Gillian Anderson fought to receive pay that was equal to her “X-Files” costar David Duchovny all the way back in the 1990s. And unfortunately, she had to fight once again for this year’s revival.
In an interview with the Daily Beast published Friday morning, Anderson opened up about only being offered “half” of Duchovny’s pay in the latest series run, which was first revealed in an earlier interview with the Hollywood Reporter.
“Especially in this climate of women talking about the reality of [unequal pay] in this business, I think it’s important that it gets heard and voiced,” she said. “It was shocking to me, given all the work that I had done in the past to get us to be paid fairly. I worked really hard toward that and finally got somewhere with it.”
The actress continued: “Even in interviews in the last few years, people have said to me, ‘I can’t believe that happened, how did you feel about it, that is insane.’ And my response always was, ‘That was then, this is now.’ And then it happened again! I don’t even know what to say about it.”
The two were eventually payed the same, but the fact that it had to be negotiated is “sad,” she said.
Anderson, who plays Dana Scully, a medical doctor and FBI partner to Duchovny’s Fox Mulder, fought for three years after the show first premiered in 1993 to receive comparable income, and was even required to stand a few feet behind Duchovny while on camera.
“I can only imagine that at the beginning, they wanted me to be the sidekick,” she said. “Or that, somehow, maybe it was enough of a change just to see a woman having this kind of intellectual repartee with a man on camera, and surely the audience couldn’t deal with actually seeing them walk side by side!”
She later added: “I don’t know how long it lasted or if it changed because I eventually said, ‘F— no! No!’ I don’t remember somebody saying, ‘OK, now you get to walk alongside him.’ But I imagine it had more to do with my intolerance and spunk than it being an allowance that was made.”
The original series lasted nine seasons and spawned two feature films. The six-episode revival premieres on Fox Sunday night.
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