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December 08 2005

Sarah Michelle Gellar - just a brief appearance in 'The Grudge 2'. Clarification, via the Hollywood Reporter and Sam Raimi, of Sarah's role in the sequel.

Awww, too bad. I was looking forward to her starring in the movie. Oh well. If reviews are decent I'll be seeing it anyway.
Well more than likely it was a contractual obligation.
My impression from the things that various people have said about the sequel over the past 6 months or so is that there wasn't a contractual obligation. I also don't think she was paid enough for the first film (due to the pretty low budget) for a clause like that to have been automatic. I think she's just very grateful to everyone involved and wants to help out (without necessarily 'starring' in the sequel).

[ edited by Impossible on 2005-12-08 13:13 ]
Impossible, I think your take on it would be consistent with her professional demeanor. I remember an interview with James Toback, who wrote and directed Harvard Man. He said he was unable to get funding for the film until SMG agreed to appear, and that she knew that was the case. He had expected her, like other well-known people he'd worked with on his low-budget films, to throw her weight around on set, making everyone aware of her importance. He was relieved when that didn't happen, and was delighted with her unassuming, just-one-of-the-gang behavior on set. Classy.
I thought the same thought of thing Impossible, that she was doing it to help everyone out. I mean she was paid about 600,000 to appear in the first one, which really isn't that much by Hollywood standards, so I doubt that would have included a clause in her contract to make her return

Would she really have the time to returnfor a full time starring role as well? Just look at all the movies she got coming out soon.

Sarah. Classy. Two words I've always associated together.
Hi guys. I'm good. Thanks.
OK, now I'm happy aswell. I was just afraid that she would be the lead of the movie but if it's only a cameoesque appearance then I'm all for it. Sarah is a ghost, wee!
Makes sense considering her character is about a second away from death at the end of the first one.
What a strange universe LA is, where $600,000 is not considered to be "very much money".

I get why that is true, but something about that is very odd when I think about it objectively. I've lived in LA for 8 1/2 years....this place is not like anywhere else. Thankfully.
...this place is not like anywhere else.


The blessing and the curse of La-La-Land.
I've lived in LA for 8 1/2 years....this place is not like anywhere else. Thankfully.

Yes, thankfully. There's a reason people flock here. Isn't there a saying about how 'no one is *from* LA' ?
I was born and raised here, but left for a good portion of my 20's. Coming back a few years ago made me realize how LA feels more like a different country than a city. Despite occasionally being shallow and materialistic, there's nowhere I'd rather call home.

However, the amount of money people make in the entertainment industry mystifies me. I think SMG is worth every penny, I admire her dedication to her craft, but there are many out here that are not worth what they get paid. I won't mention any names...coughTheRockcough...
When the news broke that she'd star in the next movie, I assumed it would be a small part. Probably as a ghost that haunts the new protagonist.
[T]here a saying about how 'no one is *from* LA' ?


I think that's quite true, at least as far as "famous" L.A. denizens go. Plenty of people here are third- or fourth-generation angelenos, but they're not usually the ones making the front pages of US Weekly or whatever. I guess the nature of the dominant business - the movies - is to continually bring in fresh unexplored "talent" from all over. BTW, my ex is a third-generation angelena, born and bred in Torrance (South Bay), attended Sunnydale, I mean Torrance High, etc. They do exist.

As for $600K not being a lot of money - I'd guess that SMG (or whoever) would consider it a nice amount of money, but that from the perspective of the "who's hot"/"who's a player" lists that feature all the time here, it signifies someone of less than exalted Jack Nicholson/Julia Roberts status, regardless of the fact that I can't remember the last decent movie Julia Roberts made (and I really don't dislike her at all, I'm just saying).

Finally, I am quite relieved that SMG's role is small - she shows her commitment to the series, and to Shimizu and the crew, but also that she is in a position properly to pick and choose projects that appeal to her.
Also keep in mind, SMG only received a fraction of that $600,000. More than half went to taxes. At least 10% percent went to agent and 15-25% went to her manager.
What does a manager do as opposed to an agent?
I assume you are working out that tax based on US rates.

