These Amazing Hollywood Actors got Paid Peanuts for Their Best Roles Yet
The salaries that Hollywood actors take home are usually lucrative and are estimated in multiple millions of dollars for just one movie. But at times, stars work for peanuts if the script is interesting or they need to gain experience with an eminent director, or their career is just taking off and they accept un-favourable conditions. Here are some actors whose salaries for great roles will shock you:
Jonah Hill in The Wolf of Wall Street
In 2013, Martin Scorsese offered Hill, a comedian, a role in The Wolf of Wall Street, for only $60,000 though he was famous and earning millions. But Jonah Hill signed the contract the same day and his role fetched him a second Oscar nomination.
Tom Cruise in Magnolia
$100,000 is an unimpressive amount for an actor receiving millions of dollars for films like Interview With the Vampire: The Vampire Chronicles (1994), Mission: Impossible and Jerry Maguire (in 1996). Tom Cruise was impressed by the Magnolia (1999) script and accepted director Anderson’s offer, securing a Golden Globe for his role, along with rave critical reviews.
Brad Pitt in Thelma & Louise
Thelma and Louise (1991) directed by Ridley Scott was Brad Pitt’s first dazzling success in Hollywood, though he received only $6,000. With success, Pitt’s pay for his role in Ocean’s Eleven (2001) was $30 million.
Ryan Gosling in Half Nelson
After The Notebook’s (2004) success, Gosling made much money, but starred in low-budget movie, Half Nelson (2006) for $1,000 a week. His role as a teacher, however, got him his first Oscar nomination.
Hilary Swank in Boys Don’t Cry
The producers of the hit Boys Don’t Cry (1999) valued Hilary’s thought-provoking acting at just $3,000. But the brilliantly performed role secured the actress an Oscar, and for her next feature film, The Affair of the Necklace (2001), she got $3 million.
Dustin Hoffman in The Graduate
The Graduate (1967) is among the most commercially successful movies, but Dustin Hoffman’s pay was $17,000, barely adequate to pay off his debt. But the seductive Mrs. Robinson story boosted Hoffman’s career, and for Papillon (1973), the actor received $1.25 million.
Jennifer Lawrence in Winter’s Bone
For her 2010 role in the drama Winter’s Bone, actress Jennifer Lawrence secured only $3,000, but her acting was appreciated by critics, receiving an Oscar nomination. Her career zoomed with every role, earning lots and in Passengers (2016), Lawrence secured $20 million.
Harrison Ford in Star Wars: Episode IV – A New Hope
Harrison Ford almost rejected playing Han Solo as a week’s work in the first Star Wars (1977), earned only $1,000. He accepted the part, earning $10,000. But Ford’s earnings grew over the years, receiving $500,000 in Star Wars: Episode VI – Return of the Jedi (1983), and in Star Wars: Episode VII – The Force Awakens (2015), he got $25 million.
Jim Carrey in Yes Man
Jim surprised colleagues by starring in the comedy Yes Man (2008) without pay, seeking 36.7% of the box office revenue. The comedy was successful and earned Carrey $35 million. So Carrey was lucky in confirming a dubious proposal.
Bill Murray in Rushmore
Bill Murray was keen to star in Rushmore (1998) directed by Wes Anderson, for $9,000. Murray was already a successful actor then, having earned $10 million in Groundhog Day (1993). Murray even wrote Anderson a check for $25,000 when the studio avoided hiring a helicopter required for filming.
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