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7 Actors That Got Paid Almost Nothing For Their Iconic Roles



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.