We all have this idea that actors always make lots of money, no matter which role they play. But even the well-known actors sometimes take a role for almost no money, purely because they like the script of the movie or want the opportunity to do something else in their career.
Let’s take a look at some actors that were paid almost nothing for some of their iconic roles.
Brad Pitt – Thelma & Louise
Paying only $6,000 to have Brad Pitt star in your movie sounds impossible now, but it was very much a reality in 1991’s Thelma & Louise.
Harrison Ford – Star Wars
Back before George Lucas decided that Star Wars should be renamed Star Wars Episode IV: A New Hope, Harrison Ford wasn’t universally known as Indiana Jones and Han Solo. As a result, Harrison was only paid $10,000. Considering how he got paid $25 million to star in Episode VII, one can hardly say he didn’t earn his paycheck on the Star Wars franchise.
Hilary Swank – Boys Don’t Cry
Despite winning an Oscar for this iconic role, Swank was only paid $3,000 for her role in this movie. She didn’t even get paid enough to get medical insurance.
Jonah Hill – The Wolf of Wall Street
Jonah only received $60,000 for his role in this 2013 movie. Considering that Leonardo DiCaprio got $25 million, that’s practically hiring Jonah for free.
Jennifer Lawrence – Winter’s Bone
In this 2010 drama, Jennifer Lawrence only received $3,000 for her part in the movie. It was one of her first big roles and it immediately got her an Oscar nomination, jumpstarting her career.
Ryan Gosling – Half Nelson
After getting bombarded to stardom by playing in The Notebook, Ryan starred in a low budget drama called Half Nelson. And apparently it was very low budget, because they could only afford to pay him $1,000 per week.
Jim Carrey – Yes Man
In true fashion of his character in the 2008 movie, Jim said “yes” to a very weird proposal. He got paid nothing up front for his role in Yes Man, but did get a significant percentage of the box office revenue. His bank account must have been happy because that deal turned his $0 into $35 million.