I recently watched a documentary on the British comedy troupe "Monty Python" released to celebrate the team's 40th anniversary.
Although I was familiar with some of their stuff, the documentary provided unique insight to their beginnings, back stories of the three feature films, as well as what each one of them is currently working on.
Which brings me to the subject of this article. At the end of the documentary, we see that John Cleese has recorded his lines for the upcoming "Shrek 4," which comes out next year.
I didn't see the third "Shrek" movie, where he apparently also had a speaking part.
What astonished me was something I read a couple of days later--that he was paid the equivalent of $1 million dollars for 23 minutes work.
You read that right. He worked for less than half an hour, and was paid a million bucks.
Now, don't get me wrong, I'm a John Cleese fan if there ever was one, but c'mon, folks--this falls under the "Are you serious??!?" department.
Nobody, and I mean nobody, deserves to be paid that much money.
A couple of years ago, news leaked that Tom Hanks was to become the highest paid actor in history after his deal for doing "Angels & Demons" that brought him a whopping $50 million dollar paycheck.
Think about that. Most of us will never see a million dollars, much less 50 times that.
It's completely mind-boggling.
Do I still like Tom Hanks? Of course! He's one of my favorite actors, and a tremendously talented individual. He's just not worth $50 million for one movie.
Most A-list actors don't need the money anymore, and chances are he donated a large portion of that money to charity and other worthy causes, but we'll probably never hear about that.
Still, in this economy, when studios like Paramount Pictures claim they don't have the money to market a film like Martin Scorsese's "Shutter Island," you gotta wonder how they can fork over hefty salaries to actors.
Excuse me, I need to call my agent...