In an interview with the Daily Beast published Friday morning, award-winning actor Gillian Anderson revealed she was initially offered half of co-star David Duchovny’s pay for her work in Fox’s upcoming X-Files revival. Huh — what a bunch of truly insane bullshit.
Anderson first notes, almost equally maddeningly, that when she first signed on to play Scully she was instructed to stand a few feet behind Duchovny while they appeared onscreen together. A charming optical illusion, designed presumably to enforce the idea that she was, in fact, not the male half of the pair:
“I can only imagine that at the beginning, they wanted me to be the sidekick. … 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!”
What would people think? Anderson says she doesn’t recall being given permission to walk beside Duchovny, rather that she just eventually said “Fuck no! No!” and allowed her “intolerance and spunk” to guide her to his side.
You may think this disparity would have dissipated after the beloved series died and was resurrected, with any perceived status difference in Scully’s and Mulder’s roles now obviously false, but — hmm, you would be wrong, just like Scully so often was about the nonexistence of aliens or whatever. Anderson says she was, at first, offered half of Duchovny’s pay for her (equal) work. She originally noted the pay disparity in The Hollywood Reporter, but elaborated, thankfully, for the Daily Beast:
“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. 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.
“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 disparity has since reportedly been rectified, but the truth about the wage gap is, obviously, still out there.*