Q&A/PREVIEW: The Fall with Gillian Anderson and Jamie Dornan


WHEN: 7/9

Actress Gillian Anderson wishes she was Detective Superintendent Stella Gibson, the character she plays in acclaimed thriller The Fall, which returns to BBC2 for its third series soon.

  • Read on for all the gossip from this Q&A including how Jamie Dornan first auditioned as a PC for the show

‘I don’t know that I’ve ever met anyone quite like her,’ she tells the audience at this BFI Q&A and preview of the first of the season’s six episodes.

‘I wish I was her. There are a lot of aspects to her that are not me that would be fun and interesting to spend some more time with.’

Writer/director Allan Cubitt is also here and hints that The Fall will continue after this third series. Much of the first episode is located in a hospital and Cubitt discusses the theme of individuals saving lives. From the moment we first meet DS Gibson she is consumed by stopping Jamie Dornan’s bereavement counsellor Paul Spector from his extra-curricular activities.


Anderson discusses the ease with which she takes on her character as she dons Gibson’s trademark silk blouse for shooting. Cubitt says Gibson’s first scene is intentionally cleaning a bath in sweatpants and Uggs. ‘When you next see her she is wearing a silk blouse and presenting a professional face to the world,’ he says.

Anderson appreciates Gibson’s flaws, including sleeping with subordinate Detective Sergeant Tom Anderson played by Colin Morgan. ‘It was not good to have slept with him. She’s made some strange, morally ambiguous decisions. There may be repercussions. I find that fascinating.’

And why does Gibson seem more concerned with Spector’s fate than Anderson’s at the end of series two?

Anderson says: ‘She absolutely makes the right decision. She has to save his life. Families have to have closure. She wants to know more about what makes him tick as well as it making her a better police officer.’

Cubitt addresses criticism that the show is misogynistic by saying he found it insulting and how difficult it was to talk about with his daughter. He describes Spector as hating everybody, not just women, including himself.

Dornan is a little kinder about Spector’s character. ‘There are aspects of him that are commendable. Although admittedly very few.’ He confirms he was first asked to audition for a smaller role as a policeman in series one.

Cubitt says: ‘I felt if Spector wasn’t Jamie we didn’t have a show. We sent the tape to Gillian and she said: ‘I think we found our Spector.”

  • Main picture via Facebook courtesy The Fall.
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