Bruce Willis, the well-appreciated, now-retired veteran actor started off his career through small roles in feature films. His struggle for fame is a rare example of dedication and hard work. Well, the actor got his first breakthrough in Die Hard, the film that he is famously known for. Despite the film making millions at the box office and the actor getting his fair share, Willis was initially mocked for seeking a $5M salary. 

Bruce Willis
Bruce Willis’ million dollar earning

The action star Bruce Willis although known for his high-paid salary, had to initially go through a lot of consideration while seeking his fair share of payment. The actor with a current net worth is $250M, has recently retired after suffering from frontotemporal dementia. But how much do you think was he paid for the classic hit movie Die Hard, while he was still in his incipient years of Hollywood?

Also read: Bruce Willis Leaves Fans Concerned After Revealing His Frail Look As Die Hard Actor Battles Aphasia That Forced Him Into Retirement

Bruce Willis Was Mocked For Seeking $5M For Die Hard

Starting his career in 1985 through a small role in the television series Moonlighting, Bruce Willis found his first lead role in a feature film in 1987. Struggling and paving his path to success, the actor got his first scope of recognition through Die Hard in 1988. Experiencing an unexpected turn in his entertainment career, the John McTiernan-directed film catapulted Willis to global fame as a movie star. Acquiring major success and becoming a pop culture icon, by playing the role of John McClane in Die Hard, the actor reprised his role in the sequels. 

Bruce Willis
Bruce Willis in Die Hard

Although the first movie from the film series made nearly $140M at the Box Office, Bruce Willis’ demand of $5M for his role became a topic of gossip. Starring in a big film without prior working experience in big-budget movies, the actor’s demands were mocked by hierarchies. Willis’ co-star Bonnie Bedelia, revealed, “This was his first movie, and he was the star of a huge blockbuster and it was very well advertised that he was making $5 million, which at the time was unbelievable.” 

People seemingly scoffed at the Pulp Fiction actor’s unimaginable demands. Bedelia, further mentioned, “everybody was like, ‘Why would you pay $5 million to an untried movie star?’ But boy, someone was really smart.” Judging Bruce Willis by his lack of prior work experience, people seemed to make a mistake, cause clearly, the actor soon became a major star in the 90s. 

Also read: “Why Would You Pay $5 Million To An Untried Movie Star?”: Bruce Willis’ Co-Star Claims Hollywood Laughed At The Die Hard Star Over His Unrealistic Salary

Bruce Willis’ Salary Sent Shockwaves In The 80s

Although $5M seems like a petty amount for actors in the recent era, it was definitely an eye-watering amount in the 80s. Bruce Willis currently has a net worth of $250M, however, during his days of struggle, the actor had to endure mockery for seeking $5M for his role in Die Hard. According to a 1988 article by New York Times, the actor was paid a shocking amount of money which catapulted him to the hierarchy of Hollywood. 

Bruce Willis
Bruce Willis made $52M for Die Hard

Bruce Willis getting paid a hefty sum, as well as finding himself on the throne of success, decided to star in the franchise. Although Willis’ initial jump in salary raised eyebrows, he eventually made more than his basic demand of $5M. Breaking down his salary increment, The Sixth Sense actor received nearly $7.5M for the second part, Die Hard 2. Further, with the third movie in the franchise, Die Hard With a Vengeance, Bruce Willis bagged a gigantic amount of $15M during the 90s. 

Continuing the trend of increasing his payment with each sequel, the Unbreakable actor earned a whopping amount of $25M for the fourth part of the franchise. Although the actual amount is unspecified for the fifth part of the franchise, Bruce Willis seemingly earned way more than $25M, based on his record of increasing his salary. Eventually, the actor took the decision of retiring in 2023, after suffering from frontotemporal dementia. Therefore he buried the chance of appearing in the sixth part of the franchise after proving his skills and becoming a pop icon.  

Read more: What Is Bruce Willis’ Rare Condition Frontotemporal Dementia That Has Left Die Hard Actor Unable To Communicate After Retiring From Acting?

Source: ScreenRant, The Things

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