— Stern Show (@sternshow) January 21, 2014
Jonah Hill’s announcement that he made the lowest wage possible in order to be a part of the Wolf of Wall Street rippled across the Internet Tuesday. Not only did he bank minimum buck on a box office hit, he was eager to do so because it meant he could work with his hero, Martin Scorsese. ”They gave me the lowest amount of money possible, that was their offer. And I said, ‘I will sign the paper tonight. Fax me the papers tonight. I want to sign them tonight before they change their mind,’” Hill said on Howard Stern’s show.
“I would sell my house and give [Scorsese] all my money to work for him. This isn’t what you make money for. You do ’22 Jump Street’ or you do other things and you can pay your rent,” the LA Times carried specifics of Hill’s remarks. He estimates that in all, he will take away something like 60 grand before commissions and taxes.
His paltry pay, by Hollywood standards, was the lowest amount allowed by the Screen Actors Guild. Minimum wages for actors and other entertainment industry workers are set by the union, SAG-AFTRA. The union is the combination of two unions, originally formed in the 1930s, the Screen Actors Guild and the American Federation of Television and Radio Artists.
The mission statement of the union is organize and negotiate work payments, and conditions on behalf of its members. Part of that includes pay, and SAG-AFTRA has established various minimum levels depending on the budget for the film, and how many weeks are spent working.