Leslie Odom Jr. Nearly Left ‘Hamilton’ Over Pay Equity

Written by on August 9, 2020

Written by Paul Meara

Leslie Odom Jr.’s efficiency as Aaron Burr within the unique forged of Hamilton acquired a lot acclaim that it landed him a Tony Award. Even with that although, his contract negotiations over the movie adaptation of the highly-successful play dragged on manner longer than he would’ve favored.

On Monday’s episode of Dax Shepard’s Armchair Expert podcast, the actor claimed he was nonetheless in negotiations for his wage for the film the day earlier than it was set to start capturing. He stated that nobody had contacted his brokers when it was first introduced the present could be filmed. When he was lastly contacted, he says the proposal over his wage was disappointing.

“They got here to me with a proposal, ‘Leslie, we’re capturing tomorrow,’” he stated. “And I’m like, right here’s the factor: That is it. That is my space of experience. That is all I’ve. That is my life’s work on the stage too. And so I simply can’t promote it away for magic beans. I can’t give it away.”

Odom says that he merely needed the pay his white colleagues would make in the identical place.

RELATED: ‘Hamilton’ Named Highest-Charting Cast Album Since 1969

“So I can ask CAA [Creative Artists Agency], what does my white counterpart, what does Aaron Tveit make to do Grease Dwell! on TV? What does he make to do Grease? That is Hamilton dwell, proper?” he stated. “So once I came upon what he made, Dax, I didn’t ask for a penny extra. I didn’t ask for one penny extra, however I stated, ‘You will need to pay me precisely what that white boy bought to do Grease Dwell! That’s the underside line.’”

He continued: “The day earlier than we shot that film I known as out. I used to be not kidding. I used to be not coming to work the subsequent day to do the film. You realize, I used to be not kidding. It was a precept for me and typically it doesn’t work out. Typically they have a look at you and go, ‘We’re simply not paying it,’ and you must go, ‘That’s OK.’”

Odom says he’s blissful there’s been an awakening over racism in Hollywood over the previous few years, nevertheless he desires extra tangible outcomes coming from protest.

“I really like my white liberal mates, love white folks, however, you recognize, don’t be within the streets speaking about Black Lives Matter if my Black life doesn’t matter,” he stated. “Like, basically, don’t watch for the f***ing cops to kill me earlier than my Black life issues. If my Black life issues, be certain that I can take cash residence to feed my youngsters.”

Hamilton is at present obtainable on Disney+.

(Photograph by Theo Wargo/WireImage)

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