John Leguizamo Turned Down ‘Mr & Mrs Smith’ Over Salary

John Leguizamo recently revealed to Business Insider some of the roles he regrets turning down the most throughout his career. They include Stanley Tucci’s role as Nigel in “The Devil Wears Prada,” Robin Williams’ voice role in “Happy Feet” and Vince Vaughn’s role in the 2005 action movie “Mrs. and Mrs. Smith.” Vaughn starred opposite Angelina Jolie and Brad Pitt in the latter film .

“I had my reasons. I mean, they’re stupid, but I had my reasons,” Leguizamo said about these decisions, adding that it was a salary concern that resulted in him turning down “Mr. and Mrs. Smith.” The actor said he was offered to work for scale on the film, while Pitt and Jolie were getting a $20 million payday. Reports have surfaced over the years that it was Pitt who got $20 million, while Jolie earned $10 million.

“For ‘Mr. & Mrs. Smith’ it was because they were paying them $20 million and they were going to pay me scale. I felt dissed, and they probably weren’t dissing me, but I felt dissed,” Leguizamo said. “Sometimes when you’re a person of color, you’re so used to being dissed that you think you’re being dissed, and sometimes you’re not being dissed. So that’s what happens, and you have to go to a lot of therapy to fix that.”

Leguizamo seems aware that Pitt and Jolie were offered millions of more dollars than him to star in “Mrs. & Mrs. Smith” because of their A-list careers fronting blockbuster films, but that didn’t stop him from feeling disrespected in the moment. As for “Happy Feet,” the animated musical centering on Penguins in Antarctica, Leguizamo already had a hit animated franchise on his hands with the “Ice Age” movies and said: “I don’t want to be doing all these ice movies. Such a stupid reason. But it seemed logical to me at the moment, and then I lost out on millions.”

Last year, the actor made headlines for telling ComicBook.com that he “negotiated” to join the Marvel Cinematic Universe as Vulture in “Spider-Man: Homecoming.” While the role was played by Michael Keaton, apparently conversations with him went back and forth enough for Marvel to want to have another actor lined up to take on the villain role. Leguizamo was allegedly the actor they lined up.

“I was supposed to be the Vulture,” Leguizamo said at the time. “We had negotiated and I was about to play him, and they said that Michael Keaton wanted it back and they asked me if I would give it up. I said, ‘Well, okay I guess.’ They said, ‘No, we’ll work with you again, we’re gonna…’ That’s what happened there.”

According to Leguizamo, the studio “offered him something tiny” as a consolation for him giving up the larger role of Vulture. “I went, ‘Nuh uh,’” the actor said.

In his new Business Insider interview, Leguziamo said he had “agreed on terms” with Marvel to star as the Vulture and figured “another actor would’ve sued” if they got dropped the way he did. He added: “I hadn’t signed a contract, but we had agreed. I think those are suable terms.”

“The head of the studio called me up and said, ‘This is terrible. I feel horrible, and would you give it up?’ And I did. I felt like, if you didn’t want me, I don’t want to be there either, you know what I mean?” Leguizamo added. “My grandma was like, ‘If they don’t want you at a party, don’t go.’ So I was like, you don’t want me at the party. I don’t want to be there. I felt dissed and diminished, so I didn’t really want to be a part of it.”

Asked if he would go back to the Marvel Cinematic Universe or another franchise of that scale, Leguizamo answered: “I would if I was offered The Riddler or some part like that. I would go back to other franchises. I mean, if you make it up to me. But then they offered me some tiny scientist in the movie. I was like, ‘No thank you. Thank you, but no.’”

Head over to Business Insider’s website to read Leguizamo’s interview in its entirety.

Leave A Reply

Your email address will not be published.