Marisa Tomei Says She Wasn’t Paid For One Of Her Best Movies

By Dan Lawrence | 2 months ago

marisa tomei

Marisa Tomei is an Oscar-winning actress of high renown. Her latest role as comic book character Aunt May in Tom Holland’s trilogy of Spiderman films has thrust her straight to the forefront of Hollywood consciousness. However, that hasn’t stopped the actress from being duped out of a pay-cheque, according to Movieweb and countless other reports.

The pay-cheque in question was for Marisa Tomei’s turn in the Judd Apatow Comedy-drama The King of Staten Island. In a feature with Rolling Stone, the My Cousin Vinny actress claimed she never received payment for her role as Margie Carlin and even phoned the film’s lead Pete Davidson to question this, saying, “I actually just was talking to Pete today, because I was like, ‘I never got paid for that. Did you? In this age of transparency, can we talk?”

The King of Staten Island, released in 2020 is a semi-autobiographical film based on the life of co-writer and lead star Pete Davidson. Davidson wrote the film alongside David Sirus and Judd Apatow. The latter also directed. Marisa Tomei’s character is based in part on Pete Davidson’s real-life mother. The film serves as a somewhat coming-of-age dramedy and critics have praised Davidson’s lead performance. And on the whole, the consensus shows that this is a strong piece of work amongst Marisa Tomei’s career. However, accusations of no pay are a very serious issue indeed. 

In another report on Marisa Tomei’s claims of no pay, Page Six have unearthed quotes from an unnamed source in Pete Davidson’s circles that states that the actress was paid upfront. The spokesperson had this to say: “Marisa Tomei was 100 percent paid for the movie. In fact, she was paid upfront, over a million dollars,” a source familiar with the situation told Page Six. “She’s clearly confused.”

Clearly, there is a grey area here, with one named party, the supposed victim of no pay, claiming they were shortchanged versus an unnamed source claiming the opposite. It will be intriguing to see if the likes of Universal, who produced the picture will come out and comment on the situation. If in fact Marisa Tomei’s claims prove to be true, then a massive injustice has been carried out, since the film is nigh two years old. Despite all of this, in the original story covered by Rolling Stone, Tomei went on to describe how much she enjoyed working on The King of Staten Island. Here is what Tomei had to say about working with the cast and crew, “But despite that, I had a rollicking good time. Judd’s approach to improv – which is extensive – I was intimidated. I’m with all these stand-up [comics]. It was so freeing. Really changed how I approach each character going forward.”

It would appear that despite a payment error, there is no bad blood between Marisa Tomei, Apatow, or even Pete Davidson himself. The latter is never far from a news story and the media’s constant obsession to uncover his success in dating some of the leading ladies of showbiz. On Pete Davidson’s apparent sex appeal, Tomei had this to say: “He’s just so f**king real, and he’s unfiltered but very sensitive. So he’s almost an irresistible combination… And he’s good-looking, even though I played … let’s just put the mom thing aside. Let’s, like, never mention that again.”

Her point may have trailed off into the awkward at the end there, but Marisa Tomei appears to agree with the general Hollywood consensus, Pete Davidson is a catch and a talented artist too lest we all forget. Outside of payment scandals, Marisa Tomei also recently revealed that she campaigned for her iteration of Aunt May to come out as bisexual, a campaign that she never won.

This undoubtedly would have been a refreshing take on the character and a boost for representation amongst mainstream Hollywood cinema, so maybe a wasted opportunity? It speaks volumes of Marisa Tomei as an artist that she is both willing and honest to share her concerns with co-stars on payment and is open to exploring her roles in new and invigorating ways.


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