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The perks of being a movie star

The perks of being a movie star — We break down what’s included on a contract for Kevin Costner, Tom Cruise, and others

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What do you give a Schwarzenegger or a Cruise when even $15 million per movie leaves them panting for more, more, more? Here are the ego-stroking intangibles and noncash goodies that stars demand (and get) these days:

Incredible credits. Handing actors titles such as ”co-producer” is an age-old Hollywood trick. Certain stars — Kevin Costner, Clint Eastwood, Jodie Foster — may claim such credits legitimately, but be skeptical of some others. Jean-Claude Van Damme got less than $4 million for 1991’s Hard Target. He got perks instead. His father was associate producer; his girlfriend (now wife) Darcy LaPier was paid as his personal trainer plus a per diem. It all adds up.

Toys. The most gargantuan perquisite ever was the $14 million Gulfstream jet that Carolco reportedly gave Arnold Schwarzenegger for starring in Terminator 2. (Arnold says he paid for it.) Last year seemed to bring a backlash against glitz — witness the scorching negative PR Paramount faced for delivering $100,000 Mercedes Benz 500 SL convertibles as gifts to Tom Cruise and other makers of The Firm, which, remember, is a movie about conspicuous consumption and unbridled ambition.

Creature comforts. Contracts, more perk-packed than ever, typically include guarantees of first-class airfare for star and spouse, and sometimes cook and nanny, too. Stars such as Tom Cruise have been known to get chartered jets for use during promotional tours. Want a luxury car, a driver, and exercise equipment on set? Put it in writing. Susan Sarandon and Tim Robbins, Meg Ryan, and other stars with small children request an additional trailer for kids and sitters. Some of Jack Nicholson’s producers are happy to indulge his taste for basketball. His shooting schedule works around the L.A. Lakers’.