Astute filmgoers might recognize Crystal the monkey. She played the dope-dealing primate in The Hangover II, and bounced on the shoulder of Blink 182’s Tom DeLonge in American Pie. She also starred in Night at the Museum, Community, We Bought a Zoo and a bunch of TV shows.
Here’s the thing about Crystal. In 2012 she earned $108,000 for appearing in nine episodes of NBC's Animal Practice, The Hollywood Reporter claims in a recent study. Which, according to SAG-AFRTA, is twice as much as the average actor, who earns $52,000. It’s also more than the average cinematographer earns (roughly $2,000 a week on low-budget indie projects).
Safe to say Crystal is not your average animal actor. The Hollywood Reporter claims that the day rate for a dog or cat in Hollywood is $400, with most earning $5,000 to $10,000 a year, which doesn’t sound like much until you realize that an extra – a human extra – earns roughly $148 a day.
Described by her Animal Practice co-star as "the most famous monkey in Hollywood", Crystal the monkey has become a brand like any other superstar. And it's a little disconcerting to see, isn't it? I mean, she's a monkey. Shouldn't she be hanging out doing monkey things like swinging from trees and throwing her faeces at tourists, rather than donning purple bikinis and posing for photographers? Crystal's trainer – presumably the one who's raking in the bucks – clearly needs to reset her moral compass, me thinks.
Source: The Hollywood Reporter