Back to IndieWire

Terrence Howard Learns That Show Business Is A Cutthroat Business

Terrence Howard Learns That Show Business Is A Cutthroat Business

It’s not easy being an actor. Just ask Terrence Howard who recently admitted that his career has been a wild trip of ups and downs. But mostly downs.

During a recent interview for his new film Dead Man Down, Howard confessed that ‘I had to start all over: went from making $6 million a
movie, back to $60 thousand a movie. But as long as you don’t give up you are

Of course I’m sure my first reaction to that quote was the same as yours: “He got $6 million for movie???? HOW? WHY?”

Of course he’s referring to the first Iron Man film which many pepole may not know that Howard was the first to sign on for the film and was the highest paid actor on the film as well. Robert Downey Jr. was still, at that time, considered something of a risky bet, while Howard was riding the wave of popularity.

Unfortunately, when time came to negotiate contracts for Iron Man 2 you better believe that Downey wasn’t about to be paid less than anyone else on the film. However, Howard refused to budge on taking a lesser deal, and director Jon Favreau reportedly wasn’t happy with his performance.

So the result was, Howard was out and Don Cheadle was in.

Howard himself said in the interview that: “The worst thing I’ve witnessed was Iron Man killing my career…..I chose not to fight back, not to deal with the
allegations, but to continue to do what I had to do. 
 I’ll make $20 million soon. Because I have learned the lessons of yesterday.”

Well good that he’s all optimistic, But Howard isn’t the first actor, nor will he be the last, to realize that a huge ego will get you far in the business, but can seriously hurt you as well.

This Article is related to: News and tagged



Sorry Sergio, I agree with Terrance Howard he was basically pushed out of the film Jon Favreau and the studio didn't want to pay him the money he deserved. Robert Downey Jr. was considered a risk for the studio since he was just getting his career back on track. Amazing that Terrance and his team got him the highest salary out of all the actors including Downey and Paltrow. And the studio replaced with him another black actor Don Cheadle. Like the audience isn't going to notice, so a black actor can be replaced by another that's disturbing. Now Cheadle is a solid actor as well but he's unattractive and he's also cheap I hear he only got paid $1 million dollars. Terrance was right to walk away from Iron Man he maintained his dignity. Why should Terrance take a drastic pay cut from $6 million down to $1 million? It isn't right, and it wasn't fair of the studio to use gutter tactics to get what they wanted.


I think people are overlooking the fact that TH is a lot more sexually intimidating than DC


The problem with him was not that he gave a bad performance in Iron Man, his problem was that he was a bit full of himself. I think RDJ got paid less than 1 Million for the first movie which is of course ridiculous compared to what the movie made and how he and Favreau started the whole Marvel thing.


When's the last time someone said, Hey, let's go see that Tarrence Howard film? He's a great actor but has never been someone who puts butts in seats. He got paid one huge pay day for one tentpole superhero blockbuster and for some reason believes he is worthy of that every time out. 20 mil a pic? please. Let's be real here. He ain't saving lives, he's just making movies. Maybe he should focus more on his craft and script selections before worrying so much about his Hwood salary status.

blah blah

Wait, wasn't he in Red Tails too (I didn't see it)? You mean to tell me that George Lucas wasn't cutting dem checks properly? I find that hard to believe. At least he got some points on the back end.


terrance plays one role well, a villain. he absolutely sucks at every other role he plays.


Don Cheadle is a good actor, but gotta say I've seen enough of his face to last a lifetime. Give us girls a break- somebody please!


JON FAVREAU is famous for being an ass hole – he use to have some show on cable also where he use to talk smack and racist comments about Black Directors


You all need me… Howard refused to budge on taking a lesser deal and director Jon Favreau was reportedly wasn't happy with his performance. Really?? How about: Jon Favreau was reportedly not happy with is performance OR Jon Favreau reportedly wasn't happy with his performance. I don't understand how so many poorly constructed stories go out. This one is minor. However, I see crazy things every single day.


I remember when they went to Don Cheadle after negotiations broke down with Howard. Were they really asking him for a pay cut or was he asking for a raise from Iron Man 1. Also, I find it hard to believe that he signed on for $6 million in what was relatively a minor supporting role and the lead got less. At the time, Robert Downey Jr. wasn't exactly a box office draw, but he had years of experience under his belt and an Oscar nomination. It doesn't make sense he would make less than Terrence Howard on a film with a reported negative budget of $140 million.

Anyway, Cheadle was better for that role anyway. He's a light years better actor and definitely played the role better than Terrence. Either way, I'm glad Terrence continues to get work.

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *