Absurd moment Gillian Anderson was asked if she spoke to Margaret Thatcher about The Crown
Actors often play characters based on real people who are still alive, and it's not unusual for stars to meet up with those people to get inspiration for how to play them.
Ben Whishaw spent time with the real Norman Scott before playing him in A Very English Scandal, for instance.
But it is slightly trickier for an actor to glean inspiration from a public figure who passed away almost a decade ago.
After winning the award for Outstanding Supporting Actress at the Emmys over the weekend, Gillian Anderson was asked the clanger of all questions by an underprepared journalist during a press conference.
"Hi Gillian, congratulations I love you on this show,’ the journalist said. "Just to continue with the whole Margaret Thatcher thing, first question, have you talked to her about this role at all? And secondly, why do you think it has taken America so long to get a female leader?"
"Erm, well, I have not spoken to Margaret. Umm, umm," Gillian replied awkwardly - but rather than embarrass the journalist by breaking the news that Britain's first female Prime Minister passed away in 2013, she just moved on.
The journalist had also asked why it's taken so long for America to get a female leader, so Gillian politely posited some thoughts about Kamala Harris potentially being fit for office.
Gillian played Margaret Thatcher in season four of The Crown, and one memorable storyline involved Thatcher visiting the Queen at her Scottish residence in Balmoral for the weekend. There, Thatcher was enlisted to play silly games with the royal family after dinner, and social media users were obsessed with the game of Ibble Dibble.
I don’t like how The Crown are making me like Margaret Thatcher so far. That ibble-dibble game 💀
— Tobias Boon🔰 (@SirJDW_) November 15, 2020
Considering asking if anyone on the family Zoom wants to do that ibble dibble drinking game from The Crown pic.twitter.com/LpZiCKiGK4
— Jordan Baker (@jbaker475) December 25, 2020
the ibble dibble game is the greatest gift the crown could have given us
— paige (@pxkerwithelIen) November 22, 2020
Gillian Anderson last won an Emmy 24 years ago, for The X-Files, when she took home Outstanding Lead Actress.
Anderson is currently back on screens as sex therapist Dr Jean F.Milburn on Sex Education, the mum of main character Otis, played by Asa Butterfield.