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Taraji P. Henson's 'Benjamin Button' Salary Was 'Less Than 2 Percent' of What Brad Pitt Made

Taraji P. Henson's 'Benjamin Button' Salary Was 'Less Than 2 Percent' of What Brad Pitt Made

Taraji P. Henson is opening up about how she made “less than two percent” of what her co-star Brad Pitt was paid for The Curious Case of Benjamin Button.

The Oscar-nominated actress opened up about her paycheck in her new memoir “Around the Way Girl.”

“Both Brad and Cate [Blanchett] got millions. Me? With bated breath, I sat by the phone for hours, waiting for Vince [her manager] to call and tell me the number that I thought would make me feel good: somewhere in the mid six figures — no doubt a mere percentage of what Brad was bringing home to Angelina and their beautiful babies, but something worthy of a solid up-and-coming actress with a decent amount of critical acclaim for her work,” Taraji wrote in the book (via Vulture).

“Alas, that request was dead on arrival. ‘I’m sorry, Taraji,’ Vince said quietly when we finally connected. ‘They came in at the lowest of six figures. I convinced them to add in a little more, but that’s as high as they’d go,’” she added. “There was one other thing: I’d have to agree to pay my own location fees while filming in New Orleans, meaning three months of hotel expenses would be coming directly out of my pocket. Insult, meet injury.”

Pictured inside: Taraji arriving at the studio for an appearance on Good Morning America on Tuesday (October 11) in New York City.

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Photos: Getty, FameFlynet Pictures
Posted to: Brad Pitt, Taraji P. Henson

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  • Douglas from Brazil

    And the whine never ends. Inequality pay happens in all kind of industries not only in entertainment industry. So, she’s crying because she didn’t earn few millions? LOL at her.

  • Susan

    Well… he is a worldwide star, and I can barely remember her face. It’s obvious he would earn much more for his work.

  • VanityInsecurity

    She was in the movie for like 5 minutes tops.. my god stop the whining already.

  • Em

    I’m not really sure what exactly her point is here. Brad Pitt and Cate Blanchett are two of the biggest movie stars on the planet and they were the leads, of course they were going to be paid significantly more money than a C list actress (as she was then) playing a smallish supporting role. Wow, what a shock! Also, she’s whining that she only made a low six figure salary? What planet does she live on?? Does she realize how long it would take the average person to earn that kind of money?? Aww, I feel so sorry for her. Not.

  • plez

    In 2008 the low six figures based on the roles she did beforehand is pretty good. Plus she got Oscar nomination for Benjamin Button which should have helped her negotiations in future roles. Why is she whining?

  • merryswan

    Stop the what now? And you do know that it takes far more than “five minutes” to shoot scenes, right?

  • merryswan

    Your opinion about Taraji P. Henson’s face means so much.

  • SquidBillie

    He was the star of the film, not her. She’s just an obnoxious loudmouth.

  • merryswan

    Her point is that anyone with a part in a major motion picture shouldn’t have to pay for a hotel for three months. Don’t be obtuse.

  • SquidBillie

    And it takes even more for the stars of the film, like Brad Pitt.

  • merryswan

    She’s not, but you sure are bitter for no reason.

  • merryswan

    Lol at you. Why do you care? And did you even read this? That’s not even close to what she said. Your reading comprehension, LOL.

  • SquidBillie

    Shut up, Taraji

  • quartzsoup

    I don’t really care about the discrepancies in the salaries, but paying for your own hotel whilst on location? That’s gross.

  • Maria M.

    She shouldn’t even compare herself with Blanchett and Pitt, especially Blanchett.

  • bob

    She wanted the role. For christ sake she make six figures and payed what 15 grand for the hotel. I will never feel sorry for actors. Not in a million years.

  • plez

    Please, what did I write that was bitter? I gave facts against a position that she holds.

