Arnold Schwarzenegger starred in 1997’s Batman & Robin as the villain Mr. Freeze, and as it turns out, he was paid a gigantic sum.
Speaking to The Hollywood Reporter, the former bodybuilding champion discussed how his thoughts about money changed over the years as his own personal circumstances improved. He said when he was working construction in the early ’70s, taking home $5,000 to “build a wall” was a lot of money to him. But when he shifted to Hollywood, he got paid a little bit more.
“It was Batman & Robin where they gave me over $30 million. I became the highest-paid entertainer in the history of Hollywood,” Schwarzenegger said.
In the ’90s, Hollywood apparently had a lot of money flowing to actors. Jim Carrey famously was paid $20 million for 1996’s The Cable Guy, a figure that other actors like Tom Cruise and Kevin Costner earned for films in the ’90s. Julia Roberts was also known to earn $20 million per movie, a fact that Ocean’s 11 co-star George Clooney poked fun at her about.
Batman & Robin, which was directed by Joel Schumacher, starred George Clooney as Batman, Chris O’Donnell as Robin, and Uma Thurman as Poison Ivy.
Before landing that massive payday, Schwarzenegger starred in the movies Stay Hungry (1976) with Jeff Bridges and Sally Field and Conan the Barbarian (1982) in the title role. He rose to a new level of fame with 1984’s The Terminator, and later starred in comedic movies like Twins with Danny DeVito and Kindergarten Cop.
Schwarzenegger also appeared in The Expendables series and will be seen next in the Netflix movie Fubar, which releases on May 25.
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