Gillian Anderson shares real reason Emily Maitlis refused to meet her before new Prince Andrew film

Gillian Anderson shares real reason Emily Maitlis refused to meet her before new Prince Andrew film

Emily Maitlis interviews member of public about Donald Trump

Lauren Williams

By Lauren Williams

Published: 06/03/2024

- 19:49

The Netflix film Scoop is an adaptation of the Newsnight interview with Prince Andrew in 2019

Gillian Anderson has revealed that BBC presenter Emily Maitlis declined to meet her in person whilst she was preparing to portray her in the upcoming Netflix film, Scoop.

When preparing for a role, actors usually spend as much time as possible with the person they are portraying in order to perfect their mannerisms and idiosyncrasies.

However, Anderson was forced to resort to watching hours of Newsnight footage of Maitlis, listening to her The News Agents podcast, and reading her autobiography Airhead while preparing for the role.

Maitlis refused to meet with her in the lead-up to filming as the former BBC presenter is working on her own project based on the sensational televised interview – according to Grazia.

Anderson explained: “There were so many things to get wrong. Emily is so formidable and she’s still alive. When I told them my fears, they said, ‘That’s exactly why you should do it’.”

She added that she thought Maitlis was ‘placed on a pedestal, to a degree. A pedestal I think she deserved to be placed on.

Gillian Anderson and Rufus Sewell

Emily Maitlis declined to meet Gillian Anderson during her filming preperation


“And you get a sense of that from how they talk about her. She’s their secret weapon, right? That interview is a bloody series. Emily is there for one reason and one reason only.

“She is going to do everything in her power to make sure the hard questions are asked…. The questions everybody else has been scared to ask.”

The upcoming film is said to be “the insider account of the inner workings of the Palace and the BBC,” going behind the scenes of the interview.

Newsnight guest booker Sam McAlister touched on Anderson’s transformation and the work she put in to perfect the role and said: “It felt like being there with Emily.

Rufus Sewell

Rufus Sewell portrays Prince Andrew


“Everything about her physicality and her performance is on the money. They have a similar intellect as well.

“Emily is very methodical. She worked very hard on every interview; she trains, she studies. And my impression of Gillian was exactly the same.

“She was studying the material, she was studying Emily, and she was working on that project in an intellectual way as well as a dramatic way.”

The rest of the cast includes Keeley Hawes as Prince Andrew’s private secretary Amanda Thirsk, Connor Swindells as Jae Donnelly, the photographer who captured the image of Prince Andrew and convicted sex offender Jeffrey Epstein walking in Central Park.

Gillian Anderson

Gillian Anderson is portraying Emily Maitlis


An official release date for the film has not yet been released but Netflix recently released some first look images of the cast.

According to the Telegraph, Scoop will be coming to Netflix in spring 2024.

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