Kathleen Turner, the 1980s-era sex symbol who starred in such hit Hollywood films as the erotic noir thriller Body Heat, the action blockbuster Romancing the Stone, and the gangster movie Prizzi’s Honor, has a problem with the Hollywood of today. Namely, according to an interview with Britain’s Observer newspaper, she believes that today’s movie stars make too much money.
“How much money does a person need?” she told the paper. “You can only live in one house at a time. Perhaps they could designate that the studio pay a portion of the fee to an organization or an educational institution….The hundreds of millions they spend on films now I find essentially immoral.”
Turner said in in the interview that Hollywood studios would be better off taking the vast sums paid to starring actors and redirecting a portion of the money to writers, to improve the scripts that form the basis of every Hollywood film, as well as to rehearsal time for actors who are often forced to make instant decisions about their characters while cameras are rolling.
“It gives you time to actually develop characters, instead of being forced to make a quick choice, which you might look back on in a week or so and say, ‘Damn it, I’m locked into that, so that I have to pursue the character this way now,’” she said.
Top salaries for Hollywood stars, usually in “franchise” blockbuster movies, can exceed $20 million for a single film, according to The Independent, led by Daniel Craig who has been guaranteed a whopping $25 million for the next, and 25th, installment in the 56-year-old James Bond franchise.
Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson will reportedly pocket $22 million for starring in his upcoming thriller Red Notice, while Robert Downey Jt., according to Variety, collected a $10 million check for his 15 minutes on screen in the 2017 Marvel Comics superhero flick Spider-Man: Homecoming.
Women are still paid less than male stars, on the whole — and even at the top of the scale, with Anne Hathaway receiving a $15 million payday for her work in the upcoming Barbie movie, according to E Online.
Turner also told The Observer that even in today’s environment, women are not valued as highly by Hollywood studios as men.
There’s a climate in American culture and most seriously in the Hollywood film-producing culture that women are somewhat interchangeable and are essentially used as props,” Turner said.