James Earl Jones was paid only $7K to voice Darth Vader in 'Star Wars: A New Hope'

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  • James Earl Jones voiced Darth Vader in the original "Star Wars" trilogy.

  • The actor said he was paid only $7,000 to voice the iconic villain.

  • "I thought that was good money," Jones said.

James Earl Jones discussed how he was cast in the first "Star Wars" film, including the $7,000 salary he was paid to voice the iconic villain, Darth Vader, in a resurfaced interview with the American Film Institute.

"George wanted, pardon the expression, a dark voice," Jones said of director George Lucas' plans for the 1977 film. "So he hires a guy born in Mississippi, raised in Michigan, who stutters. And that's the voice. That's me."

Discussing the fee he was paid for the role, Jones said: "I lucked out from all these so-called handicaps for a job that paid $7,000! And I thought that was good money. And I got to be a voice on a movie."

In that same AFI interview, Jones said that when he returned for "The Empire Strikes Back," the second "Star Wars" film released in 1980, he had planned to deliver a more nuanced vocal performance. Lucas, he said, disagreed and shut down his plans.

"He said, 'We don't know what we did right, so let's just try what we did.' Naturally, I wanted to make Darth Vader more interesting, more subtle, more psychologically oriented," Jones said.

"And he said, 'No, no. What we're finding out is you need to keep his voice on a very narrow band of inflection because he ain't human, really.'"

There's no word yet on if Jones will reprise his role in Disney+'s upcoming 'Obi-Wan Kenobi' series

Jones reprised his vocal role as Darth Vader in the acclaimed 2016 film "Star Wars: Rogue One." It has yet to be announced whether Jones will once again feature as the villain in the upcoming TV series "Obi-Wan Kenobi."

As Insider previously reported, Ewan McGregor reprises his role as Obi-Wan in the Disney+ series, out May 27, that follows the events of the "Star Wars" prequel trilogy, the last of which "Revenge of the Sith" came out almost 20 years ago. The series shows McGregor's Obi-Wan facing off against iconic "Star Wars" villains such as Stormtroopers and Darth Vader for the first time.

During an interview with Total Film, McGregor said that filming scenes with Darth Vader "scared the shit" out of him.

"I've never met Darth Vader," McGregor said. "I had rehearsed the scene with Vader, but not with the helmet on or anything like that. When we came to do the scene, when they shouted 'action,' he had to come from behind me. I turned around, and fucking Darth Vader was coming at me. It was like I was six again."

Read the original article on Insider