A new feature from The Hollywood Reporter shines a light on the massive paydays that some Hollywood A-listers get. Sources told the site that Leonardo DiCaprio was paid a jaw-dropping $15 million USD for his starring role in Quentin Tarantino’s Once Upon a Time in Hollywood.
That’s a huge sum of money, but it is reportedly $5 million USD below the veteran and in-demand actor’s normal $20 million USD pay per movie. DiCaprio took less for the new Tarantino movie reportedly to help the movie get off the ground.
He appears to have agreed to less money up front in exchange for a share of the backend, which is the Hollywood industry term for a share of the box office profits. THR states that if Once Upon a Time in Hollywood only meets expectations, he could end up making $45 million or more off the film. Presumably if the film exceeds expectations, DiCaprio could take home even more.
This sounds similar to the unique deal that Robert Downey Jr. reportedly struck with Marvel for the Avengers movies. He was reportedly paid less up front, but took home a share of the box office profits, which turned out to be immensely lucrative for Downey Jr.
The report claims that DiCaprio’s deal for Once Upon a Time in Hollywood is “structured in a way that certain territories yield higher percentages than others.”
The entire story at THR provides a fascinating and in-depth look at DiCaprio’s history in the movie-making business. Among many other things, a source from Once Upon a Time in Hollywood told the website that some crewmembers were told to not make eye contact with DiCaprio. Additionally, producer Shannon McIntosh said there is a singing and dancing scene in the film, and DiCaprio was initially concerned about being able to pull it off. But in only a week, DiCaprio returned “absolutely fearless” and performed the scene which is said to be outside of his comfort zone.
Read the full DiCaprio story here at THR.
Once Upon a Time in Hollywood premieres in theatres in August. DiCaprio stars as ageing movie star Rick Dalton, while Brad Pitt plays his stunt double, Cliff Booth. The movie is set in Hollywood in 1969, and the Tate murders will be one of the storylines. Margot Robbie plays Sharon Tate, while Damon Herriman plays Charles Manson. The movie features a long list of huge names in other roles, including Timothy Olyphant, Bruce Dern, Al Pacino, Dakota Fanning, Emile Hirsch, and Kurt Russell. Luke Perry appears in the movie in his final role following his death.