Like Sisyphus, Gillian Anderson had to push her own figurative boulder up a mountain– in her case, pushing for pay equal to her ‘X-Files’ costar David Duchovny on the original 90s series– only to have that boulder roll back down the mountain for her to push up again. Indeed, when FOX revived the cult phenomenon for the highly anticipated event series, which kicks off on Sunday, initially Anderson was offered half of what Duchonvy was making.
Agent Scully discussed the disparity in a recent interview saying:
“I’m surprised that more [interviewers] haven’t brought that up because it’s the truth. 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.
“It is… sad. It is sad.”
Anderson faced similar issues when work began on the original series, when she was required to stand a few feet behind Duchovny onscreen, never side-by-side.
Anderson slightly justified that by saying:
“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!”
It took three years and several awards, including the Golden Globe and Emmy for Best Actress, for Anderson to receive equal pay to what Duchovny was pocketing. Yet after all that, when the time came to put together this new series, she once again found herself facing the pay inequality that is currently taking such heat in the entertainment industry.
Don’t worry. After negotiations, both leads wound up making the same salary.
With that dust settled, Anderson seems to have made peace with ‘The X-Files’ the franchise that made her famous. The potential is there for the new event series to lead to a new ongoing, should the viewers tune in.
“If it’s meant to have a future life and if it’s something that is enough for people, then great. And if it’s not, then it’s not. I am OK with both versions of things.”
Are you excited that Mulder and Scully are returning on equal footing? Would you like to see ‘X-Files’ return as an ongoing series?
Source: The Daily Beast