When Sir Ridley Scott announced in November that he would remove and reshoot Kevin Spacey’s scenes for the drama All The Money In the World in light of multiple accusations of sexual misconduct against the actor, and do it quickly enough to hit the film’s original Christmas release date, industry observers marveled at the filmmaker’s skill, efficiency, and dedication. But it seems co-star Mark Wahlberg and his representation saw something else: a chance to make some more coin.
The rumor that Wahlberg was collecting a hefty paycheck for the extra work of the reshoots – a fraction of the payments offered to co-star Michelle Williams, director Ridley Scott, and others – was first reported by The Washington Post’s Steven Zeitchik in late November. But for whatever reason, the story didn’t gain traction until Women in Hollywood’s Melissa Silverstein picked it up last night on Twitter, and was subsequently retweeted by Jessica Chastain.
USA Today’s Andrea Mandell further reported it out, confirming with three anonymous sources close to the production (Zeitchik’s original story had one) that Wahlberg picked up $1.5 million for the roughly week-long reshoot. Williams, on the other hand, was reportedly paid an $80/day per diem, totaling under $1,000 – less than 1% of his rate. (And no, the irony of this occurring during post-production of a movie about how greed has turned one man into a soulless monster is not lost on us.)
In an earlier interview, Scott told USA Today, “They all came in free. Christopher had to get paid. But Michelle, no. Me, no.” It’s now worth noting that he did not single out Wahlberg. Williams, according to the story, was unaware of her co-star’s deal – though both actors are represented by the William Morris Endeavor agency, and the original Post story notes that Wahlberg and his agent there, Stephen Levinson, “have a reputation in Hollywood for driving a tough bargain.”
Forbes has dubbed Wahlberg “Hollywood’s highest-paid actor,” while noting that the box-office returns for his most recent work didn’t seem to justify the expense; Deepwater Horizon and Patriots Day, his pair of Peter Berg-directed “doc-busters” that exploited recent tragedies and created fictionalized hero characters for the actor, both failed to make back their costs, and his last Transformers movie was that franchise’s weakest performer to date. Oh, and he most recently starred in a holiday comedy sequel that attempted to reform Mel Gibson. Plus, ya know, he’s responsible for Entourage. And is it awkward to mention the time he beat a Vietnamese man in a race-fueled attack?
But putting all of his other trash aside, the craziest part of Mark Wahlberg making 1500 times more than his co-star for reshooting part of All the Money in the World is that he’s terrible in the movie – woefully miscast, sweatily unbelievable, a jock in dad’s borrowed suit doing his very best to remember all his lines in the school play. But he (and his people) knew that since he was in most of the Spacey/Plummer scenes, Scott couldn’t reshoot without him, so they squeezed. And all I can wonder is, since the film was fully assembled and Sir Ridley surely knew what a lemon of a performance he had on his hands, whether he had just a moment of contemplating recasting Wahlberg too. (You know he’s got Fassbender on speed-dial.)
At any rate, everybody looks pretty bad here: Wahlberg, his agents, the agency that one client paid over another, even Scott, who must’ve known the score. You know who doesn’t look bad? Michelle Williams and Christopher Plummer. Who are, coincidentally enough, the only good things in All The Money In the World anyway.