Why Gillian Anderson Almost Said No to Netflix’s Prince Andrew Drama

In Netflix ScoopGillian Anderson plays Emily Maitlis, the former BBC presenter who, on November 16, 2019, left Prince Andrew squirming as she investigated him about his friendship with Jeffrey Epstein.

During the interview, Andrew (Rufus Sewell) did not distance himself from the convicted sex trafficker, only describing Epstein’s behavior as “unbecoming” and maintaining his innocence of his own sexual abuse allegations in due to an enigmatic state in which he did not sweat. . (Andrew’s accuser described him as being sweaty when they allegedly danced together at a London nightclub.)

Maitlis maintained her composure as she watched – and in many ways caused – the train wreck before her. “It was exactly the right way for her to put it,” Anderson says.

The result made headlines around the world and earned the BBC Newsnight several awards. Scoop takes audiences behind the scenes of Maitlis and booker Sam McAlister’s (Billie Piper) journey to convince the prince to participate in the session, a story that Anderson says was as gripping as the interview itself.

You’ve said before that you almost didn’t play the role. Why not?

I’ve played a few historical figures before, and I don’t want that to become something I do or am particularly known for. But I like the challenge. Emily has a big presence in the UK and she’s still alive – the people I’ve played in the past have already passed away. So it didn’t seem as pressing and revealing.

What did you know about the 2019 interview?

I don’t remember seeing him live or seeing him at the time. I think I was hearing how vile it was, and I wasn’t particularly interested in subjecting myself to that. But, obviously, thinking about it and preparing to do it, I made up for it by the time I ended up watching it.

Have you ever met Emily?

When we were filming, I was at a charity event [where she was]and we had a very, very brief conversation.

What was the experience of putting yourself in his shoes?

I’ve been a fan of Emily for a while. I listen to his podcast. It was a thrill. If you watch a lot of her interviews, she’s not often as gentle as she was or as nice and kind as she was in the interview with Prince Andrew, so I found that fascinating . You see her giving people a hard time time and time again. She doesn’t suffer fools, she actually questions people. But she created this space, which obviously proved effective, where [Andrew] almost comes out of himself and reveals more about his thinking than necessarily answering questions.

What was it like portraying Emily before and during the interview?

I was very interested in these 72 hours that Maitlis and McAlister spent together [before…

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