Actor’s contract includes clause deferring payment until completion of season
Jonathan Rhys Meyers is an incredibly talented (and handsome) actor but, as his fans already know, he’s also incredibly troubled, having already done several stints in rehab for a severe addiction to drugs and alcohol. Well aware of his history, NBC bosses didn’t want to take any kind of risk before getting him for lead in the new series “Dracula.”So, THR has learned, they included in his contract a clause that deferred payment of the biggest chunk of the salary agreed upon beforehand until he completed shooting the first season of the series, i.e. 10 episodes.
This was done to prevent him from falling off the rails and to keep him motivated. The trade publication claims that NBC withheld about $100,000 (€74,316) per episode from Meyers’s salary, money that he only got recently, when shooting for the first season wrapped.
“The Irish actor received per diem payments and other small dispensations, but the lump sum of his salary was contingent on him completing the season,” THR says.
At the same time, Meyers required a sober companion on set with him at all times because he was showing signs of relapsing during the production. The mag mentions a “meltdown” that sent him back to rehab in London for a brief amount of time, before he could resume work.
However, after shooting for the first season was done, Meyers went back to rehab. Sources close to him insist that he’s healthy and clean, focusing on his sobriety.
“Dracula posted a solid premiere when it launched in the 10 p.m. hour of NBC's Friday block Oct. 25, averaging a 1.8 rating in the adults 18-to-49 demographic and 5.3 million total viewers. The Nov. 8 outing saw a steep dip, losing nearly a full ratings point, but initial DVR returns are promising as three days' worth of time-shifting saw the pilot improve 56 percent to a 2.8 rating,” THR reports.
In other words, “Dracula” might not break the mold in terms of ratings, but it’s faring quite well.