Like most actors, Jonah Hill was desperate to work with Martin Scorsese. So desperate, in fact, he opted to take a multimillion-dollar cut in order to be cast in “The Wolf of Wall Street,” the actor revealed to Howard Stern.
Instead of earning his usual high-seven-figures, Hill opted to agree to SAG’s “minimum wage” for the seven-month shoot, which is around $60,000 before commissions and taxes.
But this isn’t the first time a major movie star has taken a pay cut to work on a particular movie. Hill’s “Wolf of Wall Street” co-star Leonardo DiCaprio agreed to a pay cut from his normal $20 million fee to star in Christopher Nolan’s 2011 blockbuster “Inception.” Because Warner Bros. thought “Inception” was a risky movie initially with all of its twists and turns, DiCaprio chose to forego his normal rate in favor of splitting first-dollar gross points, which means he receives money coming directly off the top of ticket sales once he has earned back his advance.
The risk paid off for DiCaprio, who saw his biggest payday yet after earning $50 million. Hill’s extreme pay cut probably means he, too, has a backend deal like DiCaprio’s for “Inception.”
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Already an Oscar-nominated actor for “Moneyball,” Hill can add another notch to his belt as he also received an Oscar nom for “The Wolf of Wall Street.”