Gillian Anderson was in a ''vulnerable state'' when she played Blanche DuBois in 'A Streetcar Named Desire'.

The 51-year-old actress starred as insecure Blanche in a Broadway production of Tennessee Williams' play and she's confessed that the role had a destructive impact on her day-to-day mood.

Asked to explain the biggest difference between playing a character on stage and on screen, Gillian shared: ''When you're creating a character for TV or film you're not playing it 24/7.

''With a play, you are doing it over and over and over again and this play got right into my gut. When I performed it in New York I was either in my Airbnb or on stage for the entire time. Part of that was about holding the character alive but it left me in a vulnerable state.

''Going into a corner shop to buy milk when you are Blanche DuBois is hard.''

Gillian felt like she was shedding ''layers'' of skin during the production.

And the actress - who is, perhaps, best-known for playing Dana Scully in 'The X-Files' - doubts she'd be able to perform a similar role in the future, admitting she doesn't think she'd have the ''stamina'' for it.

Recalling the impact of the production, Gillian told the Guardian newspaper: ''I felt like all the layers of my skin had come off.

''You need to immerse yourself in a mental state to make the character truthful on stage and I don't think I have ever immersed myself so deeply.

''There were moments when I felt I was hanging on to reality by a thread and I needed to talk to people to ground myself so I wouldn't disappear into the ether. I'm not sure I would have the stamina to do it again.''