Freddie Prinze Jr. Furious He Had To Take A Pay Cut For Co-Stars

By Jonathan Klotz | Published

freddie prinze jr.

Freddie Prinze Jr. is returning to acting in the upcoming Nertflix Holiday film, Christmas With You, which is why he was being interviewed by Esquire when the actor dropped a truth-bomb on his biggest regret in Hollywood. Citing the Scooby-Doo films, the former teen star went into detail over issues with the films, but most notably how he had to take a pay cut for his film’s co-stars–future wife Sarah Michelle Gellar, Matthew Lillard, and ER star Linda Cardellini to receive a raise. After the first film made over $200 million, the returning cast asked for a raise, but the studio refused to pay until Prinze Jr. took a pay cut.

Freddie Prinze Jr. recalls wondering just who was giving his co-stars the raise. The first Scooby-Doo film made $257 million at the box office, turning a nice profit for Warner Bros. even after the substantial marketing budget. While at the time Matthew Lillard and Linda Cardellini were not huge stars, Sarah Michelle Gellar had already been portraying Buffy and arguably deserved a significantly larger upfront payment.

Scooby-Doo was a further source of regret for Freddie Prinze Jr., as he claims the film that was released in theaters did not match the original script. In an amazing coincidence, the original scriptwriter for the film is current head of the DCEU and acclaimed Marvel director, James Gunn. Recently, the Guardians of the Galaxy writer and director shared information on Scooby-Doo that backs up the claims regarding the troubled production.

freddie prinze jr.
Freddie Prinze Jr., Sarah Michelle Gellar, Matthew Lillard, and Linda Cardellini
in Scooby-Doo 2: Monsters Unleashed (2004)

In a tweet, Gunn shared that the original film “was intended to be PG-13.” Additionally, the writer wanted Cardellini’s character of Velma to be a lesbian. Freddie Prinze Jr. says that he loved this original version, and is grateful that even though he was disappointed with the end result, whole generations of fans love his portrayal of Fred.

Having to take a pay cut for his co-stars to get the raise they asked for soured the entire experience for Freddie Prinze Jr. According to the former Tiger Beat cover model, the studio publicly released his salary in a bid to shame the actor into accepting the pay cut. The result angered him, resulting in a vow to never work on the franchise again, which to his credit, he has not, even after pivoting to a career in voice work.

Unofficially, Freddie Prinze Jr. says he retired from acting 14 years ago, instead becoming a writer for the WWE. But he has been doing voice work, most notably in the hit video game Dragon Age: Inquisition as fan favorite character, Iron Bull. The actor is returning this year thanks to his growing children and the desire to make a Holiday film with Latino representation.

Half-Puerto Rican, the She’s All That star gets to play a father on-screen for the first time.

Outside of his return to acting in movies, Freddie Prinze Jr. also launched a podcast last year, Wrestling with Freddie, covering his time as a WWE writer and his general love for professional wrestling. A self-described nerd, the hunky dad loves playing Dungeons & Dragons, cosplaying, and continuing to lend his voice for geeky projects.