Good news: Sexism is alive and well in Hollywood!
Gillian Anderson may be the fairer sex in The X-Files‘ beloved on-screen duo of Mulder and Scully, but getting fair pay over the years hasn’t been easy. The actress revealed to THR that she was initially offered just half what co-star David Duchovny was to be paid for the upcoming revival series. In a new interview with The Daily Beast, she opens up in greater detail about the wage gap and also discusses the show’s much anticipated return.
THR sources say Anderson (Scully) and Duchovny (Mulder) ultimately received equal pay for the upcoming six-episode series, but it sounds like the actress had to push back hard to get it. (Fortunately, she had a lot of bargaining power, given that fans wouldn’t react well to a revival without Scully.) That she had to fight at all is disappointing. As she discussed with The Daily Beast, Anderson worked hard in the ’90s to close the wage gap; in fact, it took her three years to earn the same pay as Duchovny.
While Anderson certainly isn’t the first actress in Hollywood to be offered less than her male co-star, she was surprised by the lower offer in light of her previous fight. “It was shocking to me … I worked really hard toward that and finally got somewhere with it,” she said.
Interestingly (and frustratingly), Anderson dealt with more than just unequal pay in the early days. “I can only imagine that at the beginning, they wanted me to be the sidekick,” she said, explaining that she was originally required by the studio to stand behind Duchovny on camera — standing side-by-side was a no-no. Of course, as fans know, both Anderson and her character proved formidable, ultimately gaining their place alongside Duchovny and Mulder.
The revival series is only meant to be six episodes so far, but should the show continue, it’s safe to say Anderson will ensure that she’s paid fairly. She seems very zen about the question of where — if anywhere — the series goes next.
“If it’s meant to have a future life and if it’s something that is enough for people, then great,” she said. “And if it’s not, then it’s not. I’m OK with both versions of things.”
The X-Files event series is set for a two-night premiere on Fox, starting Sunday, January 24 at 10 pm ET / 7 pm PT, and continuing on Monday, January 25 at 8 pm ET/5 pm PT.