Jack Nicholson Gave Half of His Earning From Back-End Deal to Diane Keaton Without Even Asking For a $266 Million Rom-Com Movie

Jack Nicholson surprised Diane Keaton when he split half of his back-end deal with her

Jack Nicholson and Daine Keaton


  • Diane Keaton talked about Hollywood's prominent issue of difference in the pay gap after working in her film, Something's Gotta Give.
  • Jack Nicholson surprised his co-star as he decided to split half of his money from his back-end deal.
  • Diane Keaton did not know what kind of person Jack Nicholson was.
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The gender pay gap in Hollywood is one of the most surprising yet unfortunate realities in Hollywood. Over the years, many actors and actresses like Jennifer Lawrence, Ronda Rousey, and many more are some big names that have spoken out about the gap in their pay in accordance with their male co-stars. Diane Keaton was also one of the big names, that talked about the issue when she was working with Jack Nicholson in their 2003 rom-com film. 

Diane Keaton's contract did not have a back-end deal
Diane Keaton and Jack Nicholson in Something’s Gotta Give. Credits: Columbia Pictures Industries, Inc.

Even though she was in the lead role in the film, her pay was substantially low in comparison to her co-star’s which had left her disappointed but not surprised. However, she was taken by surprise in the following years of the release of her film because she received a cheque with an enormous amount written on it.

Jack Nicholson Split Half of His Earnings with Diane Keaton From His Back-End Deal

Nancy Meyers‘ Something’s Gotta Give is one of the best rom-com films of all time, as it featured a star-studded cast featuring Diane Keaton, Jack Nicholson, Keanu Reeves, Amanda Peet, Jon Favreau, and many more. The film revolved around Keaton’s Erica Barry, a playwright and a single mother.

Diane Keaton talks about Hollywood's pay gap
Diane Keaton in Something’s Gotta Give. Credits: Columbia Pictures Industries, Inc.

However, Barry is taken aback when her daughter arrives at the family’s beach house with Nicholson’s Harry Sanborn. As the plot progresses, Barry and Sanborn start falling for each other.

In Keaton’s memoir titled Then Again via The Telegraphshe opened up about the difference in their pay and how she would earn immensely less than what the Easy Rider actor would be earning despite not being the main character of the film. To make matters worse for her, Nicholson had a back-end deal in his contract something Keaton did not have.

Nothing happened during and after the production of the film, and everyone bid goodbye to each other and went their own ways. The film did exceptionally well because as per The Numbers, the film grossed $266.6 million at the worldwide box office.

Diane Keaton was surprised when Nicholson split half of his back-end deal
A still from Something’ Gotta Give. Credits: Columbia Pictures Industries, Inc.

However, two years after the film’s production, the Academy Award-winning actress received a fat check in the mail with a lot of zeroes for back-end profits. She was flabbergasted because her contract in the film did not offer her back-end earnings; she decided to call her agent only to learn that her co-star had given half of his back-end earnings to narrow their pay gap.

At first, Keaton did not know what to expect because, on the sets of the film, they never spent much time together. Hence, she was surprised, when she learned about Jack Nicholson’s actions. Indeed, a classy move from The Shining actor. 

Diane Keaton Was Surprised by Jack Nicholson on the Set of Their Rom-Com Film

Even though the pay gap in Hollywood is still one of the most prominent issues, and stars have raised their voices on the issue, hearing such kind gestures is quite rare. Hence, the Book Club actress did not know what to expect from this gesture because they had never spent much together.

Jack Nicholson surprised Diane Keaton on the set of Something's Gotta Give
Jack Nicholson as Harry Sanborn. Credits: Columbia Pictures Industries, Inc.

During an issue of the Venice magazine in their 2003 December-January issue, she opened up about how she had rarely seen him and had no clue what he would be as a person. She said,

I mean, I hadn’t seen Jack, besides passing him, like, twice in 25 years. So I didn’t know what he would be like. Because in that span of time, you know, Jack became larger than legendary. He became a national treasure, which has not exactly happened to me. 

Nevertheless, Something’s Gotta Give became one of their films together because it features hilarious situations neatly intertwined by romance, making it one of the best rom-com films to be ever made.

Something’s Gotta Give can be streamed on Netflix.


Written by Tushar Auddy

Articles Published: 977

Tushar Auddy, Content Writer. He has been in the entertainment industry for 3 years and is always on the lookout for a captivating story. He is a student of Linguistics and is currently pursuing his Master's degree in the same field. He has a passion for literature that runs deep and loves nothing more than getting lost in a novel for hours on end. When he isn't reading, you'll find him capturing the beauty of language.