Hollywood.com asked Mad Money stars Katie Holmes, Queen Latifah, Diane Keaton, Ted Danson and director Callie Khouri about the paydays that changed their lives. The question threw the Queen at first: "I was counting money in my mind and you threw it off," she laughed.
"When I got Dawson's Creek, I was 18 and I had just graduated from high school and, in my eyes, I thought I was making a lot. I did what every other girl who was 18 and from where I was from did: I bought jeans and a great sweater that weren't on sale. I thought, 'Wow. I better not buy anything for a really long time. I don't want to let it go to my head.' So that was my big splurge, and I still have the sweater. I won't give it up."[PAGEBREAK]
"I don’t know that money really changed my life ... because I already had a very rich life. Money just enhanced all of that. I knew when I could buy a car with my own money that it was a big thing. I started paying my mom’s rent, come home and take care of stuff, or buy a round of drinks. I couldn’t really do that before … I was pretty young. When I was 21 I bought my mom our first house that we owned. That was pretty exciting. It was a beautiful contemporary and she still lives there. That was pretty exciting and nice to be able to do. Or buying a nice car ... but I had so many friends and family. Nobody ever tried to take advantage of me, everybody just comes out and starts hitting you up for money, nobody really did that to me in my family, too much. It didn’t ruin it all for me either--it took a minute for that to happen."[PAGEBREAK]
"I did The Godfather, and that wasn't a paycheck that you'd talk about and then I went through a very shallow time. It wasn't like suddenly, 'Now I'm in the movies!' and had all these jobs. I had no jobs. Zero jobs. Then I got this commercial for Hour After Hour deodorant. After The Godfather. I was struggling for money. I got that and I thought, 'Ugh.' That thing paid for my life for about three years, that commercial for deodorant--and do you know who went on to be the Hour After Hour girl after me? Susan Sarandon! So these jobs are vital for keeping your future potential alive, and so that was the greatest paycheck that I ever got. It just kept me in the business."[PAGEBREAK]
“When I sold Thelma and Louise, my first screenplay. For a number of years I had been in Hollywood, since 1982. I did this in '88, but in the time I had been out here I was waitressing, I started as a production assistant. I literally started as a receptionist at a production company, making $275 a week. Then I worked my way up to producing music videos--but still freelance music video producing is not the most lucrative job in the world. That is what I was doing when I wrote that script. Then when I sold that script all of a sudden it was like 'Oh, I can buy a house.' It was completely different. I went from not having to worry about making rent to actually being able to buy a home."[PAGEBREAK]
"My per diem checks--I was so upset when they started giving that in a check form, because it was the only time I got to handle cash. If you are making money you have a business manager and you don’t see that stuff. My per diem checks were real important to me. I haven’t seen a wad of cash before. I think even the prop money [in this film] was the most I’ve ever seen …I think they should pay actors after each take. 'That was good, man, that was good.' 'That wasn’t so good, I would like a little money back.'"