It isn’t often that Variety gets to break news to “The Crown” star and seasoned award-winning actor Gillian Anderson, but on the afternoon of Feb. 3, Anderson found herself rushing through the door after a photoshoot to get on the phone with us. She had no idea that what she had missed in the midst of getting through her to-do list was groundbreaking.
“Three?!?! What! I hadn’t been informed of that, that’s extraordinary— can you tell me who got nominated?” Anderson said, referring to the women directors that were nominated for Golden Globes by the Hollywood Foreign Press Association, after the organization’s long history of snubbing female talent in the best director for a motion picture category.
Anderson was breathless with all of her excitement as we went down the list. The combined recognition of Emerald Fennell (“Promising Young Woman”), Regina King (“One Night in Miami”) and Chloe Zhao (“Nomadland”) was a first for the awards in the 78 years of its existence. Fennell, King and Zhao became the sixth, seventh and eighth women directors to get the coveted nod.
But of course, Anderson was aware of her Golden Globe nomination for best performance by an actress in a supporting role in a series for her work as an astounding Margaret Thatcher doppelgänger in season four of Netflix’s “The Crown.” She was overwhelmed with emotion about the nod, and the five others the show’s team scored altogether.
“I’m quite teary. It was a long journey. I put my heart and my soul into the role, so it feels very moving to have been recognized and to have been recognized alongside so many wonderful actresses, she said. Those actresses include Julie Garner (“Ozark”), Annie Murphy (“Schitt’s Creek”), Cynthia Nixon (“Ratched”) and Anderson’s co-star, Helena Bonham-Carter.
“And I’m also proud to be a part of that cast and have so many of that cast be recognized,” the actor added. “The nominations belong to every last person that was involved in the show. And I hope they’re celebrating too and know that they’re as much a part of this as we are.” Other castmates to have received nods include Josh O’Connor and Emma Corrin, for their respective performances as Prince Charles and Princess Diana, as well as Olivia Colman for her role as Queen Elizabeth II.
Epitomizing the Former Prime Minister of the United Kingdom for the small screen was, for Anderson, a dream. And she gave her all to fulfill it. The actor divulged to Variety that there’s always a risk in trying to make your dream come true (especially in the entertainment industry), but part of addressing that risk is by being as prepared as possible and immersing yourself in the material to give yourself a greater chance at succeeding.
“I feel that both the combination of both my desire to show myself that I could and the incredible team that ‘The Crown’ has chosen — researchers, teachers, script, the wardrobe department and hair and makeup headed by Cate Hall, directors — gave me the opportunity to do the best job I could do,” Anderson noted.
After a long career, Anderson feels incredibly grateful to be able to realize her dream project: manifesting The Iron Lady. “It is miraculous,” she said.
Because Anderson embodied the role of Margaret Thatcher so acutely and with such heartfelt dedication, Variety felt compelled to ask the actor what she thinks Thatcher would, hypothetically, do if she had been given a Golden Globes nod: “I’m sure she’d put on her best dress, and some extra hairspray to add height to her hair, and show up to outperform me and upstage me,” Anderson said. “I think she’d be very keen to take on the spotlight.”
Final Golden Globes ballots will be mailed to all Hollywood Foreign Press Association members (a group of 89 international journalists that primarily reside in Southern California) on Feb. 10, and will be due by 5 p.m. on Feb. 23. The 78th Golden Globe Awards will air on NBC on Sunday, Feb. 28. at 5 p.m. PT/8 p.m. ET on NBC. The ceremony will be co-hosted by Tina Fey and Amy Poehler, on opposite coasts.