Voight got peanuts for Midnight Cow­boy

Winnipeg Free Press - Section D - - ARTS & LIFE -

NEW YORK — It was Jon Voight’s por­trayal of male pros­ti­tute Joe Buck in the 1969 film Midnight Cow­boy that put him on his path to be­com­ing an act­ing le­gend. Now he says he was paid a pit­tance for the part.

Voight says that he wanted the role so badly he told his agent, “I said, ‘Tell them I’ll do this part for noth­ing.’” The ac­tor says to his sur­prise, “they took me at my word and they gave me min­i­mum for Midnight Cow­boy.”

The Os­car- and Emmy-win­ning ac­tor says the stu­dio United Artists “even sent me a $14.73 cof­fee shop charge,” for meals his last day of shoot­ing for the film in Texas. Voight also says he per­suaded co-star Dustin Hoff­man to try out for the role of En­rico “Ratso” Rizzo af­ter the two be­came friends do­ing an off-Broad­way show and that they au­di­tioned for the movie to­gether.

Look­ing back, Voight says, “It was the worst.” But Voight says he had no re­grets. “I knew what it meant. It was go­ing to give me a ca­reer and I was right.”

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