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X-Files: Fox Pushed Back On Gillian Anderson's Scully Casting For A Disgusting Reason

"The X-Files" revolutionized television, opening doors for other eerie series to flourish on the small screen. Viewers were initially drawn to the show's supernatural mysteries, but the chemistry between memorable detectives Fox Mulder (David Duchovny) and Dana Scully (Gillian Anderson) was pivotal to its success. However, it wasn't always an easy journey. Chris Carter, the mastermind behind the show, had to battle to cast Anderson in her iconic role, as the network had other ideas for the character.

In an interview with Inverse, Carter revealed that executives were reluctant to give the part to Anderson because they didn't think she was sexy enough. "Even though Gillian's beautiful, she wasn't their idea of sexy," Carter said. "First, because they didn't understand what I was trying to do with the show. And she was an unknown, so that never helps." 

Fortunately, the network saw sense, and Anderson turned Scully into a beloved character. However, Anderson has also shed some light on attempts to change Scully at points during the series' run, which she wasn't a fan of.

Gillian Anderson didn't want Scully to be traditionally sexy

With her portrayal of Dana Scully on "The X-Files" spanning over 200 episodes, Gillian Anderson's understanding of the character is arguably unparalleled. As such, she knew better than anyone when the show's fashion department made questionable changes to the detective's presentation.

While speaking to Net-A-Porter, Anderson recalled times when the show's fashion designers tried to add more oomph to Scully, but it didn't work out as hoped. "She's very plain; she's slightly square," Anderson said. "In the later seasons, we went a little too far putting her in leather. The types of suits she wears are very, very basic. There is one new episode in particular where she wears a lot of at-home clothes — she's not a jeans wearer, she's a comfy slacks and V-neck Banana Republic sweaters woman."

Of course, these changes were understated compared to the ideas network executives originally had in mind for Scully. Anderson clearly put a lot of thought into her character's appearance, which shows that she cared about the role.

If you liked this article, find out where every "X-Files" season ranks from worst to best.