Breaking Bad's RJ Mitte: "I'm not a big fan of money"
RJ Mitte, the actor who played Walter 'Flynn' White Jr in Breaking Bad, says he is "pretty good at attracting money" but says actors who go into the industry for money are in the wrong profession.
Mitte, who is on a mission to try to change how people see disability, spends 25% of his time helping charities to raise awareness while at the same time accepting every job he can get his hands on.
Here, he discusses the impact of his attitude to money on his career:
How did your childhood affect how you behave with money?
I grew up travelling seeing the best of both sides of this world. My grandfather was a very astute and strong businessman. I learnt that you have to face your challenges and face your fears. If you allow fear to engulf who you are, you lose who you are.
How important is it to have money?
In this world, money is important - you need money to do anything. If you don't have money, you're not going to have a very long existence! You do what you have to do to survive. I'm lucky that I can make money from what I do - I guess I'm pretty good at attracting money - but at the same time I try to repel it as much as possible. I'm not a big fan of money. I don't like it. As long as I have my cable and my little sister has her Netflix and her internet, and the power's on, and we're not being evicted, I'm more than happy. I don't need to know.
So you're not a big consumer?
No, I'm not. Put me in first class or put me in coach, either way I'll be happy.
What are your financial priorities for the future?
I have no clue. I can't tell you. I can only hope that I can continue to save and continue to be frugal. Of course, I have ideas and plans for my future but those plans and ideas change. Things don't always work out the way you want them to - especially when it comes to financial security.
What's your most valued possession?
I have to have a car. If you don't have a car in Los Angeles, you're not going to get around, but I'm really good with cars. What I pay for a car is nowhere near what someone else pays for that car.
Are you quite savvy?
Yes and no. I just know what I should be paying and what I'm going to pay. But I do work a lot more than most.
Is it hard to plan ahead when you're an actor?
Yes. You can't know. My business is here today, gone today. If my fans started revolting against me, I'm not going to get much work am I?
Do you support any charities?
Yes. For every four meetings I have, at least one is for a charity or an organisation that is doing something with a charity. In the UK, I support Scope - I'm in a position to change a mindset. I think it's important to change how people see disability and how they see themselves. By supporting a charity, I can get people involved, show people the light. That's what's important to me. When you have a disability, you may be able to utilise that disability. So many people put their negativities on you. They look at a disabled person and they think: I couldn't do that, so they can't do that. But that's not true.
Can you pick and choose what you want to work on now?
If I was just strictly working in acting, no, I wouldn't be able to. In a sense, I'm running around accepting every [acting] job I can get my hands on. But I am doing that cautiously. I shot two movies last year, Who's Driving Doug and Dixieland, that I picked [to work on], but these films weren't about money - you're not going to get rich off of doing them. A lot of actors pretend that they have all this money and power. Actors are really good at pretending. If you go into acting looking for money, trying to start up and become a millionaire overnight, you're in the wrong profession. You will not be able to do that in this industry, but what you will be able to do is create amazing products that you hope people will see, and enjoy and love.
RJ Mitte is a supporter of the disability charity Scope, which campaigns to make this country a place where disabled people have the same opportunities as everyone else. To donate, visit scope.org.uk/donate.
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