Gillian Anderson first turned down recreating Prince Andrew’s ‘cringeworthy’ interview about Jeffrey Epstein


Gillian Anderson almost turned down the opportunity to recreate Prince Andrew’s “cringeworthy” BBC interview regarding allegations of sexual misconduct and his friendship with Jeffrey Epstein.

Anderson, who also starred in “The Crown,” said the role of journalist Emily Maitlis seemed “incredibly daunting.” Maitlis interviewed the Duke of York for the BBC days before Prince Andrew would abandon his public royal duties.

“I think I put it off for a long time because I knew how cringeworthy it was and, eventually, really dug into it when I started this project and yeah, it’s jaw-dropping,” Anderson said of the interview itself during an appearance on “Today.”

The 55-year-old actress, who portrayed Margaret Thatcher in “The Crown,” explained that she originally said no to the Netflix recreation inspired by the televised interview.

PRINCE ANDREW’S INFAMOUS BBC INTERVIEW ABOUT JEFFREY EPSTEIN TO BE TURNED INTO A MOVIE: WHAT TO KNOW

“Well, you may not know Emily that well over here, but she’s a household name in the U.K., and she has a podcast now,” Anderson explained. “She used to work for ‘Newsnight’ for the BBC for a very long time. And she’s an incredibly formidable journalist and woman who is in our midst all the time.”

“The idea of playing somebody that was so familiar and so alive, felt incredibly daunting.”

Netlfix’s “Scoop” is based off the book written by Sam McAlister – the BBC producer who secured the televised interview with the Duke of York. The movie will premiere on the streaming platform April 5.

“This is [McAlister’s] take on what happened at the time, how she managed to land the interview and convince [the palace] that it would be a good idea to lay… everything on the table and speak [Prince Andrew’s] truth,” Anderson said. “And there was definitely an opportunity for that to happen.”

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Prince Andrew was interviewed for “Newsnight” in 2019 where he spoke on touchy topics such as allegations of sexual assault from Virginia Giuffre, then Virginia Roberts.

Prince Andrew spoke about his friendship with Epstein at the time, admitting, “I stayed with him and that’s [something] I kick myself for on a daily basis because it was not something that was becoming of a member of the royal family, and we try and uphold the highest standards and practices and I let the side down, simple as that.”

Elsewhere in the interview, the second son of the queen said he did not regret his friendship with Epstein because of the people he met and all the things he learned, another statement for which he was chastised by the media.

Epstein died by suicide in 2019 after he was charged with federal sex trafficking and conspiracy.

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Andrew also denied the sexual assault allegations that had long plagued him – saying he did not have sex with Giuffre when she was 17 years old.

“It didn’t happen. I can absolutely categorically tell you it never happened. I have no recollection of ever meeting this lady, none whatsoever,” the Duke of York said in his interview.

Prince Andrew later settled a lawsuit brought against him by Giuffre for an undisclosed sum in February 2022.




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