Having played the character that established her career on and off for a quarter of a century, Gillian Anderson has revealed her reasoning behind her decision to call the current series of ‘The X Files’ her last.

The English-born American actress has played the role of Dana Scully in the sci-fi thriller series since 1993, opposite David Duchovny’s Fox Mulder. She elected to return to reprise that role in 2016 with Fox’s limited run revival series, but has apparently only opted to stay on for a second season because she was “curious”.

“Why? There’s lots of things I want to do in my life and in my career,” she explained to reporters at the Television Critics’ Association winter press tour this week about her decision to quit. “It’s been an extraordinary character, but there’s lots of things to do and I don’t want to be tied down doing one thing.”

Gillian AndersonGillian Anderson is quitting her long-time role on 'The X Files' after the current season

“I arrived at the decision before we did the previous six, but I was really curious,” Anderson continued. “I felt that the previous six was going to be it. It was dipping our toe back in again… and getting to play these wonderful characters again.”

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‘The X Files’ originally ran for nine seasons on Fox until 2002, with two feature films emerging in 1998 and 2008. Critically acclaimed for the most part, it garnered a significant cult following in the States and around the world, before the decision was made by Fox in 2016 to revive it.

Referring to Chris Carter, the series’ creator, 49 year old Anderson said: “I think, as Chris has said himself, that short stack of episodes felt like we were learning how to walk again and that this season of ten feels like the pace is up and we’re running. I wouldn’t necessarily have been happy if those six were how we said goodbye.”

Duchovny is still committed to playing his part beyond the current 11th season, which recently began airing, according to latest reports. He is quoted as having said it would be “good either way” if it continued to run without Scully.

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