Anderson recalls "seeing the worst part of what the industry can be."
Gillian Anderson was on one of the biggest television shows of all time -- but when "The X-Files" first went off the air in 2002, she made a bold move and stepped away from the Hollywood grind.
Instead of pursuing another series or transitioning to films shot in and around Los Angeles, the actress moved to London -- where she lived as a child before her parents moved her to the States. It's a move she now admits confused many.
"A lot of people didn't understand when I moved to London after the success of The X-Files and asked why I would disappear from Hollywood," the actress said in a new interview with Australia's TV Week.
"I always missed the UK and always knew I was going to end up back here," she added. "But back then, part of that decision was also that I had a complicated relationship with becoming so famous so young and seeing the worst part of what the industry can be. I really hated it and wanted to get away."
Initially, she received much less than Duchovny and was often required to stand a few feet behind him on the show's first seasons. She eventually jockeyed for equal pay, only to find herself once again being offered half Duchovny's quote when they filmed the recent reboot.
While she eventually got pay parity and she and Duchovny appear to be on great terms, both stars also admitted to "rough patches" in their relationship on the show in the '90s.
Anderson's career continued to hit high marks in the UK after she left the US.
She won praise for her work in London theater, as well as accolades for "Bleak House" and "The Fall" -- before returning to American TV for a stint on "Hannibal." Anderson currently stars on two British series on Netflix, "Sex Education" and "The Crown."
Speaking with TV Week, Anderson expressed zero regrets over her decision to move overseas.
"The rewards that I've been blessed with for following my instincts are many," she said, "and I never got to the point of even considering moving back to America."
"The Crown" Season 4, on which Anderson stars as Margaret Thatcher, is streaming now.