'Stranger Things' stars have been given gigantic pay rises for Season 3
There's no doubt Stranger Things is one of the greatest TV shows of our time. The sci-fi drama with its nostalgic 80's high school feel became a talking point after it was released in July of 2016, and by the time the second season was released shortly before Halloween last year (clever, btw), everyone was hooked. The show became the pride and joy of Netflix, especially considering the damage the Kevin Spacey scandal caused the streaming site with their previous numero uno show, House of Cards.
With its cult status, Stranger Things has not only been recognised with acclaim (nominated for 18 Emmys last year), but new licensing deals have been made between Netflix and various brands to make the most out of opportunities for commercial collaborations to help propel the show's success even further.
With all this going on, it's only natural that the actors starring in the show renegotiate their own pay packets too. And according to The Hollywood Reporter, they each got a HUGE pay rise. According to the magazine, sources say that each of the child actors will now earn 12 times their previous deals, with the adult actors also seeing a very attractive per episode salary increase. Production on season three is set to commence on April 23, and the sources say the new deals were closed last week.
They described how each of the actors on the show are categorised into different pay tiers, according to their professional experience and prominence on the show. Winona Ryder (who plays Joyce) as well as David Harbour (our fave, Jim Hopper) are in the "A tier", and are said to now be making up to $350,000 per episode. Per episode. It's said that in the first and second seasons of Stranger Things, Ryder was earning $100,000 per episode, and Harbour around $80,000.
In the "B tier", made up of the four youngsters Finn Wolfhard (Mike), Gaten Matarazzo (Dustin), Caleb McLaughlin (Lucas) and Noah Schnapp (Will), they are reportedly now pocketing $250,000 per episode. Care to think back to how much you were earning in your first job as a young teenager?
Considering they were only making what is considered a low $20,000 per episode in the first and second seasons of the series, the pay rise is massive – 1,150 per cent more than their original salary, to be exact.
Natalia Dyer (who plays Nancy), Charlie Heaton (Jonathon) and Joe Keery (Steve) make up the "C tier" and are said to have negotiated $150,000 an episode. All this and each actor was given a bonus of $60,000 once producers saw what a raging success the show had become.
But what about the star of the show, I hear you ask. The sources said that the renegotiated earnings of Millie Bobby Brown, who plays the sassy tweenage force that is Eleven, still remain a mystery. The Hollywood Reporter last year wrote that Brown was on a separate pay category from the other child stars. She would at the very least be getting as much as the other B Tier stars at $250,000 per episode, while others have suggested that she could very well be getting the same $350,000 per episode that Ryder and Harbour are making.
This seems absurd to some people, especially considering this is Brown's first professional gig (after no professional training, no less), and that Ryder is an Oscar-nominee who has been in the field for three decades. It's suggested Brown could be earning something between the As and the Bs at a sum of around $300,000 per episode.
While it's not the $1 million per episode the Friends stars were earning in the final two seasons of the sitcom, the incremental pay rise for the actors is not uncommon when a show gains such popularity. Still, those are some big sums, especially for the child actors who are already set up for life after their very first real job as actors. Just imagine...