Gillian Anderson had an “intimate” encounter with a future president years before she portrayed the wife of one. Anderson discussed meeting former President Bill Clinton while he was running for office with Jimmy Kimmel, who plays Eleanor Roosevelt in the upcoming Showtime series The First Lady.
According to the X-Files actress, she attended a lunch for Clinton “in somebody’s gorgeous mansion” in the Hollywood Hills, where she briefly met him after he gave a speech and shook hands with guests.
“That thing he does where he shakes your hand and then grabs your elbow at the same time is the most miraculous thing in the world,” she remarked. “He raises your arm a bit higher, a slightly intimate little thing makes eye contact, passes on to the next person, then returns his gaze to you.”
Kimmel quipped that he felt the same way when he met Clinton, except for “the look back — I didn’t experience the look back.” Anderson also stated that she expected Clinton to call her following the encounter.
“I went home, thinking — this was before answering machines — that I was going to come home to a message from him,” she explained. “That’s exactly what I did. That was how genuine that was.”
“Even though he didn’t call,” Anderson told Kimmel, “I ended up voting for Clinton after this.” Kimmel joked, “He’s probably going to call now.”