Gillian Anderson Really Didn't Care For One Part Of Her X-Files Character

Do redheads have more fun? Yes, if you consider solving supernatural crimes with your possible soulmate "fun" — and if you're at all a fan of "The X-Files," you certainly do.

Gillian Anderson's Dana Scully was one half of one of the most talked-about procedurals this side of "Law & Order." Her will-they-won't-they relationship with Fox Mulder (David Duchovny) across 11 seasons — and two movies! — is arguably one of the series' biggest talking points, even today. 

Plot aside, there has always been a considerable amount of love for Scully's fiery red hair. Anderson, notably, is not a natural redhead; she's one of many actresses who've had their hair dyed for a particular role. And while the general attitude toward Scully's look has always been pretty positive (if not overly protective), it was one of very few qualms that Anderson herself had with the character.

Lady in red

In another reality, Dana Scully might have been a brunette instead of a redhead. Anderson told Empire in 2008 that her hair was "kind of a mousey brown" when the first "X-Files" pilot was shot. Before too long, however, Anderson received "an executive directive — I don't know from whom — to make it red."

In hindsight, the directive might have come from "X-Files" creator Chris Carter himself. Scully was, in part, Carter's way of paying homage to Clarice Starling, played by Jodie Foster in "The Silence of the Lambs." Apart from the obvious parallels between their characters, Scully and Starling both have red hair. According to Carter, that wasn't a coincidence.

The new color definitely suited Scully, but Anderson was never really a fan. "It was a bit shocking for me at the beginning, because shortly after the series ended I got rid of the red as quickly as possible, to try to keep some semblance of privacy," she recalled. Anderson wasn't able to stick with her preferred hair color forever, though: With the enduring popularity of "The X-Files," as well as the demand for a revival, she's returned to the red at least twice since.

The end of the line

Scully's look in the 2008 film "The X-Files: I Want to Believe" was not nearly as red as some fans would have liked, but it was difficult to bring Anderson's hair back from the blonde she typically sports. The process took 20 hours, according to Anderson. All that dye work would take its toll again seven years later, when "The X-Files" returned to the small screen with its tenth season. Anderson was in between two projects then, "The X-Files" and the BBC series "The Fall." After going blonde for the latter, Anderson's hair sustained too much damage to go back to red.

Anderson was strongly advised against dying her hair for "The X-Files." Ironically, she seemed to have finally made peace with Scully's hair color by the time the revival came around. The actor told EW that she "was really looking forward" to becoming a redhead again. Unfortunately, it simply wasn't to be. Anderson donned a wig for the "X-Files" revival — a strawberry blonde wig, to boot — which ruffled feathers on many fronts. But hey, at least she had finally committed to Scully's definitive look in some capacity. 

Scully's hair did also eventually revert back to a better semblance of red as "The X-Files" trekked on. If Anderson were ever to return for another "X-Files" reunion — it's doubtful, but let's dream for a second — it's be interesting to see whether Scully's look would evolve even further. Wigs are now a much more sensible (and fun!) option for characters with elaborate hairstyles, and stranger evolutions have certainly happened. Natasha Romanoff era, when?