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Terrence Howard Learns That Show Business Is A Cutthroat Business

by Sergio
March 7, 2013 11:35 AM
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It's not easy being an actor. Just ask Terrence Howard who recently admitted that his career has been a wild trip of ups and downs. But mostly downs.

During a recent interview for his new film Dead Man Down, Howard confessed that 'I had to start all over: went from making $6 million a movie, back to $60 thousand a movie. But as long as you don't give up you are able."

Of course I'm sure my first reaction to that quote was the same as yours: "He got $6 million for movie???? HOW? WHY?"

Of course he's referring to the first Iron Man film which many pepole may not know that Howard was the first to sign on for the film and was the highest paid actor on the film as well. Robert Downey Jr. was still, at that time, considered something of a risky bet, while Howard was riding the wave of popularity.

Unfortunately, when time came to negotiate contracts for Iron Man 2 you better believe that Downey wasn't about to be paid less than anyone else on the film. However, Howard refused to budge on taking a lesser deal, and director Jon Favreau reportedly wasn't happy with his performance.

So the result was, Howard was out and Don Cheadle was in.

Howard himself said in the interview that: "The worst thing I've witnessed was Iron Man killing my career.....I chose not to fight back, not to deal with the allegations, but to continue to do what I had to do.  I'll make $20 million soon. Because I have learned the lessons of yesterday."

Well good that he's all optimistic, But Howard isn't the first actor, nor will he be the last, to realize that a huge ego will get you far in the business, but can seriously hurt you as well.

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  • Cindy | March 11, 2013 6:02 PMReply

    Sorry Sergio, I agree with Terrance Howard he was basically pushed out of the film Jon Favreau and the studio didn't want to pay him the money he deserved. Robert Downey Jr. was considered a risk for the studio since he was just getting his career back on track. Amazing that Terrance and his team got him the highest salary out of all the actors including Downey and Paltrow. And the studio replaced with him another black actor Don Cheadle. Like the audience isn't going to notice, so a black actor can be replaced by another that's disturbing. Now Cheadle is a solid actor as well but he's unattractive and he's also cheap I hear he only got paid $1 million dollars. Terrance was right to walk away from Iron Man he maintained his dignity. Why should Terrance take a drastic pay cut from $6 million down to $1 million? It isn't right, and it wasn't fair of the studio to use gutter tactics to get what they wanted.

  • Main | March 8, 2013 11:26 AMReply

    I think people are overlooking the fact that TH is a lot more sexually intimidating than DC

  • Steve | March 8, 2013 7:31 AMReply

    The problem with him was not that he gave a bad performance in Iron Man, his problem was that he was a bit full of himself. I think RDJ got paid less than 1 Million for the first movie which is of course ridiculous compared to what the movie made and how he and Favreau started the whole Marvel thing.

  • getaclue | March 7, 2013 11:00 PMReply

    When's the last time someone said, Hey, let's go see that Tarrence Howard film? He's a great actor but has never been someone who puts butts in seats. He got paid one huge pay day for one tentpole superhero blockbuster and for some reason believes he is worthy of that every time out. 20 mil a pic? please. Let's be real here. He ain't saving lives, he's just making movies. Maybe he should focus more on his craft and script selections before worrying so much about his Hwood salary status.

  • blah blah | March 7, 2013 7:34 PMReply

    Wait, wasn't he in Red Tails too (I didn't see it)? You mean to tell me that George Lucas wasn't cutting dem checks properly? I find that hard to believe. At least he got some points on the back end.

  • Adam Scott Thompson | March 7, 2013 11:01 PM

    Doubt it.

  • me | March 7, 2013 6:49 PMReply

    terrance plays one role well, a villain. he absolutely sucks at every other role he plays.

  • Donella | March 7, 2013 11:43 PM

    He portrayed an excellent pimp in Hustle and Flow and an even better a$$ho1E in The Best Man. Not always villains, but Howard does best with roles that have friction, conflict, and tension, or where his character serves as a catalyst to move the story forward.

  • PK | March 7, 2013 10:44 PM

    He played villains in films like "Dead Presidents" & "The Players Club".. His best performances were in "The Best Man", "Hart's War", "Crash" "Hustle & Flow" & "Pride" ..he does best against women & supporting

  • Lauren | March 7, 2013 6:04 PMReply

    Don Cheadle is a good actor, but gotta say I've seen enough of his face to last a lifetime. Give us girls a break- somebody please!

  • ChgoSista | March 8, 2013 1:42 PM

    Lauren!!! HAAAAAAAAAA

  • lauren | March 7, 2013 6:16 PM

    Just let Idris do everything... thank you. :)

  • LeonRaymond | March 7, 2013 1:00 PMReply

    JON FAVREAU is famous for being an ass hole - he use to have some show on cable also where he use to talk smack and racist comments about Black Directors

  • urbanauteur | March 7, 2013 1:24 PM

    Oh Really?..well we need to send some REAL MARVEL BLACK PANTHERS @ his abode, since he likes comic books & artichoke.

