Gillian Anderson had fun playing someone “a little loopy” in ‘A Pale Blue Eye’.

The 54-year-old actress stars in Scott Cooper’s Edgar Allan Poe-inspired whodunnit as doctor’s wife Julia Marquis and she was delighted to be offered such a “curious” role.

She said: “My character is such a curious one. She’s a little loopy. Which was fun.

“And she gets to smash plates. I’m trying to talk about it without giving too much away.”

Gillian also admired Scott’s way of working and thinks he managed to craft a film that feels “very real” to the time period in which it is set.

She told Total Film magazine: “I was very interested in te setting, and having seen a couple of Scott’s films before, it almost felt like I knew what it was going to look like.

“You could get a real sense from not just the script but knowing how he works.

“And I thought there was something very delicious in that.

“And certainly in seeing it myself, I was struck with how quiet it is, and how much he allows the scenes to just sit.

“There’s atmosphere. There’s a real silence. You feel the damp, you feel the cold.

“It feels very real to the 1800s in a way I’m not sure I’ve ever experienced before.”

The veteran actress think audiences like whodunnits because they are such an “escape” and she thinks audiences will learn more from ‘A Pale Blue Eye’ than they realise.

She said: “They’re such an escape. And more than ever, people want entertainment. They don’t want stuff that’s too heavy-handed or too real or too serious.

“Whodunits are a valid form of entertainment. And to have it presented in such a beautiful, luscious, fascinating and not necessarily educational way – but there’s certainly stuff in there that would have been well-researched and adds to the fascination of who Poe might have been when he was a younger man.

“And the beginnings of America and the beginnings of West Point and that institution. So all of that is quite curious and fascinating.”