Media musing of the day

So Randy Quaid is suing over his alleged underpayment for his bit part in ‘Brokeback Mountain’ as the surly rancher who unwittingly brought Jack and Ennis together. His argument, in a nutshell, is that he was duped into working for near-scale because he was told that ‘Brokeback’ was going to be a small art-house film, as opposed to a small art-house film which was buoyed by millions of dollars worth of promotion.

Funny, actors usually like being cast in movies that give them more exposure than they expected. And Quaid’s implicit argument that marketing costs should be considered as part of a movie’s production budget when actor’s fees are negotiated is kind of suspect, since, as the Times notes, studios often shift marketing strategies in mid-release.

Maybe if Quaid can demonstrate some sort of opportunity cost for his role in ‘Brokeback’– for instance if he turned down a more lucrative role to do what couldn’t have been more than a couple days of work — then he’d have some sort of case. Otherwise, no no no.

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