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Clancy Brown was paid “nothing” to do one of the best fantasy movies

Clancy Brown has made some of the best fantasy movies and science fiction movies ever, and one of his biggest roles actually netted him very little money.

Clancy Brown in Highlander

Hollywood doesn’t always pay, and in the case of Clancy Brown, sometimes that meant very little at all. In fact, in his words, Highlander netted him exactly zero dollars, or close to it – not what you’d expect for one of the best fantasy movies ever.


Brown talked about production on the action movie on Inside of You with Michael Rosenbaum, revealing that his price tag was the condition of him getting the part. “I met with those guys, and I said it was a good story, how much you gonna pay me?” he recalled. “They don’t want to pay me anything, and I don’t have a quote or anything, so they paid me nothing.”

He adds producers on Highlander were “thrilled” about that – we bet they were – and filming. Brown was actually recommended for the adventure movie by popstar-turned-actor Sting, with whom he’d had some smaller roles.

Brown mentions that Sean Connery made a healthy sum, as did the star, Christopher Lambert, but he didn’t get anything, not even residuals. This does contradict an earlier version, from The Rich Eisen Show, where really the amount was simply very little.

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“I was really not expensive at the time,” Brown says, when asked about how he got the role. Ultimately, Highlander did everyone’s careers good because of its cult status, so the thriller movie has no doubt paid dividends since then. Brown portrayed the movie villain the Kurgan, an ancient adversary to the immortal Highlander.

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The franchise spawned several sequels and a TV series after, but none were ever as successful. A reboot starring Henry Cavill was announced to be in the works, and maybe Brown can show up there and get the payday he deserves. Knowing Hollywood, we won’t get too presumptuous.

Keep an eye on our new movies 2024 guide nonetheless, and our best movies list has plenty of great watching too.