  • totalobvi

    Her point about the hotel is really only valid when compared to other actors in that situation and even on that same movie. Right now she is equating it as some sort of snub when that probably wasn’t the case. I doubt she was the only one who had to pay for a hotel on that movie, probably all the actors did, including Pitt and Blanchett. It probably doesn’t make sense for the studio to pay for all the people who work on the movies housing and it seems like they are going there for the work and have to get their own housing.

  • tinakelly

    Lame. Lots of people work hard, help society get better and earn less than 100 grand for a 12 month contract…she worked a few months…got a lot from the gig and is complaining…who cares?! don’t take the job or take the job, but don’t complain about it 9 years later. Lots of people are in a mountain of student loan debt, help society and don’t earn over 50 grand…Get real…who cares?!

  • quartzsoup

    I make absolute peanuts compared to these people and my boss has never sent me or my colleagues out of the city with no accommodation lmao the idea is ludicrous. Her agent seems inept.

  • VanityInsecurity

    and when you are a real PRO it doesn’t really take long to do your scenes. point being she wasn’t the lead. you can’t complain about wages or compare yourself to the lead in the film. stfu.

  • AeeJay

    Know your worth. people went to see this film cus of the concept Brad Pitt & Cate Blanchett. Stop complaining about scraps, I think her character Cookie is rubbing off on her.. or vice versa.

  • Roses_inBloom

    This feels like she’s just trying to kick Brad while he’s down. And, lot’s of actors have to pay for their own accommodations. She knew she would have to do so beforehand, so if it was going to burden or bother her that much, maybe she just shouldn’t have taken the part. Perhaps the studio felt they were taking a big chance casting her in the role, maybe that’s why were trying to get it done on the cheap. All I know is, this article doesn’t paint Henson in as good or sympathetic of a light as she probably thinks it does.

  • 777

    5 minutes tops? You realise she was nominated for an Oscar for this role, right?

  • sheigh

    Come on girl, Brad in Chanel’s ad was also like about 5 minutes or less, he was paid more and more and more and more (not enough more’s) than Benjamin Button’s movie! When you don’t want to see, you won’t see!

  • Dee

    i dont think she did.

  • merryswan

    You can’t write what you like in your own book? YOU shut the fuck up.

  • Just a thought

    She stated a fact, she didn’t say much more than that. People are hating on her for nothing.

  • Tania Alvarez-Hildebrand

    I love her and she’s one of the most talented and beautiful women out there right now, but I had no idea who she was until Empire. : ( And the low end of six figures is more $$ than I’ve made in the past 5 years combined. So double : (

  • bob

    To be honest, I have never had to pay my own accommodations either. I just get sick of this unfair pay from Hollywood actors. It is so demeaning to those who make 7.50 an hour.

  • Gala

    yes , she is more actress than two both

  • Em

    Lol, no.

    Cate Blanchett is the finest actress of her generation, this woman is lucky to even have her name uttered in the same sentence as Blanchett.

  • Em

    She’s making a big deal out of the fact that she, a much lesser known supporting actress, was not paid the same as two of the most famous actors in the world who were playing the lead roles in the subject movie. That’s not just stating a fact, that’s whining about something that should be obvious to anyone to gain herself some publicity and it’s so transparent that it’s a bit pathetic. She’ll have to watch herself or she’ll start getting a reputation and no big time director will want to hire her again.

  • Wonderbust

    hello, world

  • lucy

    Cate is good, I just watched “Carol” and thought Rooney Mara acted circles around Cate. I was shocked Cate was just “meh”.

  • DEADP00L

    Yeah the hotel expenses is totally uncalled for. Studios get tax breaks for this so there is no reason why she was made to pay out of her own pocket and accept a reduced salary; when the teams and the crew didn’t and naturally shouldn’t have to. That’s not mentioning the high paid actors. They aren’t considered crew much less staff.

    Sounds like hiring stars like Pitt are actually bad for the industry if all their money goes into paying for 1 or 2 actors instead of the entire production and its costs.

    This is criminal at best.