He may have the power to seduce and charm, but before Dracula got his dues, he had to complete the task at hand. At least that’s what Irish actor Jonathan Rhys Meyers discovered when he took on the title role on the new NBC drama. A new report from The Hollywood Reporter claims the 36-year-old, who was NBC Entertainment chairman Bob Greenblatt’s first choice, was required to finish filming the show’s first 10 episodes before receiving his lump salary.
Meyers, who has long struggled with substance abuse issues, including several rehab stints, was reportedly considered a possible liability to the network, based on his history of alcohol-related incidents during the production of Showtime hit The Tudors.
Sources tell The Hollywood Reporter that NBC withheld a “substantial” part of Meyers’ salary, which is estimated to be $100,000 per episode. He reportedly received “per diem payments and other small dispensations, but the lump sum of his salary was contingent on him completing the season.” (NBC had no comment on the story.)
The Hollywood Reporter claims the star had a meltdown while filming Dracula and briefly returned to London for hospitalization. A sober companion accompanied the actor on set, and after he completed the 10 episodes, he quickly returned to rehab.
A source tells Us Weekly that Meyers is “healthy and in a good very place” now and completed all 10 episodes on time.
This isn’t the first time the network has withheld compensation. After Alec Baldwin publicly threatened to quit 30 Rock late into its run, NBC deployed a similar tactic.
Dracula premiered on Friday, Oct. 25 at 10 p.m. to solid ratings, but has since dipped.