Wouldn't SMG have a case for paying tax in Japan , assuming it is lower , if she wanted to because the picture was made there.
More than half went to taxes. At least 10% percent went to agent and 15-25% went to her manager


I'm not questioning your knowledge, which I freely confess I don't have, but by this calculation SMG received as little as 15% of her pay for the film. Can that possibly be true?
To my knowledge, an SMG official tax bracket would be 35%, and even then the actual tax is closer to 30-33% depending on what status she files under. As for agent/manager fees, I have no clue. But going with a total of 35%, SMG is netting just under $200,000 (a bit under 1/3 of her gross pay) for a few months work. Pretty sweet if you ask me. I'm sure it's not the money she's used to, but I always think actors are generally overpaid. (Not including any actor-slash-waiters)
Don't forget California state taxes and local taxes, which are ungodly high.

SMG's making a lot of money, but very little compared to how much money the film made ($110 Mil at the US box office, which doesn't include the revenue from overseas, dvd, tv rights, etc. Sony made big bucks off of it). Of course, no one assumed The Grudge would make that kind of money when the film was made. But that's the reason studios like films like this. Little risk, high chance of profits if they don't give the talent a share in the profits.
SoddingNancyTribe said:

...it signifies someone of less than exalted Jack Nicholson/Julia Roberts status, regardless of the fact that I can't remember the last decent movie Julia Roberts made (and I really don't dislike her at all, I'm just saying).


You should see Closer, SNT. Good film. Julia Roberts is one of my least favorite actresses, but she proves she's worth a damn with her performance there. Then she quit acting. Hm.

Anyway...

Sorry to hear that SMG is only going to have a bit part, but it does make sense logically, considering the nature of the story. Can't wait to see her be as creepy as that friggin' little kid.
I'll second the Closer recommendation.
I'm glad to hear that Sarah is only doing a cameo. :) I liked The Grudge and I'd like them to stick to the original concept -everyone that comes into contact with the house dies.

I wonder who the lead will be for the sequel. I assume there'd be a lot of pressure especially since the first one did so well.
Don't forget California state taxes and local taxes, which are ungodly high.

Ah, true. I think that would take off another 9% for state, and who knows what for local because where she lives and where I live...I bet the tax rate is different!

Still, I'll trade her incomes! :~P
Okay, so Sarah dies opening scene, right?
Based on how well the film did, I would guess that SMG received some kind of additional payment. Either points of some kind (since the original $600,000 was below her value in movies even at that time), or an additional payment as the box office gross went through various barriers. She did a HUGE amount of promotional work for The Grudge, and while the success of the film was ultimately in her best interests, there must have been some kind of compensation for the large number of US talkshow appearances plus the large number of foreign visits she made.

As for the percentage of their reported earnings that actors etc get to keep, I've always been pretty interested in that. Relatively speaking, they earn vast sums of money regardless. But when you hear that someone has been paid $1 million for a film (for example), you don't really consider that by the time they've paid all of the appropriate taxes as well as their agents and managers; they'd be lucky to end up with around 40% of that (probably more like 30-35%). Of course, any percentage of $1 million is still very nice thankyou. But I think it's easy to overestimate the wealth of celebrities for that reason. SMG does have a manager, but in her case I struggle to see exactly what they must do. She seems pretty hands on when it comes to her career and going after roles etc.

[ edited by Impossible on 2005-12-09 13:12 ]
So it's just a ghostly cameo. Was afraid of that. Well it's a pity. They could've done something interesting with it, but I have a feeling it's just going to be another bodycount of connected people. Who knows, it could still surprise me, but it's too bad there's not more of her in there.

Let me also add myself to the La La Land lovers. I personally never really encountered the infamous 'shallow and materialistic' aspects so much. Certainly no worse than other places I've seen but I suppose that depends on what circles one travels in. Where the geography is concerned, I certainly love it here. Beach, mountains, palm trees, desert, all within reach. And a lot of cool stuff happens around here.

As far as the taxes are concerned: high? Please, I'm originally from Holland. CA taxes are nothing.

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