Miley Cyrus has become known for her outrageous fashion sense and behavior over the past couple of years, but this week she's getting pretty candid about a former acting gig. If you can remember way, way back, you can probably recall the former pop star when she had long locks and a more pronounced southern accent. Early in life, Cyrus was a prominent member of the Disney lineup, starring in her own show Hannah Montana, a show which Cyrus now says underpaid her by a lot. The actress recently revealed she was uneducated about the business when she signed on to the Disney gig and lost out on a lot of pay because of that:
I just wanted to be on TV. I mean, at one point---they'll probably kill me for saying it---I was probably the least paid person on my [Hannah Montana] cast because I didn't know any better. I was just like, I can be on Disney! Yeah, I want to do it! My name was Miley on my show, but I didn't own my name---we didn't think about that. Like, Yeah, you can use my name on your show, sure!
Miley Cyrus told Elle that while her father is pretty famous in his own right, he wasn't really in the industry, and even he wasn't prepared to help her out with all of the practical money stuff that comes with fame. That's why she foolishly handed Disney the name Miley and made other decisions that were probably not in her best interests early on. The good news? Her parents did the best they could for her, and her mom especially started figuring out the business so she could have the career that she wanted later on.
My mom started understanding how many people take advantage of a child, so she hired smart people to protect me in that way. I'm happy that when I was younger, people protected me and put me in a position where I can now control my music.
Still, that probably didn't help Miley Cyrus out with any of the paydays she was getting with the Disney Channel. The former child start used to tour for the company, too, so I can't even imagine how much more money she could have been making had she known how to figure out contracts early on. Or even how successful Hannah Montana would end up being for the Disney Channel, really. A lot of times when an actor or actress is on a show for a long time, they do get the chance to renegotiate, but it's probably a lot harder to do when you are barely learning to drive.
Of course, Miley Cyrus isn't saying exactly what she made compared to some of the other cast members, which actually included her dad, Billy Ray Cyrus. It's not like Disney would want to ever share how much they made off the show, either. But at least Miley Cyrus has had several successful albums and tours on her own terms in the time since. She's doing fine when so many other child stars fizzle out.