Acting is a tough business. There are way more interested parties than available roles, and lifelong careers aren't guaranteed for anyone, no matter the heights one might achieve. Like sports, the movie industry is all about what you've done for me lately, which is why, if an actor does find him or herself fortunate enough to be attached to a lucrative and popular television show or franchise, it's important they be paid their fair share of the loot. Let the record show Game Of Thrones actor Nikolaj Coster-Waldau is seeing his fair share of the money. In fact, for the final season, he was reportedly paid more than a million dollars an episode.
Acting salaries are not very often discussed in specific terms. The actors themselves don't necessarily want their fans to know how many zeroes are on their checks, and the studios don't really want other actors to use that knowledge to renegotiate their own deals. But all of that secrecy goes out the window if a lawsuit is involved, and that's exactly what's happening right now with Nikolaj Coster-Waldau and his former manager Jill Littman.
In short, the actor terminated his contact with Littman back in 2015. According to The Hollywood Reporter, the actor claimed he'd long worked with her on a verbal agreement that didn't include any commission on earnings for jobs he completed after giving notice, but she came forward with a contract he signed as part of the process to get his Visa to work in the United States. He allegedly thought it was just paperwork to get the process moving. She allegedly thought it was an enforceable contract, and a judge recently sided with her, demanding the actor pay $2,000,000 to his former manager.
The specifics of the Game Of Thrones contract are $942,857 per episode of the Seventh Season of Game Of Thrones and $1,066,667 per episode of the Final Eighth Season of Game Of Thrones. So, even if he winds up paying this $2,000,000, you probably don't need to worry about him ending up in the poor house.
If nothing else, all of this should be a good reminder that even the most eye-catching salaries in Hollywood are rarely what they first seem. There are usually agents and managers to pay. Half of the money is due to Uncle Sam via taxes. Don't get me wrong. It can be a great way to make a living if you're able to find the right project, but what you end up banking away for in case things go south in the future is never as much as it would initially seem, even if you're actually saving money. And not all actors are great at that part either.