Ghostbusters’ Leslie Jones reveals her pay for the film was 1% of Melissa McCarthy’s salary

The SNL alum’s first movie was a multi-million dollar film, but her debut meant her salary would only be a modest starter pay.

Last Updated on September 27, 2023

ghostbusters, leslie jones

New details of the Ghostbusters: Afterlife sequel have been scarce so far, but of the material that has been released (plus sightings of the Ecto-1 being filmed in the streets of New York), it’s clear that it will pick up with the tease that they will be back in business at the old firehouse. Ghostbusters: Afterlife was Sony’s attempt to revive the franchise after the 2016 reboot became a hotbed of controversy and ultimately failed to garner interest for any continuation. Paul Feig’s much-maligned version would star SNL cast members along with Bridesmaids co-star Melissa McCarthy.

Leslie Jones was the SNL alum who would be cast as the non-scientist character of the group, akin to Ernie Hudson’s Winston. 2016’s Ghostbusters would be her first big movie and, according to IndieWire, the comedian recently revealed in her memoir that her salary compared to the big stars of the film had a staggering gap. In an excerpt from Rolling Stone, Jones explained, “It was made clear to me at times during the process that I was lucky to even be on that movie, but honestly, I was thinking, ‘I don’t have to be in this muthafucka,’ especially as I got paid way less than Melissa McCarthy and Kristen Wiig. No knock on them, but my first offer was to do that movie for $67,000. I had to fight to get more (in the end I got $150K), but the message was clear: ‘This is gonna blow you up — after this, you’re made for life,’ all that kind of shit, as though I hadn’t had decades of a successful career already. And in the end, all it made for me was heartache and one big-ass controversy.”

Unfortunately, a number of extreme critics of the film would surpass their non-support of the movie by also personally attacking Jones on her social media. She would be a dominant target for the film’s detractors as she would receive hateful messages and death threats as well as her account getting hacked. Jones admitted, “I’d tried to fight back — I was a comic — I was used to someone heckling me, so for every piece of bullshit on Twitter I had a reply…I can’t believe anyone would do this shit to someone, anyone, for working. This is awful. I am in a movie. Death threats for something as small as that?”

Source: IndieWire, Rolling Stone

About the Author

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E.J. is a News Editor at JoBlo, as well as a Video Editor, Writer, and Narrator for some of the movie retrospectives on our JoBlo Originals YouTube channel, including Reel Action, Revisited and some of the Top 10 lists. He is a graduate of the film program at Missouri Western State University with concentrations in performance, writing, editing and directing.