Top 10 Actors Who Asked For More Money And Were Shown the Door
VOICE OVER: Rebecca Brayton
WRITTEN BY: Matt Klem
These celebs took a big swing and struck out. For this list, we'll be looking at actors who demanded better deals, but were either fired, or hit a wall and left the negotiating table. Our countdown includes Charlie Sheen, Bruce Willis, Sean Connery, and more!
Top 10 Actors Who Asked For More Money And Were Shown the Door
Welcome to WatchMojo, and today we’re counting down our picks for the Top 10 Celebs Who Asked For More Money And Were Shown the Door.
For this list, we’ll be looking at actors who demanded better deals, but were either fired, or hit a wall and left the negotiating table.
Did one of your favorites get fired? Let us know in the comments.
#10: Daniel Dae Kim & Grace Park
"Hawaii Five-O" (2010-20)
As Detective Lieutenant Chin Ho Kelly and Officer Kono Kalakaua, Daniel Dae Kim and Grace Park were integral parts of the “Hawaii Five-O” team. After seven seasons, he and co-star Grace Park asked to be paid the same as actors Alex O'Loughlin and Scott Caan. However, CBS maintained that O'Loughlin and Caan were the show’s leads, and countered with an increase that was still short of equal. Unsatisfied, Kim and Park walked. Speaking to “Vulture”, Kim said he took the role expecting the police drama to become an ensemble show like “Lost”. CBS’ decision was criticized in the media as another case of people of color being paid less than their white peers.
#9: Bruce Willis
"The Expendables 3" (2014)
Sylvester Stallone and crew’s “The Expendables” was an unbridled (and unexpected) joy for audiences. Taking all the best action heroes and throwing them into a single movie seems a little easy, but it worked better than anyone would have thought. For the second installment, “Die Hard” actor Bruce Willis joined the ranks and was set to return for the third movie. Although he was reportedly offered $3 million dollars for four days' work, Willis demanded an additional million dollars for his time. At a million dollars a day, the price tag was too steep. Stallone cut him from the movie and replaced him with Harrison Ford in less than three days. Even John McClane isn’t worth that much money!
#8: Marcus Chong
"The Matrix Reloaded" (2003)
The operator onboard the Nebuchadnezzar, Tank is incredibly excited about Neo’s potential. However, the actor who portrayed him, Marcus Chong, was a lot less excited about the paychecks he was offered to return for the sequels. Chong asked for more money, but his request was refused. Allegedly, this prompted Chong to make threatening phone calls. However, it didn’t end there. He filed a lawsuit against the studio, and later made a documentary about how he’d been wronged. He seems to have held a serious grudge against everyone involved in the franchise since.
#7: Jorja Fox & George Eads
"CSI: Crime Scene Investigation" (2000-15)
Having spent three years on the set of “ER”, Jorja Fox’s career had already begun to take off by the time she landed the role of Sara Sidle on “CSI: Crime Scene Investigation”. However, in 2004, both Fox and her CSI costar, George Eads, were fired from the show. During a dispute over their pay, Fox had failed to submit a letter agreeing to come to work as scheduled, and Eads didn’t show up for filming at all. A week later, however, Fox and Eads were both rehired at their original salaries…while the rest of the cast members received raises. Fox would eventually leave the series at the beginning of season 9, citing the commitment of a weekly television show as her reason for departure.
#6: Crispin Glover
"Back to the Future Part II" (1985)
Glover starred as George McFly in the original “Back to the Future” movie, but was not in either of the two sequels. According to Glover, the filmmakers weren’t happy about him questioning the movie’s ending, which he perceived as materialistic. When he tried to negotiate his salary for the subsequent movies, they refused, and the role was recast - but not without controversy! Footage of Glover from the first film was used without his consent, and the actor that replaced him was given him facial prosthetics to resemble Glover. Glover filed a lawsuit against the studio, which eventually led to changes about how actors are compensated for the use of their likeness.
#5: Valerie Harper
The 1970s were some of late actress Valerie Harper’s best career years. Her introduction to “The Mary Tyler Moore Show” as Rhoda Morgenstern made her a star, and even brought about the sequel “Rhoda”. By the time 1986 had come around, she was taking on another sitcom, “Valerie”, also known as “Valerie's Family” and later renamed “The Hogan Family”. After two seasons, Harper sought an increase in per-episode pay, and more of the show’s future profits. Failed negotiations saw her walk out of the show entirely, only to return to film the season three premiere with a new deal. It didn’t last. Harper wanted more and the network had had enough. Her character was killed off and she was replaced as series lead by Sandy Duncan.
#4: Suzanne Somers
"Three's Company" (1977-84)
In 1977, Suzanne Somers became the breakout star of television’s “Three’s Company”. Her portrayal of Chrissy propelled Somers into sex symbol status, and helped bring the show to a world audience. However, as season five rolled along, she requested a 400% increase in her per-episode salary and 10% of the show’s revenue – which was consistent with fellow co-star John Ritter’s salary at the time. When her demand wasn’t met, she excused herself from a couple of show tapings, but eventually did return to complete her contract. The producers cut her scenes down to less than a minute on screen, and shot them separately from the rest of the cast. Once her contract was finished, the network fired her and Chrissy was written out of the show.
#3: Sean Connery
"On Her Majesty's Secret Service" (1969)
Nothing beats the classics and Sean Connery’s James Bond is proof of that. The role launched Connery’s career, but it also led him to worry about being typecast. After five films, he had grown to dislike the role, and found his privacy invaded by fanatical fans - one of whom followed him into a bathroom with a camera. Believing he should be compensated, and wanting out anyway, he reportedly asked for a pay raise. The producers refused and Connery was replaced by George Lazenby for the sixth movie, “On Her Majesty's Secret Service”. Connery did reprise the role two more times: once for the seventh film, and once for the remake of “Thunderball”.
#2: Charlie Sheen
"Two and a Half Men" (2003-15)
Charlie Sheen’s exit from “Two and a Half Men” is perhaps one of the most publicized departures in TV history. Sheen had renegotiated his contract to receive almost two million dollars per episode for seasons eight and nine. After filming most of the eighth season, Sheen was admitted into rehab, forcing the show into a hiatus. While off the air, Sheen made a series of insulting comments about the show’s studio and creators, and then demanded an additional million dollars per episode. Sheen’s contract was terminated shortly thereafter, and the show ended the season early. His character was seemingly killed off, only to reappear during the series finale for one final word from the creator, Chuck Lorre – although, Sheen himself wasn’t present in the actual episode.
#1: Terrence Howard
"Iron Man 2" (2010)
It’s hard to imagine the character of War Machine being portrayed by anyone other than Don Cheadle. But, for “Iron Man”, Marvel’s first-ever installment in the MCU, James Rhodes was portrayed by Terrence Howard. Rumors have circulated that he was difficult to work with and, as a result, his role in the sequel was vastly reduced. This meant his salary was also trimmed down, something Howard was not at all okay with. Since then, he’s gone on record blaming Robert Downey Jr. for failing to help him. This is one situation that definitely isn’t marvel-lous.