'I said,”This isn't working for me anymore”. I made a stand and the gap in our pay closed. Was it sexism? Maybe. It's like the way we were directed by the studios, I was to walk behind him, never side by side. I mean, that is f—-ing priceless when I think about it now. When we would get out of the car and walk towards the house I would have to be behind him, even though I had equal dialogue.'
- Gillian Anderson
It is fucking priceless indeed. Is it any wonder she sometimes seems to have a chip on her shoulder in interviews now? This was her experience. They didn’t want to hire her because she wasn’t hot enough, and Chris Carter stuck out his neck for her, so she comes in with a deficit. Mulder is the main event and she has to do this kind of bullshit like not walk ahead of him in scenes. She’s the helper, the girl, who might be called on to wear a bathing suit at any moment (even though it’s actually David who ends up in the bathing suit). She’s inexperienced and, as she’s said, afraid every day that she’s going to be fired. She works her tail off, does that thing David hates where she asks for another take if she doesn’t feel like the scene is right even if it’s late and they’re all tired, and just when she’s getting her footing she gets pregnant and is again afraid she’ll be fired. So she comes back after 10 days of maternity leave (after a C-section) because she doesn’t want to leave everyone in the lurch. She probably is in constant apology-for-existing mode for months to years, and then one day she wakes up and the show is a giant success, she’s getting critical acclaim, she’s the youngest person in history to win a Best Actress Emmy, the show sweeps the Globes, she wins a SAG, she’s the sexiest blah blah all that stuff, and then she finds out she’s making peanuts compared to Duchovny, the person she has to walk on eggshells around all day every day who complains all the time about their “forced marriage” and about how he was deceived by the show into staying in Vancouver for so long and doesn’t speak to her half the time. Why, because he made a movie with Brad Pitt before the show? No wonder she went, well, fuck this, I will take some equal pay for this bullshit, thank you.
She’s emphasized that she doesn’t blame David (something that became necessary for her to reiterate after he complained operatically about it in that Guardian interview), and I really can see how he (being David) would have taken it personally, but it seems apparent to me that it’s NOT him she felt hard done by but the way they were set up from the beginning so that she was the inferior, the baby, the one everyone had to make allowances for, and she got through that and started doing awesome and yet was still being treated as if she was a charity case and yeah, time to equalize the pay situation.
So yeah. Glad that finally happened.