The Castle may be one of the most successful Aussie films of all time, but it turns out its star Michael Caton was paid a very modest salary for his work.
According to Caton’s son Septimus, who appeared on Monday night’s episode of Australian Story to discuss his father, he earned just $3,000 for the film.
The episode covered Caton’s difficulty in finding work following his role on the 1970s TV series The Sullivans before he got invited to appear in the 1997 classic.
“Eleven-day shoot, $3000, but decades of career after. That’s the real payment of The Castle,” Septimus commented.
Although his salary was undoubtedly tiny, the entire budget for The Castle was a mere $750,000, which pales in comparison to the $10 million it raked in at the box office.
The movie has been credited with revitalising Caton’s career, with fellow actor Jack Thompson telling Australian Story that it “publicly elevated Michael from a well-known actor to a star of the New Australian cinema.”
“That movie, his character has entered the language. ‘Oh, I got straight to the pool room, and tell ’em they’re dreaming,’” Thompson said.
Love Film & TV?
Get the latest Film & TV news, features, updates and giveaways straight to your inbox Learn more
Meanwhile, Caton, who revealed he was a “last-minute replacement” for the film, said The Castle “changed everything” for him.
“Prior to that, I was like the old couch in the corner, you know, a bit dusty and faded, jaded,” he said.
“And then all of a sudden, it all opened up again. It started a complete resurgence. It was just wonderful.”
Caton has enjoyed success as an actor and presenter in the 24 years since The Castle premiered, and will soon reprise his role in the beloved drama Packed to the Rafters for Amazon’s upcoming series Back to the Rafters.
For more on this topic, follow the Film & TV Observer.