Gillian Anderson - who plays Detective Superintendent Stella Gibson in BBC Two's psychological crime thriller The Fall - talked about her love for the character, and the script, as season one took to the airwaves. The Fall, series three, has just been announced.

What compelled you to take the role of DSI Stella Gibson?
She feels a little like an island but I find that interesting and it makes me want to know more, which is always a good thing where character and drama is concerned. 

Asst Chief Constable Jim Burns (John Lynch) briefs Stella (Gillian Anderson) on arrival

Can you tell us a detail from the script where you felt a connection to Stella?
It's hard to say. I am intrigued by her no-nonsense way of being. And that over time we get to see warmth and what she cares about. She is an enigma.

What are the key factors behind Stella's professional decisions?
I think she is professional and driven and has a mind for this kind of work and knows that if she keeps at it she will crack it. I think on the whole she works from instinct but I think this case touches her much deeper and that's in part what is driving her. Her emotions have become engaged and that's unusual for her. She is thrown.

Are her personal decisions driven by different impulses? Such as when she introduces herself to the policeman...
Obviously this is one of the ways she compartmentalises for better or worse. She has found a way to justify this act in her mind. She is used to dominating her environment and here she goes again. I think we all have to compartmentalise, especially with all the versions of ourselves we are expected to perform with some self- and society-imposed perfection. We do it with aspects of our inner selves and with relationships between work and home and other.

Hunter or hunted? Stella and Paul Spector (Jamie Dornan)

How do you portray this contrast?
It's compelling to see characters that have duality. Playing that is easy. It feels more natural for one, than a single dimensional character but also there's layers to build on and that's the joy and challenge of the work. Humans are more complex than our wildest imaginations. And then sometimes, oftentimes, we as individuals can't even explain why we do the things we do. We take stabs at it, we hypothesise and justify, but then years later we may realise it was all down to a forgotten event in childhood. So any fabricated history for a character can also have that same complexity – the character might even think it's one thing but it can be something laying much deeper.

Do you think there are any aspects of her character that she shares with Paul Spector?
Yes but I think I need to let that unravel on screen.

Gillian Anderson plays DSI Stella Gibson in The Fall.

The Fall series two returns in November on BBC Two and BBC Two HD. For further programme times please see the episode guide.

Comments made by writers on the BBC TV blog are their own opinions and not necessarily those of the BBC.

Comments

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  • Comment number 85. Posted by pat

    on 23 Jul 2013 18:48

    on the less grim side, I do think that the acting (Anderson and Dornan) is a bit too tamped down. It feels at times like the battle of the blunted affects...

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  • Comment number 84. Posted by pat

    on 23 Jul 2013 18:41

    Here is a subtly told story in the framework of a police procedural but whose true subject is the complicated and sometimes dangerous dance that forms the relationship between men and women, fathers and daughters in particular. Clues - especially her dream journal mentioning her father and those wide eyed stares into the distance that take up so much screen time - suggest she shares a very personal, if well hidden, connection with the victims and the perpetrator, and that this connection is an old one. This seems confirmed by her last piece of dialog of the season in which she tells Paul with a sharp, cool passion what effect his actions will have on his own daughter. I think she says something like, "It will destroy her." Stella, I believe, is the result of such a father. This is her 'back story'. Can't wait for Season 2. Wonderful in every way - screenplay especially. Well done.

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  • Comment number 83. Posted by Botham81

    on 26 Jun 2013 13:23

    Fantastic show - awesome cast, great location, great thriller.

    Let down by one massive disappointment - Gillian Anderson. I just don't get that demeanour at all, and by the end i was absolutely sick to the teeth of it. I think she was supposed to be somewhat sexy, but erm no. She just doesn't have the presence or skills of a Helen Mirren.

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  • Comment number 82. Posted by CelesteNew

    on 25 Jun 2013 04:39

    When will Season 2 begin? I really would like to see the murderer get caught. Will our detective publish the girl's picture? Will the mother recognize it? Will the killer's exploded car leave partial evidence? Let's get on with it, put this weirdo in jail and let our detective-heroine move on!

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  • Comment number 81. Posted by Brian USA

    on 22 Jun 2013 02:16

    I just finished episode 5 if The Fall. I was enthralled with this show from episode 1. The coldness of the killer and Anderson was chilling. The methodical steps the killer took for each kill, even with the errors he eventually made was bloodchilling. I have enjoyed this show and will hate the wait until the next season. Thank you BBC for saving me from the formula crap that is TV in the USA.

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  • Comment number 80. Posted by Pam Chippendale

    on 21 Jun 2013 09:26

    Just watched Ep. 5. Terrific drama. Well done all actors. When the next series?

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  • Comment number 79. Posted by kayjay

    on 20 Jun 2013 10:41

    to pache!! Giliian Anderson IS ENGLISH. I don't think she has to 'try' with her accent. She is British born and bred :)

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  • Comment number 78. Posted by edbow

    on 18 Jun 2013 13:44

    The fall was an excellent shaggy dog story .Rmember the scene at the police station when she was looking at her newly painted red fingernails. At that moment the police brought in the killer for questioning. Their eyes met. later on the killer phoned the Superintended and mentioned her fingernails.If our Superintendent had been any good she would have ;phoned the police station and immediately brought the man she sae in for questioning.However, they want another series, don't they?

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  • Comment number 77. Posted by rabuf

    on 18 Jun 2013 09:57

    By far the best presented crime drama I have seen (and I am in my 70s) . Casting absolutely inspired, combining the unusual with the unknown.
    Brilliantly acted.
    Inspired plot development.
    Well worth the License fee
    Many thanks BBC

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  • Comment number 76. Posted by nicktecky

    on 16 Jun 2013 10:59

    In today's 'papers we have true obscenity:
    Our beloved tabloid media and their politician lickspittles choose not to distinguish between child abuse, murder and rape, child access to pornography, adult pornography and child internet access to adult (PG) TV.
    In order to attack the BBC they are conflating all these issues, and are using 'The Fall' as a stick to beat them with.
    Perhaps the BBC should just give up with BBC1&2 and just keep rolling out the 'reality' shows and 'historical' dramas. But please leave BBC4 alone in that case.

    The Fall is truly disturbing, every minute is challenging.
    The central character is so ordinary, a good looking respected and dedicated family man, not a pastiche monster.
    Gillian Anderson's character is sexy and flawed but doesn't agonise. Above all, committed and driven. A matter of fact sexual predator, not a femme fatale.
    The director doesn't just avoid the standard cliches, it's as if he is showing you them dull and grey and then repainting them in a black and white almost graphic novel style.
    (The murderer's wife is not a downtrodden homely mum, but a sort of super cypher for that cliche. She's a nurse, super caring and strong.)
    There is true horror, threat and tension.
    No gorefest or mindlessness, but the real horror of the internal logic behind both psychological and criminal violence.

    We thought british TV had given up, and it was now up to the Europeans to show us how to produce truly gritty urban drama. (Spiral, Wallander, Bridge, Lilyhammer, etc).
    Something a grown up person can chew on.
    Then the good old BBC go and trump the lot!

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