Richard Armitage: “I’m never, ever driven by money, I never have been”

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~ by Servetus on July 14, 2017.

15 Responses to “Richard Armitage: “I’m never, ever driven by money, I never have been””

  1. Can’t help thinking whether he protests just a tad too much?!

    • I think there’s a distinction between money not being a primary consideration for a choice, and not caring about money. It’s hard for me to believe, for instance, that he felt a huge artistic inspiration about some of the voiceover projects he’s done (Homes from Hell? I mean, seriously, you did that because it stimulates you? That kind of beggars belief).

      In the end, unless you’re independently wealthy you have to have money to eat, and I’m sure that has been a consideration in some of his choices, probably more so before the Hobbit than it is now. (And if he wanted to say he narrated 8 hours of tv about a decommissioned warship because it might lead to something better, I’d say, yes, that explanation makes sense — but it’s not precisely what he said here).

  2. I notice that he likes to make quite sweeping statements about himself, particularly when he talks about his “art” and role choices. I still suspect (even post Hobbit) that the reality may be more prosaic than he lets on.

    • My hope is that he’s invested well and that the market doesn’t crash 🙂 but that’s my hope for me, too. I wonder if he’s turned anything really lucrative down, though. The breakup with Strike Back might have been expensive, I guess.

      But if you think he’s probably being paid something like $5-$10k for an independent film, and he made four of them from Spring 14 to Fall 15, I think he’s got a basis for saying he’s not primarily concerned with money. Add to that the audiobooks, which are also not going to pay well, as they don’t sell that well, either, and voiceovers Hannibal was apparently one of the lowest paying series in TV. So if you look at that stretch from the Fall of 2012 to Fall of 2015, after Into the Storm the only the thing that might have paid really well is The Crucible. I suspect he does okay with residuals and maybe he’s got something on the backend for the Hobbit films. I think the pay for Berlin Station is probably excellent and he should get good money off of Oceans 8. But I doubt he even made his living expenses doing Love, Love, Love.

      I agree he makes some sweeping statements that are not credible. However, I suppose it depends on what you think he means when he’s saying this. In a way, for someone who comes from where he comes from, to say he’s not deciding based on money is potentially extremely liberating.

      • I’m astounded that the fee for an independent film for him could be as little as $5-10K.

        • I don’t know. I just read stated amounts here and there for what actors are making, and in practice it comes down to what can be negotiated, no doubt. The number that sticks in my mind was that Miles Teller got $5k for Rabbit Hole. It’s not a great comparison because he was not well known — but even so. If he gets that, how many multiples can even a star get in that kind of situation?

          If this film qualifies as low budget (I’m guessing it does, based on things Muldowney has said) then the total budget would be 1.5M Euros or less. In that case, the Irish Equity minimum in the last few years (per websources, so may be out of date) is 550-750E / week plus overtime if they shoot more than six days. Armitage worked on Pilgrimage for almost exactly a month (Apr 25 to May 23 2015). So let’s say 2-3K Euros would be the minimum. Then let’s say he got 3x the minimum. Or 5x the minimum. Or 10x. Let’s say, he, Holland and Bernthal all got 10 the minimum. That would be 90k Euros just for the stars.

          I also don’t know how the partnership between WME and the Irish Film Board plays into this, if there was some kind of agreement on fees.

          • I would be overjoyed to make $90,000 for one months work

            • Me, too, but the expenses associated with my life and pursuing my career are much lower than the ones associated with his.

            • it’s sort of like with professional athletes. Their salaries are stunning. Then you find out about their expenses, and what their likely earnings are after they leave the professional leagues. There are a few super-earners but the rank and file don’t do all that well, despite a few brief years of stunning earnings. It drives me less crazy now when I read about them.

            • oh, and to clarify — he wouldn’t be making $90k for a month. That would be the budget for all three of them.

              Or, another example. For Captain America, Chris Evans got $300,000. That made me think that Armitage’s take on that film can’t have been very much. Like, I’m guessing, also less than $50k.

    • Oh — the other thing to be considered about this is that it’s not really a new statement. He did an interview in 2006 (when asked about his wishes for a family) where he said something to the effect that the freedom of not having to have work because of having to support others had been important to him.

  3. Just reading it, I was thinking, ‘How very first world of you.’ I admit, it brought out some snark in me. Would he do it for no money? I don’t think so. But maybe that’s just my own personality lashing out. lol

    • I doubt he could. But I think it’s not either / or (although his remark, I suppose, makes it sound that way). There are many places between having every professional decision conditioned by money and none of them.

      History professoring: the people who use to do it back in the day were independently wealthy, and although the social composition of the group has changed, the whole system is set up in ways that suggest you should be independently wealthy. At the top echelons, probably a half to a third of the practitioners come from very wealthy families. And then when some of us point out that, yes, we do need salary raises from time to time, health insurance, retirement contributions, etc., we get skewered on both ends — from those who think that the allegedly independently wealthy should not care about these things, and from those who think that because we do something we feel a deep commitment to, we should not care about those things because “satisfaction” should be seen as part of our pay.

      I get frustrated with both attitudes. I wouldn’t have been a history professor for free (I couldn’t have afforded to pay or borrow to cover my own training). At the same time, the choices I made were not typically conditioned by financial considerations. So it’s a weird way for me to think now (is it “worth it” to work for less than $15 an hour?), one that I’m really not accustomed to.

      • My dad still talks about the years he made 5,000.00 as a professor at a junior college with a real fondness for his satisfaction in the position. Completely overlooking the fact that he worked another full time job to be able to keep teaching. My experience growing up with that has colored my opinion, for sure.

        • My brother sometimes jokes that if he could afford to farm, he wouldn’t. They’re definitely both situations where you make sacrifices to do something that you find fulfilling in some way. The question is just whether the sacrifices should be a requirement imposed by others. In the university system, at least some people have to be permanently employed or the whole thing won’t work. And at that point the question of sacrificing for a particular kind of work changes fundamentally.

          I think we tend to look at actors differently, in the sense that there is such a surplus of them that it’s hard to say that any one of them, no matter how talented, would ever be missed. 95 percent of actors are unemployed every week, and so on. So on some level just being an actor is a decision not to be in it for the money — except for a tiny proportion of people who can really support themselves doing it.

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