Modern Familyâ€™s Ed Oâ€™Neill and Parks and Recreationâ€™s Rob Lowe had some choice words for Hollywood at The Hollywood Reporter’s annual Emmy Comedy Actor Roundtable. The duo sounded off on low-paying acting jobs, with Oâ€™Neill specifically targeting HBO for offering him a key role in its planned David Mamet film about music producer Phil Spector but low-balling him on his fee. Lowe soon chimed in, claiming that studios exploit actorsâ€™ willingness to take good material for less money, a practice he called â€œbullshit.â€ Hereâ€™s the exchange:
Ed Oâ€™Neill: I just had a thing last week where I thought for sure I was going to do a thing for HBO with Al Pacino and Bette Midler. Mamet directing. And I get the offer, six weeks work, Iâ€™m playing Bruce Cutler, [Spectorâ€™s] lawyer, and they said “$40,000.”
Rob Lowe: â€œEx-squeeze me?â€ (Laughs)
Oâ€™Neill: So I said, â€œI thought you said $40,000 for six weeksâ€™ work.â€ â€œYeah.â€ Scale. â€œYeah.â€ Is Al working for scale?â€ â€œNo.â€ â€œIs Bette working for scale?â€ â€œNo.â€ I said, â€œWell, good luck.â€ Now, Iâ€™m not doing it.
Lowe: You canâ€™t.
Oâ€™Neill: Of course I canâ€™t do it. But then you say â€œWait a minute, what the f—? You know. That lasts about three or four days. Then you say, â€œWell, Iâ€™m going to Hawaii.â€ That happens all the time.
Lowe: You know why it happens? Itâ€™s because they know that at the end of the day we love good material. And they will use that to exploit us. And thatâ€™s — excuse me — bullshit.
Neil Patrick Harris: Wow, itâ€™s getting real!