The main actor of "The Gods Must Be Crazy" was only paid $300, even though the film made over $60 million.
Hoax or Fact:
According to a message that often appears online, the main actor of popular 1980 movie "The Gods Must Be Crazy" was only paid $300, even though the film made over $60 million. Yes, it is a fact, the film surprisingly became the top-grossing foreign film in that year and the actor N!xau Toma won international stardom for the same.
Born in Tsumkwe region of Namibia, N!xau Toma was a bush farmer who shot to worldwide fame after he appeared in the lead role of the 1980 comedy film The Gods Must Be Crazy. N!xau portrayed an earnest Bushman with a sheepish smile who discovers a Coca-Cola bottle thrown out of an airplane, and seeing it as an alien thing, he sets off into a comedy of errors. The film in fact made over $60 million, but the lead actor N!xau Toma was only paid $300. According to Jamie Uys, the South African director of the film who discovered the actor, N!xau at first did not know the value of paper money, and he let his first $300 wages blow away.
N!xau Toma, a Namibian bush farmer, was the member of the San, who are one of the indigenous groups of people of South Africa and Namibia. Prior to being cast in the film The Gods Must Be Crazy, N!xau had only had minimal exposure to modern life and did not see the value of money. However, by the time of sequel film The Gods Must Be Crazy II (1989) he had learned the value of money, and demanded several hundred thousand dollars before agreeing to be recast in the film. He insisted that the money was needed to build a cinder-block house with electricity and a water pump for his family comprising of three wives and their children.
After his film career faded, in 2000, the Namibian newspaper reported that N!xau returned to Namibia living in a newly built brick house where he tended his cattle and became a farmer raising maize, pumpkins and beans. The entertaining actor N!xau Toma was found dead in late June 2003 near his home in Namibia after he reportedly went out to collect wood. He was believed to be 59 years old, and the exact cause of his death was unknown. He had suffered from tuberculosis in the past.