Gillian Anderson appears as David Bowie in Americans Gods

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X-Files actress Gillian Anderson is unrecognisable in a still from TV series American Gods, in which she’s playing David Bowie.

It was revealed this week that the actress will appear as the late great music legend in the next episode of the Starz TV series, based on the supernatural fantasy novel by Neil Gaiman.

In a photo released today, the actress – who plays the shape-shifting God of Media, takes on the guise of Bowie in full Ziggy Stardust attire.

Recreating Bowie’s 1972 look, she is pictured in a sharp teal suit with red hair and pale make-up.

Gillian Anderson as David Bowie
Gillian Anderson as David Bowie

Anderson has transformed herself repeatedly for her role as the shape-shifting goddess, also taking on the appearance of actresses Marilyn Monroe and Lucille Ball.

The TV show has made several moves at breaking down barriers on LGBT issues.

In an episode that aired this month, two gay Muslims are shown in a very explicit sex scene.
The show’s third episode introduced gay Muslim character Salim, played by Omid Abtahi.

In the episode, Salim – who has just moved to New York City – strikes up a connection with a mysterious taxi driver played by Mousa Kraish, who is later revealed to be a mystical Jinn.

The pair’s relationship is explored in some detail, with a sex scene between the two men, described by some critics as the most explicit to ever air in a TV drama.

The scene is pioneering in featuring two gay characters of Middle Eastern descent.

Creator Bryan Fuller said: “We want it to be a genuine relationship that the audience and the characters are invested in.

“We are so inspired by Mousa and Omid that we just started spinning more stories for them for season two.

“If you’re inspired by actors you want to make sure you dig out more room for them and absolutely, with these two, we want everybody to root for Salim and the Jinn.”

Also this week, a report found that LGBT people are still underrepresented in big Hollywood blockbusters.

In 2016, just 23 films out of the 125 considered included characters who identified as LGBT, representing only 18.4 per cent.

The report states that LGBT people are “nearly invisible or outdated punchlines in big Hollywood movies”.