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Gillian Anderson Was Offered Only Half of David Duchovny’s Salary for the ‘X-Files’ Reboot: ‘It Was Shocking to Me’

David Duchovny and Gillian Anderson
David Duchovny and Gillian Anderson Frank Ockenfels/FOX

The wage-gap truth is out there! The X-Files star Gillian Anderson (Scully) spoke to the Daily Beast in an interview published Friday, January 22, about studio brass initially offering to pay her just half of costar David Duchovny‘s (Mulder) salary for the hit Fox series’ new reboot.

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The actress, 47, who is joining Duchovny, 55, for the sci-fi series’ six-episode return that premieres Sunday, January 24, says it is “sad” that the offer she received was so far below her male costar’s. According to Anderson, she earned half of Duchovny’s salary when the series launched in September 1993, and it took three years for the pair to make the same amount.

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“I’m surprised that more [interviewers] haven’t brought that up because it’s the truth,” she says of the pay inequity. “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.”

David Duchovny and Gillian Anderson
David Duchovny and Gillian Anderson in the original ‘X-Files’ series. 20th Century Fox/Courtesy Everett Collection

“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,'” the actress continued. “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.”

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The disparity in the two stars’ offers was initially reported in a January 7 The Hollywood Reporter story, with a source telling the publication that Anderson and Duchovny ultimately earned equal pay to return.

Anderson also talked with the Daily Beast about her character having been required to always stand a few feet behind her partner when the series started.

David Duchovny and Gillian Anderson
David Duchovny and Gillian Anderson in the ‘X-Files’ reboot. Ed Araquel/FOX

“I can only imagine that at the beginning, they wanted me to be the sidekick,” Anderson 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!”

Hollywood’s wage divide has become a particularly hot-button issue of late, with Jennifer Lawrence speaking out about it last year after the Sony hack revealed that she made less for American Hustle than her male costars.

The X-Files returns on Fox Sunday, January 24, at 10 p.m. EST.

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