Jonah Hill has a wealth of acting credits to his name including Martin Scorsese’s The Wolf Of Wall Street, which is arguably one of his most well-known movies. However, it also ranks among his lowest wages, CheatSheet reports.
In The Wolf Of Wall Street, Hill plays Donnie Azoff, right-hand man of Jordan Belfort (Leonardo DiCaprio). Hill was already a renowned actor thanks to Moneyball but his role as Donnie also earned him an Oscar nomination for best supporting actor.
There was a slight catch to Hill taking the role, however. Read on to discover why he was willing to take a huge pay cut…
Jonah Hill was only paid $60k for playing Donnie Azoff
Hill was so desperate to play Donnie Azoff he was willing to do so for the Screen Actor’s Guild minimum fee, which Newsweek estimates to be about $60,000 (£54,000) before commission and taxes.
While the A-lister may be used to a high-seven-figure fee, bagging the role wasn’t about the money for him – he just wanted the opportunity to work with Martin Scorsese. Scorsese’s portfolio includes Goodfellas, Casino, The Age Of Innocence, Raging Bull, The Aviator, Hugo, and Cape Fear.
Hill even said he would pay for the chance to work with the award-winning actor. He said: “I would sell my house and give [Scorsese] all my money to work for him. I would have done anything in the world. I would do it again in a second. This isn’t about money. You should do things you care about.”
Jonah Hill hated his character’s personality
Hill’s pay was originally revealed during a 2014 interview with Howard Stern, the BBC reports. The actor candidly revealed: “They gave me the lowest amount of money possible. That was their offer. I said I will sign the papers tonight, fax me the papers tonight. I want to sign them tonight before they change their mind.
“You do 22 Jump Street or you do other things and you can pay your rent.”
While Hill was very keen to play the role of Donnie, he didn’t actually like the character. Jonah revealed: “They say you’re not supposed to judge the character at all and I tried my hardest, but I couldn’t really find that much I liked about Donnie. I just didn’t like the way Donnie treated people, that was the thing I had the hardest time with.”
Leonardo DiCaprio enjoyed a hefty fee for Wolf Of Wolf Street
While Hill took a pay cut to appear in the film, the star of The Wolf Of Wall Street, Leonardo DiCaprio, earned an astounding $10 million for his role.
Nevertheless, DiCaprio told The Hollywood Reporter that Hill was determined to take the part and told him: ”I read this script and there’s nobody else who should play Donnie Azoff except for me.” DiCaprio then told Scorcese that Hill was desperate to take on the role of Donnie.
DiCaprio had been there before. He agreed to a pay cut to star in Christopher Nolan’s 2011 film Inception. Warner Bros thought the movie was a risk but DiCaprio was keen to do it and decided to split the first-dollar gross points. The film was a massive hit and Leo earned a hefty $50 million just from box office earnings, Forbes reports.
Hill and Scorsese’s friendship explored
Jonah Hill taking a pay cut to work with Scorsese certainly paid off as the pair formed a great relationship on set and have stayed in touch.
Jonah revealed in his 2018 interview with Stern he went to Scorsese for advice when he made his own directorial debut – 2018’s Mid90s – and absorbed the information “like a sponge.”
The actor revealed he often goes to fellow A-listers for tips whether it’s “Judd [Apatow] or Seth [Rogen] and Evan [Goldberg], whether it’s Bennett Miller, Spike Jonze, Martin Scorsese, Coen Brothers, Quentin Tarantino, Gus Van Sant.”
Hill and Scorsese are set to work together again in the upcoming biopic of Grateful Dead frontman Jerry Garcia. In fact, Hill pitched the idea to his manager, who also happens to manage Scorsese. When Martin got word of the proposal, he decided to take on the project himself – with Hill in the leading role.