taste or sexual preference, whoever you claim you are and what feels comfortable is okay. So the fact that there’s a place where there is such diverse representation and that there is, even
though there is conflict and there is pain and there is fear and there is lack of communication, that somehow that’s part of the story, that is basically deals with everything. To show youngsters that
everybody goes through that. Everybody around the
world, to some degree, will go through the same feelings and the same struggles
and the same confusion and the same fear, and the same shame and the same guilt. And to see, to watch,
and to feel represented and to feel recognized and heard, and to feel that you’re not alone, I think is one of the most valuable things anyone can give anybody else. (upbeat electronic music)

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