X-files star Gillian Anderson plays a character inspired by Lisa Kristine in the new film ‘SOLD‘. Adapted from the internationally bestselling novel by Patricia McCormick, Sold follows a 13-year-old Nepali girl named Lakshmi whose father sends her to Kolkata, India, to work as a domestic servant. Instead, she finds herself living as a sex slave in a prison brothel known as “Happiness House,” forced to work in exchange for the advance paid to her parents. This practice is known as “debt bondage,” and it’s all too common across the world, especially in developing regions.
In the film, The X-Files’ Gillian Anderson plays a U.S. humanitarian photographer named Sophie (inspired by Lisa Kristine) who hears Lakshmi’s cries for help while illegally photographing the red light district, and leads a rescue mission to save her.
Produced by Oscar winner Emma Thompson and directed by Oscar winner Jeffrey D. Brown, the film has also partnered with organizations such as Save the Children, ECPAT, and Rotary International, among others. Sold will also drive the efforts of Taught Not Trafficked, a campaign to ensure that over 2,300 Nepali children complete their secondary education. Research shows that educated women are less likely to be trafficked, and human trafficking is one of the reasons girls education initiatives are so important.
All of this is no small task, and it’s not something those in the film take lightly. Teen Vogue caught up with Gillian to talk about the film, the inspiration behind her role, and how we can take action against this global atrocity.
Teen Vogue: What initially drew you to the project?
Gillian Anderson: I’m friends with the director, Jeffrey Brown. He sent me the script and asked if I would be interested in joining the movement behind it. In that stage, there wasn’t really the character of Sophia, and I agreed that I found the subject matter to be galvanizing. By the time the film was made, he had expanded the role to emulate a real-life humanitarian photographer, Lisa Kristine, who documents human slavery. Slowly but surely,