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Actor who played little boy in Titanic movie is still getting paid 25 years later

Joe Harker

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Actor who played little boy in Titanic movie is still getting paid 25 years later

Featured Image Credit: Paramount/Facebook

It turns out landing even a small role in a big movie can keep the money coming in for years afterwards, as one of the actors from Titanic has revealed.

Reece Thompson was just five years old when he was given the choice between appearing in an advert for a petrol station or taking a small role in a big budget movie.

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While doing the petrol ad would have been the safer bet as far as money is concerned, he explained to Business Insider that his mum thought it'd be 'cool' for him to be in a big film.

She reckoned even if the movie turned out to be a bit rubbish, at least they could still watch it.

When he was cast, it turned out his part would have a few lines but his character was so minor he was just called 'little Irish boy', and the movie he was going to be in was something about a boat called Titanic.

Reece Thompson played a young child on board the Titanic who ultimately doesn't make survive the ship sinking. Credit: 20th Century Fox
Reece Thompson played a young child on board the Titanic who ultimately doesn't make survive the ship sinking. Credit: 20th Century Fox

Obviously, we all know how successful that film turned out to be, with Titanic going on to be one of the most successful movies ever made, and it's still putting money in Reece's pocket to this day.

With three scenes and just one line, he didn't make that much money from playing his small role in the film as an adorable young child we see trying to get onto a lifeboat before huddling in his cabin with his mother and sister waiting for the ship to sink.

However, every year he still gets a bit of money coming in from residual cheques based off the movies earnings, though the Titanic gravy train isn't exactly bringing in the big bucks.

He said: "It's weird because it's not present in my mind anymore.

"It's not like, 'Oh, when am I going to get a new Titanic check?' When it happens, it's like, 'Oh, cool, an extra $100.'"

"There have been a couple of times where it's been like: 'Oh, wow, that's a $250 check. This movie's 12 years old. That's pretty bizarre.' But hopefully, they keep playing it a lot, because that means more money for me."

Over the years he's earned about $30,000 (£24,000) from being on Titanic, though it's not exactly a huge amount to live on and definitely not enough to sustain a lifestyle by itself.

Initially in the 'low thousands' in the aftermath of Titanic's release, these days the residual cheques usually bring Reece in a couple of hundred bucks a year.

These days Reece Thompson is a marketing director at a snowboarding resort. Credit: Facebook
These days Reece Thompson is a marketing director at a snowboarding resort. Credit: Facebook

2023 might be a more plentiful time for the 30-year-old as Titanic is being re-released in cinemas next month, though he didn't see much of a bump when the film was re-released in 2012.

He explained that in the years immediately after the movie's release, the residual cheques were larger as there was more buzz around Titanic, and the money he receives goes up whenever it spikes in popularity, like when it was released on VHS and DVD.

Since sitting around collecting residual cash from an old movie doesn't really pay the bills, Reece spends his time working as a marketing director for a skiing and snowboarding resort in Utah.

He doesn't really remember too much of his time on the set of Titanic, though he did recall struggling with his character's Irish accent.

Reece gets residuals from the movie as he has an actual credited role in the film, even if his character has no name.

Extras don't receive residuals for their parts in a movie, but some actors can rake in a fortune for their roles in films which are so popular they just keep getting shown.

I wonder what Reece thinks about that age-old debate about whether Jack could have fit on the door with Rose, or if like director James Cameron, he doesn't really care because it's not about whether he could have fit, it's about the drama.

Topics: TV And Film, Money

Joe Harker
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