LOS ANGELES (Hollywood Reporter) — HBO made Ed O’Neill he had to refuse.
The “Modern Family” star said he was offered a mere $40,000 — or union scale — for six weeks’ work on the cable channel’s upcoming Phil Spector movie starring Al Pacino and Bette Midler.
When he was given the quote, he was a little taken aback, he recounted in a recent interview with The Hollywood Reporter.
“So I said, ‘I thought you said $40,000 for six weeks’ work,'” he recalled.
Upon being told that was correct, O’Neill asked whether Pacino and Midler were working for scale.
When HBO said they were not, O’Neill said, “Well, good luck,” and the negotiations ended.
“Of course I can’t do it,” he said in the interview. “But then you say ‘Wait a minute, what the f—?’ … That lasts about three or four days. Then you say, ‘Well, I’m going to Hawaii.’ That happens all the time.”
The role, that of Spector’s lawyer Bruce Cutler, went to Jeffrey Tambor. The “Larry Sanders Show” veteran’s agent declined to comment when asked if Tambor was being paid scale.
The untitled Spector project, from writer/director David Mamet, revolves around the relationship between the music producer (Pacino) and defense attorney Linda Kenney Baden (Midler), who represented Spector during his first trial for the murder of an actress. After a mistrial, he was convicted following a second trial and is serving a prison sentence of 19 years to life.
An email seeking comment from an HBO publicist was not immediately answered.
Watch O’Neill In The “Modern Family” Season Finale: