Why Mark Wahlberg Made More Than Michelle Williams: He Renegotiated Contract, Says Source
"He had in his contract a say in casting approval," a source tells PEOPLE
Mark Wahlberg’s higher salary for the All the Money in the World reshoots was a function of his contract, and is not a gender pay gap issue, a source tells PEOPLE.
“When Mark Wahlberg signed on to All the Money in the World, he agreed to a significant salary cut from his usual quote,” a source tells PEOPLE. The actor’s decision to accept a reduced salary was first reported by The New York Times.
“At the same time, he had in his contract a say in casting approval,” the source added. USA Today first reported on Wahlberg’s costar approval clause, noting that the actor refused to work with Christopher Plummer until he was paid over $1 million.
“Michelle Williams agreed to a salary for the movie and, as is standard, had a clause that allowed for a certain amount of reshoot time if she could make herself available,” the source adds.
“Once the Spacey situation happened, Michelle nicely, wholeheartedly and voluntarily made herself available for reshoots and in turn was paid the per diem reshoot rate,” the source explains. “As for Mark, and because he had casting approval, he decided to take advantage of that part of his contract and renegotiate his overall movie fee before filming with Christopher Plummer could proceed.”
The source continues, “It wasn’t that he was paid an extra million for the reshoot while Michelle and all the other costars were just paid per diem for the reshoot. He opted to renegotiate his overall deal. So in this case, it isn’t a male/female pay gap issue, but rather a huge A-list star, who was already being paid way less than his usual quote, using his contract and his say in casting to negotiate an overall bigger paycheck.”
Earlier this week, USA Today revealed Wahlberg made $1.5 million for extensive reshoots on the film, while his costar Michelle Williams received only a per diem of $80 a day.
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The Ridley Scott film, which tells the story of billionaire J. Paul Getty and his grandson’s kidnapping, was reshot after its original star, Kevin Spacey, was accused of sexual harassment and assault by multiple men. Plummer was chosen to replace Spacey as the oil tycoon.
While both Williams and Wahlberg immediately agreed to participate in the reshoots, the latter’s agent reportedly told the film’s financiers he “never” works for free, according to a source who spoke with TMZ. Wahlberg’s agent Ari Emanuel (the co-CEO of WME) set the price, to which film execs eventually agreed, per TheWrap.
“What he said was, ‘I will not approve Christopher Plummer unless you pay me.’ And that’s how he (expletive) them,” one source told USA Today.
Another source told the paper that Wahlberg’s lawyer vetoed Plummer’s casting in a letter to the film’s financiers, saying the actor would only agree if he were paid the extra money.
Scott previously said the returning cast members appeared in the reshoots for free.
“No, I wouldn’t get paid, I refused to get paid,” Scott told USA Today in December, adding that most of the staff waived their fees. “Christopher had to get paid. But Michelle, no. Me, no.”
At the time, the director was not aware of any additional salary negotiations, reports TMZ.
Williams recently weighed in on the personal sacrifices she made for the reshoots, admitting she missed Thanksgiving with her daughter in order to work.