Gillian Anderson, the X-Files actress who’s been named "Sexiest Woman Alive" by FHM magazine, turned down a role in Masterpiece Theatre hit Downton Abbey because she didn’t want to be far from her family.

"My 18-year-old cannot believe that I would turn down Game Of Thrones or Downton — things she loves to watch,” she told the Mail Online. “But if I am going to be spending that amount of time working on something I would rather be working with a director like Martin Scorsese."

Anderson stars in BBC Two drama, The Fall, as Detective Superintendent Stella Gibson. The character isn’t too much of a stretch for Anderson, who made a name for herself playing FBI Agent Dana Scully on the X-Files. Of her new law enforcement character the actress says, “If Stella finds a man attractive, she doesn’t hesitate to make the first move. I quite like that in a woman, I’ve discovered. I like the way Stella is so sexually confident but there are consequences to that, as you’ll see over the serial.

"She’s much more feminine than Scully ever was," she added.

Although Anderson has nothing but positive things to say about her new project, The Fall was almost another casualty of her selectivity. After parts in the BBC adaptation of Great Expectations and Lady Dedlock in Bleak House, she’d yet to take on a lengthy commitment since X-Files because of her children. When she saw that Prime Suspect 2 writer Allan Cubbit was behind it and had penned it with her in mind, she brokered a deal with producers that would allow her to return home each weekend during filming.

The Fall, after attracting over 3.5 million viewers in its first week, is already planning to have a sophomore season.

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