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It’s David Duchovny who should be paid half of what Gillian Anderson is for The X-Files, not the other way around.

Kevin Winter/Getty Images

Given what we know about the gender pay gap—women make 79 cents for every dollar men make, women of color make even less, and even Hollywood stars aren’t paid equally—it shouldn’t be surprising that that Anderson was offered half what Duchovny was for the X-Files revival. (The two were eventually paid the same amount.) But really Anderson should have been offered even more than her co-star. Yes, we’re forever indebted to Duchovny for his charming and swoon-worthy Mulder, but it is Anderson who’s the more skilled and acclaimed actor. Here’s a rundown of what the two have been up to since the last X-Files movie.


  • Played “Goat Man” in Goats (20 percent rating on Rotten Tomatoes).
  • Starred in Californication, a show that was great at first and declined steadily through its seven seasons.
  • Wrote Holy Cow, a novel that Kirkus Reviews described as “a pseudo–children’s book that smart adults should greatly enjoy.”


  • Made the costume drama rounds in Bleak House, The Crimson Petal and the White, Great Expectations, and War and Peace.
  • Mastered both the good and evil sides of crime drama characters in The Fall and Hannibal.
  • Was nominated for a Laurence Olivier award for her role as Blanche DuBois in the Young Vic’s production of A Streetcar Named Desire.

One of these actors should be paid twice as much as the other, and that actor is Gillian Anderson.