Warwick Davis, who played the heroic Wicket the Ewok in 1983’s third Star Wars outing Return of the Jedi, has revealed how much he was paid to play the role that put him on the geek map.
So how much was it?
Davis told the Sunday Telegraph that he was paid £60 a day to be in the George Lucas film. (Mind you, this was back in 1983, which could be roughly between £170.00 to £240.00 in today’s money—or about $280.00 to $395.00 in good ol’ Uncle Sam funds.)
The Life’s Too Short actor insists, however, that he’s grateful for what was his first paid job, and one that arguably gave him a bucketload of geek cred—he went on to star in dozens of genre movies and TV series, ranging from Labyrinth to Willow to the Harry Potter movies and, most recently, to the Neil Gaiman-penned Doctor Who story “Nightmare in Silver”—and that he would even have done it for free.
“I was paid £60 a day for being able to live out my dream. My mum and dad were my agents and we were dealing with Lucasfilm, a very respectable company, so if there was any negotiating to be done, I was looked after properly.
“Looking back, £60 was an absolute fortune, but it wasn’t as important as the thrill of meeting Luke Skywalker. Money didn’t even enter my head, as I’d have done it without being paid.”
Davis also spoke about his short stature, saying:
“It’s the sole reason that I do what I do because it gave me my big break when I was 11, when my grandmother heard a radio commercial appealing for short people to audition for Return of the Jedi.
“I played an Ewok in two other projects after Star Wars, then a goblin in Labyrinth. It’s been very important and being short is still my USP, but I hope it’s become a bit more than that. When I drop, it would be lovely if people know me as an actor who just happened to be short. But if I had my life again, I’d still choose to be short.”
Are you at all surprised by how much Warwick Davis was paid for his role in Star Wars?