  • Sharon | March 7, 2013 12:25 PMReply

    You all need me... Howard refused to budge on taking a lesser deal and director Jon Favreau was reportedly wasn't happy with his performance. Really?? How about: Jon Favreau was reportedly not happy with is performance OR Jon Favreau reportedly wasn't happy with his performance. I don't understand how so many poorly constructed stories go out. This one is minor. However, I see crazy things every single day.

  • Sergio | March 7, 2013 6:49 PM

    O.K. So that slipped by me But I'm not perfect...unlike you

  • urbanauteur | March 7, 2013 12:54 PM

    All kidding aside, JON FAVREAU is Still a UNADULTERATED A!@@hole!!..peep what he said about Spike and black directors.

  • slb | March 7, 2013 11:51 AMReply

    I remember when they went to Don Cheadle after negotiations broke down with Howard. Were they really asking him for a pay cut or was he asking for a raise from Iron Man 1. Also, I find it hard to believe that he signed on for $6 million in what was relatively a minor supporting role and the lead got less. At the time, Robert Downey Jr. wasn't exactly a box office draw, but he had years of experience under his belt and an Oscar nomination. It doesn't make sense he would make less than Terrence Howard on a film with a reported negative budget of $140 million.

    Anyway, Cheadle was better for that role anyway. He's a light years better actor and definitely played the role better than Terrence. Either way, I'm glad Terrence continues to get work.

  • Donella | March 8, 2013 12:00 PM

    I agree with you, Jess. Something seemed "off" with Howard's performance in Iron Man. I didn't feel it. Wasn't sure what it was.

  • Jess | March 8, 2013 2:31 AM

    Terrence was TERRIBLE in Iron Man. I just couldn't believe how bad he was, because he was great in The Best Man. He didn't bring the same swagger to IM as he had to other roles. His voice also seemed ridiculously high to me. You can't blame the script for that.

  • Donella | March 7, 2013 11:46 PM

    @ALM, yes Howard is a solid actor. The character of Rhody in Iron Man was an underwritten sidekick role, he had nowhere to go with it. Though he and Cheadle both performed well in the Crash ensemble, it was Howard's performance that stood out to me.

  • ALM | March 7, 2013 7:11 PM

    @ Sergio: Yes. One and the same :)

  • sergio | March 7, 2013 6:51 PM


    You're talking about "Baby Wipes" Howard?

  • slb | March 7, 2013 6:46 PM

    ALM: I know RDJ's career was at a down point at that time. I'm still surprised he made less than Howard. Especially considering the size of Howard's role compared to RDJ.

    DEE: I don't know anything about the rumors of his off screen behavior. Depending on the person, Hollywood is willing to overlook bad behavior off screen. I guess Terrence isn't one of those people.

    DONELLA: That's a good point.

    EEZ: I don't think Terrence was a thousand times better. Either way, like Dee said, the role was woefully underwritten in both movies.

  • ALM | March 7, 2013 4:21 PM

    @ SLB: Cheadle is an amazing actor. He is actually one of my favorites, but even I was dismayed with his casting in "Iron Man 2" and "Iron Man 3". Cheadle doesn't have the physical build for the role.

    Howard is a solid actor also. Howard also has the swagger that matched the role better.

    As for Downey Jr., as great as he is as both Tony Stark and Sherlock Holmes, even I remember him being notorious for his drug addictions and repeated relapses into drug addiction. Downey Jr. is extremely talented, but he's also extremely blessed period. The studio took a MAJOR gamble on him. Besides the addiction issues, we in the public sometimes forget how old Downey Jr. is. Bottom line, Downey Jr. stayed clean, got himself the body of someone half his age, and buckled down to do the work. His interpretation of the writing made "Iron Man" the juggernaut that it was.

    Terrence was blessed to get that type of money considering that he hasn't headlined a lot of box office hits. Hopefully he can build his career back to where it was (or better), but he has got to stop being so emotional and making weird comments in the press. There is a sound byte of him in the press now drooling over Oprah's chest. The way he words everything gets creepy pretty quickly.

  • Dee | March 7, 2013 1:14 PM

    Iron Man surprised everyone.

    Which is probably why Iron Man 2 is such a mess. At the time RDJ was a bean less unpredictable than Charlie Sheen with only the acclaimed but not box office shattering Kiss Kiss Bang Bang of note in his recent resume. Favreau had to fight hard for him and made concessions to keep him in a role that now, you cannot imagine anyone else pulling off.

    As an actor Howard was blasting people off the screen left, right and centre and probably felt that he was responsible for drawing audiences into those screens for Iron Man.

    Couldn't have been more wrong.

    Rhodey was an underwritten character (in both films) and needed an actor with presence to compete with RDJ / Tony Stark. Terrence Howard's casting was that years Tyler Perry/ Alex Cross moment where the demographic clowns took precedence over common sense.

    He'll do great things again, poor judgement does not make him a lesser performer, and let's be realistic. If you want to add value to your indie production, now is the time to knock Terrence's door.

  • Donella | March 7, 2013 1:13 PM

    I think the cost of insurance for Robert Downey Jr, at that time, was a budget consideration.

  • eez | March 7, 2013 12:46 PM

    You are insane. Terrance Howard was a thousand times better and had way more chemistry.
    Don Cheadle is the reason Iron Man 2 was crap.

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