Harrison Ford Was Paid Over 50 Times More Than John Boyega and Daisy Ridley for ‘Star Wars: The Force Awakens’
With the year winding up, it feels like 2015 made hot-button topics out of damn near everything, but the issue of actorly wages was among the warmest-button debates in recent months. Jennifer Lawrence was not at all pleased to learn that her male Hunger Games costars had been compensated more handsomely for their work on the postapocalyptic franchise than she had, even though hers is the face of the property. Emily Blunt then spoke out on the same issue, Lawrence penned an essay for a newsletter run by Lena Dunham, and then Meryl Streep got involved, which officially turned the fight to end wage gaps from an issue shared by compassionate actresses into A Whole Thing.
In light of this, the news from Variety that Harrison Ford was paid a whopping $10-20 million for his role in The Force Awakens, over fifty times more than costars John Boyega and Daisy Ridley, may reek of Hollywood discrimination. But before we all grab our torches from the case marked ‘Break In Case Of Sexism/Racism,’ it’s important to note that a lot of factors go into contract negotiations. Ford’s an established star, the soul of the series, and (SPOILER ALERT) if Han’s death sticks, then this will be his last go-round with the Star Wars films. As relative unknowns, Boyega and Ridley (who reportedly brought in between $100,000 and $300,000, nothing to sneeze at) had little precedent with which to argue an increased salary. Unconfirmed as box-office draws, Lucasfilm could get away with paying them a comparatively humbler wage.
Splitting the middle were Adam Driver and Oscar Isaac, established actors both who were paid in the “mid-to-high six figures.” To reprise their roles as Luke and Leia Skywalker, Mark Hamill and Carrie Fisher were compensated in the low seven figure range, and so if you’re looking for something outrageous, there it is — Hamill made actual millions for what amounts to perhaps a minute of actual screen time, and no lines? The guy hasn’t gotten a whole ton of work since Star Wars, but that must be one of the most lucrative cameos of all time.