How the stars divvied up the treasure
Matthew McConaughey and Penelope Cruz were romantically linked on the set of "Sahara," but their pay was anything but close. Here are how they and costar Steve Zahn joined the cast, as well as how much they made and their "star perks."
Although studio executives pursued Tom Cruise, Hugh Jackman, Christian Bale and other A-listers to play Dirk Pitt, Matthew McConaughey lobbied "Sahara" novelist Clive Cussler and pestered producers for the part.
"I always said I was looking for a character that could wrestle with crocodiles in the morning and dance with the queen at the ball that night," McConaughey, 37, said on a "Sahara" DVD commentary. "That kind of renaissance man [is] Dirk Pitt."
McConaughey's persistence paid off. He received an $8-million actor's fee and $833,923 in what the budget called "star perks." His company was paid $250,000 for his role as an executive producer. And his contract provided potential box-office bonuses and royalties from merchandising, video game and soundtrack revenues.
All for about 90 days of filming in Morocco, England and Spain.
Salary: $8 million Perks: $833,923