The Wolf of Wall Street earned Jonah Hill a lot of things: a credit in a record-breaking film, a joke at his expense at the Golden Globes, an Academy Award nomination… and a measly $60,000.
Yesterday, Jan. 21, the 30-year-old actor told Howard Stern that he only received $60,000 of the film’s impressive $100 million budget.
“I think SAG minimum is something like $60,000 before commissions and taxes,” he explained to the shock jock. “They gave me the lowest amount of money possible, that was their offer.”
Jonah immediately accepted.
“I said, ‘I will sign the papers tonight. Fax me the papers tonight,’” he told Howard. “I want to sign them tonight before they change their mind. I said I want to sign them before I go to sleep tonight so they legally can’t change their mind.”
To put the incredibly low (by Hollywood standards) salary into perspective, Leonardo DiCaprio earned $10 million for the same 7-month shoot.
Still, Jonah maintains that it was all worth it, because the experience to work with Leo and Martin Scorcese was priceless.
“I got to f*ckin’ be in a Martin Scorcese movie and I just got nominated for an Oscar,” he said. “I’m tripping out… I’m in shock.”
As it turns out, Jonah isn’t the first star to take a major pay cut because they wanted to a certain role. Check out four stars who have done the same thing!
1. George Clooney – Good Night, and Good Luck
George Clooney is known for bringing in a lot of cash—but he also has a reputation for being super passionate and following roles and films that he believes in. This explains why he only eaerned $120,000 for writing, directing and starring in Good Night, and Good Luck.
2. Ethan Hawke – The Purge
When Ethan Hawke signed on to do The Purge, he received “almost no money upfront” and the chance to work with a director he admired.
“There were no perks,” he told The Hollywood Reporter. “No trailer, no driver, no BS… just a great role, a great director.”
3. Bill Murray – Rushmore
Bill Murray was so confident in the script that Wes Anderson wrote for Rushmore that he was actually willing to personally expense a helicopter needed for a scene. Ultimately, the offer was rejected, but Bill was paid only $9,000 for his part. Although the film also helped him nab a Golden Globe nomination.
4. Brad Pitt – Thelma & Louise
When he was still a struggling actor in Hollywood, Brad Pitt was paid an unimpressive $6,000 to star in Thelma & Louise. More importantly, it was his breakout role—and we’re sure he earns a little more these days!