Back when Star Wars was being made, it was not expected to be quite such a huge hit. Of course, this also meant that many of the actors involved did not exactly know a lot about things like merchandising and residuals. Recently, Carrie Fisher sat down with Ramin Setoodeh of The Daily Beast to discuss the fact that she has seen almost nothing from Star Wars.
She said to Setoodeh “When I was 19, I was cast as Princess Leia in Star Wars. The mistake was I signed away my likeness for free. In those days, there was no such thing as a “likeness,” which is a funny thing to say coming from the family that I came from. There was no merchandising tied to movies. No one could have known the extent of the franchise.”
She also talked about how unsettling and upsetting that it can be to have people buy things like socks and sticks that people put into cup cakes. She does see the light side of it though saying “Yet funny. For example, I found out recently that I am a type of marijuana. A friend of my daughter’s actually went to one of those medical places, and she told me there was a type of marijuana named Princess Leia. I never liked marijuana, so the fact that I’m a type of marijuana is ironic.”
And finally, she talked about how she had expected the then 33 year old Harrison Ford to have made some kind of argument with regards to residuals, but also finally noted that “Every so often, I wonder if Natalie Portman is getting more money than the none I’m getting. If she’s holding a check for Princess Amidala’s likeness in one hand and her Oscar in the other, that would piss me off.”
Given that, by the prequel movies, residuals were quite normal in contracts, it is likely that Portman has made a lot of money off of Star Wars.