The star?s role as Lily Bart in ''The House of Mirth'' has won her much acclaim

By Lisa Schwarzbaum
Updated December 22, 2000 at 05:00 AM EST

While her former X-Files partner kvetched frequently in interviews about feeling constricted by the thespian limitations derived from television success, Anderson, 32, did something about it: She dared to take the lead role in a small, unheralded project. British director Terence Davies is an iconoclast who had never seen one episode of Anderson’s cult TV hit before giving her the lead in his highly original adaptation of Edith Wharton’s masterpiece The House of Mirth. But his gamble, and hers, may win them both jackpots: The film is one of the triumphs of the year, and the star is ripe to win awards (and much more movie work) as a result. In her magnificent performance as Lily Bart, Anderson demonstrates — quietly, passionately, meticulously — that she is possessed of dramatic depths far beyond the scope of Dana Scully. About her Lily — deeply felt, subtle, stubborn, heartrending — the truth is in there.