Freddie Prinze Jr. said he felt “very angry” when Warner Bros. asked him to take a pay cut for 2004’s “Scooby-Doo 2: Monsters Unleashed” in order for his co-workers to get a raise.
Prinze Jr. starred in two “Scooby-Doo” live-action films in the early 2000s alongside his wife, Sarah Michelle Gellar, Linda Cardellini, and Matthew Lillard.
In a new interview with Esquire, Prinze Jr. shared his frustrations about shooting the movie, including his demand for a pay cut.
The actor told Esquire that after the success of the first movie, which was released in 2002, he was asked to take a pay cut because the rest of the cast wanted a raise for the second movie.
He said, “I remember thinking, ‘Hold up, who’s giving them the raise?'” Me or all of you? Like, we made you guys three-quarters of a billion dollars, can’t you pay them what I’m making of this? Petty it.”
According to Prinze Jr., the studio allegedly released his paycheck to a magazine to convince him to cut his salary. He said this made him want to leave the franchise after the second film.
“I was very angry,” he said.
Prinze Jr. told Esquire that he later began to appreciate the “Scooby-Doo” franchise when he saw fan appreciation for the films on social media.
“All these people who grew up loving those movies are starting to connect,” he said. “Then I got what felt like a more nuanced perspective of what this movie meant to people because I wasn’t watching it through studio lenses anymore.”
Prinze Jr. stated that his other frustration with the first “Scooby-Doo” movie was that the final product was not the script he signed up for.
While the actor didn’t go into detail about the changes that were made, the writer behind the two films, James Gunn, said last year that he had made plans to make the film “openly gay” in his script, but that Warner Bros. downplayed its strangeness.
“In 2001, Velma was visibly gay in my initial script,” Gunn wrote last year in a since-deleted tweet. “But the studio kept loosening and toning it down, becoming fuzzy (the shot version), then nothing (the released version), and finally having a boyfriend (the sequel).”