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Gillian Anderson on Alec Baldwin’s accent snark, and Prince Harry’s view of ‘The Crown’

Gillian Anderson, seen in a screen grab from a Golden Globes virtual press event last month.
Gillian Anderson, seen in a screen grab from a Golden Globes virtual press event last month.HFPA via Getty Images

Actress Gillian Anderson is aware of Alec Baldwin’s tweet calling her out for “switching accents,” but has nothing to say about it.

“I actually haven’t been paying attention to the controversy,” Anderson said Friday during a livestream conversation with Brandeis history professor Alice Kelikian. “Somebody sent me a text about it because I don’t have social media on my phone so I don’t look at stuff.”

It was “The Crown” actress’s first public comment about Baldwin’s derisive Wednesday tweet, which seemed to reference the recent uproar over his wife, Hilaria Baldwin, a Boston native who’s been accused of misrepresenting her Spanish heritage and faking an accent.

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Blowback to Baldwin’s tweet was so severe that the actor later deleted his account on the social media platform. In the tweet, he shared a link to a story headlined “Gillian Anderson’s American accent throws some people off” after Anderson’s Golden Globes acceptance speech, adding “Switching accents? That sounds ... fascinating.”

Anderson, who plays Margaret Thatcher on “The Crown,” was born in Chicago, but her family moved to Puerto Rico when she was a baby, and then to London, where the actress went to school until age 11, when her family returned to the US.

The virtual conversation with Anderson, who’s perhaps best known for playing Dana Scully on “The X-Files,” was co-sponsored by the Film, Television and Interactive Media program at Brandeis and The Edie and Lew Wasserman Fund.

The Emmy Award-winning actress was more forthcoming when asked about Prince Harry’s comments in his February interview with James Corden, about the truthfulness of “The Crown.” Harry said the Netflix show is “fictional, but it’s loosely based on the truth.”

That sounds right to Anderson.

“This is a drama and I don’t think anyone who works on the show has declared that the series is verbatim. ... In any drama, there has to be a degree of creative license,” said Anderson, who’s currently filming a movie with director Marc Forster in Prague. “One of the things that Harry said which I did find interesting was that he finds more in ‘The Crown’ to be accurate than what he reads in the papers about himself.

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“For someone like Harry, who would know what the truth really is, to say something as bold as that, is saying a lot,” Anderson said.


Mark Shanahan can be reached at mark.shanahan@globe.com. Follow him on Twitter @MarkAShanahan.