Gillian Anderson on ‘Sex Education’ and Playing Margaret Thatcher in ‘The Crown’ | Video

“One can’t really properly be Margaret Thatcher without having that hair,” the actress says

As a grown woman, Gillian Anderson knows about the birds and the bees. But playing a sex therapist on Netflix’s “Sex Education” did actually teach her something about intercourse she didn’t already know: the word vaginitis.

See Jean, the “X-Files” alum’s character, is a very well-respected professional within her field and she has books upon books lining her shelves, all filled with facts about the male and female anatomies that embarrass the heck out of her teenage son, Otis (played by Asa Butterfield). And so Anderson had to learn the terminology that Jean, a smartypants when it comes to unzipping your pants, uses in everyday conversation. Unfortunately, the definition of vaginitis has since escaped her.

“Couldn’t tell you what it means,” Anderson told TheWrap in a recent interview, which you can see above. “But I looked it up and then I think I said it. And it’s gone.”

When it comes to the business of getting busy, there are other differences between Jean and Gillian, one being modesty.

“There’s a lot of sex in the show, but there’s only one time that my character, Jean, is having sex,” Anderson said. “So that sex scene — just filming sex scenes, in general, is quite hellish.”

She added: “The biggest problem is that she wouldn’t be the kind of person who would cover-up. I am the kind of person who covers up even many years into a relationship I’m like, ‘Can you turn around? I’m about to walk across the room.’ So balancing those two things was challenging.”

As photos of Anderson on set have already emerged, wig and all, the “X-Files” alum also discussed what it was like to don that ‘do for the role. And apparently, there’s “actually a few wigs.”

“One can’t really properly be Margaret Thatcher without having that hair,” Anderson told TheWrap in an interview, which you can view in the video above. “And it’s very much… her hair did change over time and it was quite different at different times, even though it was also kind of strangely the same. And so part of what the hair team tried to do was to find the common theme that just said ‘Margaret Thatcher’ without having to adjust it on a daily basis or episode basis or whatever. So it definitely makes a difference as to how I look. And yes, of course [it’s] a very big part of feeling more like her.”

Watch the full interview video above.

Jennifer Maas

Jennifer Maas

TV Reporter • jennifer.maas@thewrap.com • @jmaas421



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