It's kind of amazing that anyone is paid for "Sharknado" at all. But since the actors are probably doing this just for the paychecks, wouldn't you expect the two original franchise stars to be making around the same amount? Instead, for the fifth installment of the viral madness, "Sharknado 5: Global Swarming,"The Hollywood Reporter claims Ian Ziering (Fin) made $500,000 and Tara Reid (April) made about a quarter of that. (As Vox noted, Gal Gadot made a base salary of $300,000 for "Wonder Woman," which isn't a direct comparison of first film to fifth-in-franchise, it's just funny.)
Here's more on that from THR's extensive breakdown of the franchise:
"For Sharknado 5, everything is bigger, starting with the budget ($3 million, double the cost of the original) and star salaries — Ziering now makes $500,000 per picture. Asylum manages to limit costs when it comes to Reid's paycheck — she makes about a quarter of what her male co-star earns on each installment. She protested the disparity during the filming of Sharknado 3. Syfy later asked fans whether or not to kill off her character — but the network flatly denies that the two incidents are related. (Fans voted to let her live.) 'I think Sharknado cares more about their 'extra of the day' than they do about their own cast,' Reid says, clearly weary of the franchise. 'You work at something for five years and you don't get treated as well as someone who shows up for a single day?'"
Considering Reid got top billing with on-screen husband Ziering in the first film and every one since, it is surprising that the pay disparity is that big. You could argue that Ziering is the lead with the most action, but Reid is definitely at the very least an original co-lead, and earning a quarter of his paycheck is pretty insulting -- especially when fans even voted to keep her around. How much more proof did they need of her worth to this silly franchise? Good for her for standing up to ask for more, and bad for the producers/Syfy for responding as they did. But also kind of bad for Reid that she's still showing up anyway. The bills must be paid!
"Sharknado 5: Global Swarming" premieres August 6 at 8 p.m. on Syfy.
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