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Donald Sutherland's One Regret About 'Animal House'

Donald Sutherland has one of the most diverse film careers you can imagine, having appeared in the movie version of "M*A*S*H*" (1970), the political thriller "JFK" (1991) and "The Hunger Games" sci-fi franchise (2012-2015). He also made a lasting mark on cannabis culture by playing the pot-loving Professor Dave Jennings in "National Lampoon's Animal House" (1978).

Sutherland - who turns 81 today - was an unlikely choice for the instructor who taught undergrads about John Milton's Paradise Lost in the lecture hall, and how to smoke a joint in office hours. He probably had the least pot knowledge of anyone on set - many of whom were having a few tokes during production.

"I didn't even know what smoking dope was," Sutherland told The Guardian in 2005. "I literally didn't know what the smell was. I thought it was smoke-effects stuff for the movie!"

But he pulled off a convincing performance, and the movie became a huge success - to Sutherland's dismay. The Canadian actor didn't think much of the stoner comedy when he signed on. In fact, he was so convinced that the movie would be a flop that he turned down a deal that would have given him 2 percent of the film's gross. Instead, he fought for - and got - a $35,000 pay check.

That's not bad for two days of work. But it's nothing compared to what he could've reaped when the film made over $100-million at the box office. So how much would he have made? Don't ask him.

"I don't want to know," Sutherland said on Sirius XM's Opie and Anthony show in 2012.

Well, we know one surefire way to take your mind off of things...

Banner image: Denis Makarenko /

h/t Business Insider, The Guardian.


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