|via Gillian Anderson's website|
I had always appreciated the fact that Dana Scully was never your “normal” main female character. Dana fought for what she believed was right, didn’t let people push her around, and certainly did not fit your basic “damsel in distress” picture. Sure, sometimes she needed help, but there were also times where she had to roll up her sleeves and get Mulder out of some difficult situations. If anything, Fox Mulder is definitely more of a damsel in distress.
Don't worry, Mulder, we love you anyway. (via GIPHY)
Then I started reading about Gillian Anderson and completely fell in love with her and Scully. Especially once I learned about The Scully Effect.
So what is The Scully Effect?
“It was a surprise to me, when I was told that. We got a lot of letters all the time, and I was told quite frequently by girls who were going into the medical world or the science world or the FBI world or other worlds that I reigned, that they were pursuing those pursuits because of the character of Scully. And I said, ‘Yay!’” - Gillian Anderson, when asked about The Scully Effect
Essentially, The Scully Effect is what happened when girls grew up watching Dana Scully and viewed the young doctor and FBI agent as a role model. They pursued careers in S.T.E.M fields (S.T.E.M: science, technology, engineering and medicine), inspired by the courageous and unflappable redhead.
What was the focus? The fact that Dana was a hardworking woman in a field not usually open to women and she was there to talk sense into Mulder and kick butt, not provide eye candy and sexual tension.
Did you know?
- Gillian told the producers of The X-Files that she was 27 when she auditioned, even though she was actually only 24.
- She’s an avid art collector and used her first check from The X-Files to purchase a piece of artwork by David Blackburn.
- Quite the activist, Gillian supports Women’s Rights, Children’s Rights, and Indigenous Rights, among others.
- Not a fan of The X-Files? Gillian also appears in the BBC miniseries Bleak House and the NBC show Hannibal.
- Gillian is actually a blonde, but they decided to make her a redhead for The X-Files. As a result, Dana Scully is one of the most famous redheads on TV.
- The Scully Effect: How X-Files Helped Mainstream Women in STEM Career
- Less “Big Bang Theory”, More Dana Scully
What do you think about The Scully Effect? Think about some of your role models, or even just favorite characters, from movies or shows. How have they affected you?