From Tom Cruise and Will Ferrell to Barbra Streisand and Queen Latifah, check out the actors with contract clauses as strange as Dwayne Johnson’s.
When the DCEU blockbuster, Black Adam, bombarded the masses on October 21, 2022, fans of Dwayne "The Rock" Johnson noticed that the character rarely, if ever, loses fights in the film. Digging deeper, it appears as if The Rock's contractual clause from Fast & Furious has been unofficially retained for Black Adam, which essentially stipulates that the actor cannot lose a fight onscreen.
Of course, Dwayne "The Rock" Johnson isn't the only bankable movie star with strange contract clauses. In fact, some of the most famous actors in history have been known to mandate unbelievable conditions while on a movie set.
According to the Wall Street Journal, both The Rock and his Fast & Furious co-stars, Vin Diesel and Jason Statham, have negotiated conditions in their movie contracts that limit the number of punches they can sustain and how badly injured they are onscreen. With the three masculine movie stars jockeying for onscreen supremacy, none of them were willing to back down and look weak compared to the others. Odd indeed.
According to the report, it was Diesel's idea ahead of the seventh franchise installment to begin counting the number of kicks, punches, headbutts, and body slams his character received onscreen to ensure a fair fight between the characters. Afterward, Statham adopted the clause to limit how badly beaten up his character is onscreen, with The Rock negotiating his contract to ensure his character always "gives as good as he receives" in terms of injurious bodily harm.
Following her character Cleo's tragic death at the end of the 1996 crime thriller Set it Off, eventual Oscar nominee Queen Latifah did not want to experience such an onscreen fate ever again. Despite being one of Latifah's best movies, she negotiated a clause in her contract that would ensure that all of her movie characters henceforth would survive until the end of each movie.
In a 2017 interview with James Corden, Latifah joked that she was getting too good at dying on screen in movies like Set it Off and Sphere, saying, "I put a death clause in my contract after that movie. I was like, 'Wait a minute, I'm starting to die too good in these movies and if I die I can't be in the sequel.'"
While making the 2010 film Eloise in Paris, Uma Thurman and her agents drew up a contract that stipulated that she receive financial discounts if she personally wanted to purchase clothing or wigs to use on set. Even more diva-like, the language in the contract stated that "no cast member may receive more favorable dressing rooms" than Mrs. Thurman (New York Daily News).
In addition, the clause also mandated that Thurman would be accommodated with at least a three-bedroom hotel suite and three mobile phones to use for the duration of the film shoot. Although the film was ultimately scrapped over payment disputes, Thurman's list of demands on Eloise in Paris is pretty strange, to say the least.
With over 200 acting credits to his name, Samuel L. Jackson deserves a luxurious break from time to time. As such, the beloved actor has added a clause in his movie contracts that grants him the opportunity to play golf twice a week while filming a movie (Vanity Fair).
The condition also includes the production paying for Jackson's golf outings and providing transportation to and from the local golf courses. Jackson is known to play up to 36 holes on days he isn't scheduled to film, giving the actor plenty of time to work on his 3 iron. According to BuzzFeed, Jackson also refuses to do multiple takes of a shot if he feels he's already captured what's needed on camera, although it's not an official contract clause.
According to a contract clause obtained by The Smoking Gun, funnyman Will Ferrell demanded a slew of head-scratching items while making the basketball comedy Semi-Pro, including a large rainbow on wheels.
While the film is silly, absurd, and full of slapstick set pieces, for some reason Ferrell felt the need to have one electric mobility scooter, one headset microphone (Janet Jackson style), one flight of stairs on wheels (six feet tall), one fake tree on wheels (15-20 feet tall), and one rainbow (that can be painted on canvas) on wheels for his personal entertainment. Even for Will Ferrell's most likable characters and extreme brand of comedy, those demands are as outlandish as they come.
Oscar-winning actress Barbra Streisand is no stranger to making odd diva-like demands while making a movie or performing a concert. According to Daily Mail, Streisand demands peach-colored toilet paper rolls at all times to match her skin tone. And as per Ranker, Streisand's acting clauses also include rose petals being placed in her toilet bowl while on set.
While no specific reasons are provided for her strange rose petal demand, Streisand's status as an all-time great EGOT winner speaks for itself. However, Streisand also requires her security team to wear "neat dark sweaters" and use metal detectors at all times, presumably on a film set and in a concert dressing venue.
As proven by Queen Latifah's death clause, most actors tend to favor appearing in franchise sequels. However, after starring as the gymnastic villain Sahir Khan in the 2013 Hollywood rip-off Bollywood film Dhoom 3, Bollywood actor Aamir Khan had an exclusive clause written into his contract that demanded the mega-successful franchise come to an end once the film was completed.
According to IBTtimes, Khan "pushed Yash Raj Films (YRF) to add an exclusive clause in the contract which states that the production company will not make any more sequels after "Dhoom 3." While a YRF rep claimed the report was untrue and the franchise would continue, there has not been a fourth Dhoom film made in the past decade. Whether Khan's clause is the reason, there's no denying what a strange request is to end a movie franchise.
According to Variety, famed TV actress Julianna Marguiles only agreed to play the role of Alicia Florick if she was allowed to wear a wig on The Good Wife whenever she felt like it, which was written into her contract to accommodate the demand. The reason Marguiles gave was that she didn't want Alicia to resemble her character Carol Hathaway on the hit medical TV drama, ER.
While it isn't all that strange for an actor to want to change their appearance from project to project, legally mandating such in their contract is a bit extreme. According to Marguiles in an interview with David Letterman (above), one of the wigs cost $10,000.
When Swedish actor Dolph Lundgren rose to prominence in the 1980s, he was well aware of his thick accent may hurt his box office superstardom. As such, when filming Masters Of The Universe, Lundgren included a clause in his contract that allowed him precisely three attempts to properly deliver lines of dialog as He-Man before another actor was hired to dub his lines (THR).
Despite studio pushback to hire a voice actor, Dolph made good on his strange request and nailed his lines before outside help was recruited. Alas, Masters Of The Universe flopped anyway, earning $17 million against a $22 million budget (Box Office Mojo). Still, the strange request came from a much better place than some of Lundgren's contemporaries.
Most A-list movie stars welcome the opportunity to earn more revenue through ancillary video games and action figures seems. However, according to The Independent, Tom Cruise has stipulated in his movie contracts that his physical likeness cannot be replicated for use in video games or toy lines.
As well, in 2017, Variety reported that Cruise also had gained excessive creative control as part of his contractual agreement while working on The Mummy, which included choosing a June release date, and cherry-picking his own personally-approved screenwriters to ensure his dialog was up to snuff and his screen time increased.
NEXT: Every Tom Cruise Movie Written By Christopher McQuarrie Ranked By IMDb
A Senior List Writer covering a wide array of topics who has been with Screen Rant since September of 2019, Jake Dee has written movie news and reviews since 2008, working primarily with OMG Horror (IGN), JoBlo.com, and Arrow in the Head as a freelance reporter based in Los Angeles. A hopeless cinephile, social media Luddite, certified Nic Cage doppelganger, and a big Weekend At Bernie’s fan, Jake can often be found tucked away in a dark corner watching an old horror movie. Born and raised in California, Jake has a Bachelor’s Degree in Film & Digital Media from the University of California Santa Cruz with an emphasis on theory and criticism, is the author of several “WTF Happened To This Movie” and “WTF Really Happened To This Movie” videos on YouTube, and has covered everything in the entertainment industry from set visits, studio luncheons, and red carpet interviews to wrap parties, movie premieres, private screenings, talent interviews, and more.