Actress recalls ‘intimate’ encounter with Bill Clinton and how she thought he was going to give her a call

Few things are more nauseating than watching Hollywood types gush over their encounters with Democrat politicians.

The latest cringe-inducing episode of this far-too-common tendency involves actress Gillian Anderson, best known for her role as FBI Agent Dana Scully in the hit Fox science fiction series “The X-Files,” which captured the 90s zeitgeist like few other shows.

On Tuesday night, however, Anderson sat down with Jimmy Kimmel to discuss her new series, “The First Lady,” a biopic in which she stars as Eleanor Roosevelt. Amid the usual mindless banter of late-night talk shows, Kimmel asked if Anderson had ever met a first lady or president.

“Have you met a first lady or president of the United States, or both?” he asked.

“I’ve never met a first lady,” Anderson replied.

“I have met a president, I met Clinton,” she continued. “I met him when he was running for office, first time. And it was a lunch, for him, at somebody’s fancy house in the Hollywood Hills or something.”

Incidentally, that would have been in 1992, prior to her break-out role on “The X-Files.” In any case, Jimmy Kimmel was embarrassingly excited by the story, so Gillian Anderson proceeded to regale him with the details of her encounter with “Slick Willy.”

“And then at the end of his speech, or whatever, we, you know, created a line for him to walk down the line and shake hands, and we got to meet him,” she recounted.

Then things got juicy.

“He did the most miraculous thing in the world,” Anderson recalled. “You know that thing that he does where he shakes your hand and then he grabs your elbow at the same time, and he like holds your arm further up—slightly intimate little thing. Makes eye contact, and then he moves on to the next person…and then he looks back at you.”

The crowd seemed to really enjoy that one. Anderson, for her part, seemed to think this brief encounter portended something more serious.

“I went home, I thought—this was in the days of answering machines—I literally thought that I was going to go home to a message from him,” she explained, to laughter from the crowd.

“I did. It was that real,” she insisted.

“Really?” Kimmel asked. “Well, yeah, I mean probably your answering machine was broken, because he definitely called if, I mean…oh that’s something else. And then did you vote for him after that?”

After a lengthy pause, Anderson finally admitted that she had. Not that such an admission would have been unpopular amid such friendly surroundings.

“Even though he didn’t call?” Kimmel asked. “He’s probably going to call now,” which of course was followed by a great deal of good-natured laughter.

We eagerly await an update to learn whether Bill Clinton does, in fact, give Gillian Anderson a call. Meanwhile, you can watch the entire scintillating interview above.


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Todd Jaquith


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