An actor's minimum wage? A measly $60k - that's all
Jonah Hill’s character in The Wolf of Wall Street – the ridiculous Donnie Azoff – is a man whose bad taste never outguns his monumental salary. Drugs, alcohol, £3,000 Armani suits and fast cars don’t dent the hefty bank balance he accumulated via stock market manipulation and the penny stock boiler room that was Stratton Oakmont.
Jonah Hill playing the money game as Donnie Azoff - also, eating a fish
But Hill’s real-life paystub paled in insignificance to Azoff’s in Scorsese’s controversial black comedy. The star was so enthusiastic to work with the legendary director, he took a huge pay cut to get the role. And when we say minimum wage, we’re talking about an actor’s minimum wage…
Talking to Howard Stern, Hill said: “They gave me the lowest amount of money possible, that was their offer. I said, 'I will sign the paper tonight. Fax me the papers tonight. I want to sign them tonight before they change their mind'. I said I want to sign them before I go to sleep tonight so they legally can't change their mind.”
Jonah’s character meets Belfort in a diner out in Long Island while still working in children’s furniture. Upon examining Belfort’s car, Azoff approaches the stockbroker with a proposition: produce a paystub with $72k on it, and he’ll quit his job; he’ll come work for Jordan.
“It's not about money for me. None of this s*** is about money. I want to make money to pay my rent, and hopefully have a family one day and have kids and stuff,” says Hill in contrary mood the character that bagged him an Oscar nomination for Best Supporting Actor.
“It was the minimum. I think SAG minimum is something like $60,000 - before commissions and taxes. I would sell my house and give him all my money to work for [Scorsese]... I would have done anything in the world. I would do it again in a second,” he added.
It seems as though Hill is pretty pleased with his decision to take on the role of Azoff, despite being paid a fraction of what the film’s lead star – Leonardo Dicaprio – would have been paid. “I got to f***ing be in a Martin Scorsese movie and I just got nominated for an Oscar. I'm tripping out, Howard... I'm in shock. I'm totally in shock!”