Brad Pitt is in a league of his own. He has married two of Hollywood’s most beautiful leading ladies and has landed key parts in movies that have won many awards. The 59-year-old actor is a critical and commercial favorite. He is one of the highest-paid actors in Hollywood, making at least $20 million for each big movie role.
But there was a time when Brad Pitt’s star wasn’t so bright in Hollywood, and the two-time Oscar winner had to work for much less than the minimum wage, just like any other suffering actor. In Thelma & Louise, a 1991 comedy about two women who become friends, Brad Pitt was picked over George Clooney. Here’s how Pitt got paid only $6,000 for the part, even though he gave one of the most memorable performances in the movie.
Brad Pitt’s Big Break Came When He Played J.D. In Thelma and Louise
Brad Pitt is now at the top of the A-list in Hollywood, but he didn’t get there quickly. The now-59-year-old started playing in movies like No Way Out, No Man’s Land, and Less than Zero without getting credit. Things didn’t get better until 1990 when she was 27 and tried out for a small part in Thelma & Louise, a comedy about two friends made by Scott Ridley. Pitt, who was new to Hollywood at the time, had to try out for the part a few times before he finally got it.
“I just thought, I’m the guy for this,” he told W Magazine in a recent interview. “But they tried a few other stars first. I didn’t get the part at first, and then I didn’t get it again when it came back around. I was like, “Huh.” Okay, then. Going on.’ Then it started all over again. I think it happened three times.”
Even though George Clooney was also in the running, Pitt nailed his third test for the movie. Geena Davis, who played Thelma in the movie, said of Pitt’s audition when she was on The Graham Norton Show in 2020: “Each of them was very handsome.” “They were all very smart and had brown hair. It didn’t matter to me who it was. Then Brad Pitt comes in as the fourth one. He is so charming and has so much ability that I messed up his audition.”
Did Brad Pitt Really Get Paid Only $6,000 for One of His First Movies?
Brad Pitt got $6,000 for playing the mysterious cowboy hitchhiker J.D. This is a small amount compared to his current minimum pay of $20 million. But Pitt had already moved to Los Angeles with only $275 in his bank account and was happily working as an extra, so the small payment didn’t bother him much.
“It was a week before graduation, and I realized that all of my friends had jobs,” he told The Sun about his move to Hollywood in 2020. “I had a friend who wasn’t even a close friend, but she told me she was going to LA because her dad had a place there. I put things in the car. I didn’t finish. I just had to turn in a term paper, but I was done in my mind.
I headed west. I got off the plane and immediately went to McDonald’s. I bought a paper. I had $275 (£200) in my bank account, and I saw in the paper that you could sign up for extra work, so I did that three times. I got extra work within a week, which made me very, very happy.”
Brad Pitt is One of the Highest-paid Actors in Hollywood Right Now
Even though the pay was low, Thelma & Louise changed Brad Pitt’s career in a big way. People couldn’t wait to see more of the now 59-year-old star. This might have been because of how good-looking he was. Pitt went right into highly acclaimed movies like 12 Monkeys, Interview with the Vampire: The Vampire Chronicles, and Legends of the Fall almost as soon as the movie came out.
After his big break in the cult great movie, Brad Pitt’s income and net worth went up by a lot. Just one year after the movie came out in theaters, Pitt got a part in Dominic Sena’s road film, California, and made $500,000. Two years after easily playing a serial killer in California, Pitt got his first seven-figure paycheck for playing idealistic detective David Mills in David Fincher’s crime film Se7en. He made an impressive $4 million for the role.
Brad Pitt’s big break came when he played J.D. in Thelma & Louise, a 1991 comedy. He was paid only $6,000 for the part, even though he gave one of the most memorable performances. He is now one of the highest-paid actors in Hollywood.
Brad Pitt moved to Los Angeles with only $275 in his bank account and signed up for extra work, making him one of the highest-paid actors in Hollywood right now. After his big break in Thelma & Louise, he made $500,000.
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