Who’s the biggest action star of all time? It’s a generational question. Older generations will likely say Clint Eastwood or John Wayne. The next might say Arnold Schwarzenegger or Sylvester Stallone. The youngest might be more emphatic that it’s Dwayne Johnson, Jason Statham or Vin Diesel.
But what if I told you the new age action stars are genuinely worried about looking like wimps?
Here’s proof the biggest action stars working today are the biggest prima donnas in all of Hollywood with these new leaked contract details.
“Fast & Furious Presents: Hobbs & Shaw” hits theaters this weekend. Seriously, “Fast & Furious Presents?” How pretentious do you get with that title?
Yes, it’s a spinoff of the “Fast & Furious” franchise that stars Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson as Luke Hobbs and Jason Statham as Deckard Shaw; without the rest of the franchise stars.
The point of the movie is that these two guys have always hated each other throughout the previous movies but now they are forced to team up to defeat a cyber-genetically engineered villain (played by Idris Elba) before he destroys mankind.
There’s no question that both Johnson and Statham are two of the biggest action stars on the planet. Johnson is without a doubt the biggest in the world right now. Nobody commands more money than he does.
But with that kind of power and leverage of being a sought after action star by everybody comes certain prima donna demands.
A piece in the Wall Street Journal written by Erich Schwartzel just blew the doors wide open about some of the unusual things structured into these mega movie stars’ contracts that included Johnson, Statham and Vin Diesel.
He opens the piece with, “Vin Diesel didn’t want to look like a wimp. The actor was in rehearsal for yet another fight in his seventh ‘Fast & Furious’ movie when he started to sense his co-star and on-screen opponent, Jason Statham, was landing more blows than he was. Mr. Diesel had an idea: Why not assign numerical values to every move—head butt, roundhouse kick, body slam—so he could calculate a total and determine if the two men were getting pummeled evenly?”
If that isn’t enough to make you make you roll your eyes, it gets so much worse because this kind of thing is written into their contracts. It’s all calculation.
Schwartzel writes, “Throughout the series, fights are choreographed to ensure that none of the leads comes out looking like a loser, said Michael Fottrell, a producer on five of the movies. Does vanity play a role in those decisions? ‘No comment,’ said Mr. Fottrell, before adding: ‘Of course it does!’”
Yeah, no kidding.
If you were one of the biggest movie stars in the world wouldn’t you want to protect your public perception as a tough guy? No, you probably wouldn’t because you wouldn’t be so incredibly narcissistic when making the kind of money they do.
He also noted, “According to producers and crew members on the films, Mr. Statham, 51 years old, negotiated an agreement with the studio that limits how badly he can be beaten up on screen. Mr. Diesel, 52, has his younger sister, a producer on the films, police the number of punches he takes. And Mr. Johnson, 47, enlists producers, editors and fight coordinators to help make sure he always gives as good as he gets.”
At least Johnson is willing to be reasonable with this nonsense.
Do you think Keanu Reeves writes that kind of garbage into his contracts? How about Tom Cruise? These are some fragile movie stars to think the public would think of them as wimps because they didn’t get a certain amount of one-ups in fights for the sake of image.