THE Crown's Gillian Anderson has revealed she 'almost died' before her first scene as Margaret Thatcher.
The 51-year-old joins the hit Netflix series for season four as Britain's first female Prime Minister.
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But despite knowing the show is already a success – and the small matter of being in a relationship with its creator Peter Morgan – Gillian was still extremely anxious as she started filming the role.
Speaking to Deadline, Gillian said she accepted the role with "no hesitation at all", but as filming began, anxiety started to creep in.
She said: "There are a few things in life where, if they come your way, you just know you have to say yes, before the fear says no.
“Certainly, as we got closer to filming, I almost died. My heart has never beat so fast in all of my life.”
The X Files and Sex Education star was certainly thrown in the deep end, with her first scene requiring Mrs Thatcher to lead her cabinet of Parliament members.
Thankfully, the crew were prepared for any potential nerves on Gillian's part, as she recalled: "It was a scene they were shooting on a stage at the studio, and so they mapped it out that way in the knowledge that, if you suck, you can always come back and shoot it again if you need to.
"They had already built into the schedule that I would likely be able to fail, and that it wouldn’t be the end of the day.
"You really feel held. I knew I was going to be all right."
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Indeed, the show's creator Peter was delighted with his partners performance, previously revealing she is "fierce and brilliant" in the role.
Peter also spoke about Margaret's legendary bouffant hairstyle, which Gillian was seen sporting on set in Spain in October.
"It is [a lot of hair]. It's candyfloss, a sort of candyfloss helmet which protects her from falling masonry."
Of seeing his real life partner in full costume for the first time, he said: "That was a scary experience.
The Crown seasons 1-3 are available to stream on Netflix.
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