Typically we don’t get to hear about an actor making a small amount of money, which is still quite large to most of us, for a single movie. Decades ago it might have been feasible to hear about actors making thousands upon thousands of dollars for a role, even if they were big-name actors that had already established their popularity. But nowadays those same big-name actors don’t tend to do anything for less than millions, and while there is the occasional movie that might net an actor less than a million it’s rare and it definitely stands out as something that people didn’t expect since their salaries are known to be insanely high. One could go on and on all day about how lopsided it is that people who pretend to be someone else for a living make the kind of money they do since in reality, it is, but there are instances in which big actors didn’t make quite what you thought they would for some of the roles that helped to increase their popularity and were, in some cases, their big breakout roles.
Here are a few famous actors and what they made for various movies.
5. Jim Carrey made $450,000 for The Mask.
Jim Carrey had already made a huge impression with Ace Ventura at this point, but The Mask was even bigger and the budget was insane compared to his first big movie. That’s why it’s so surprising to learn that he didn’t make an obscene amount of money upfront for this movie considering that he was the main character and he had the most screen time of anyone. But if anyone was keeping track, Carrey wouldn’t really pull away from his raucous and kind of raunchy behavior for a while, at least not until he started taking on more dramatic roles that forced him out of his comfort zone.
4. Chris Evans made $300,000 for Captain America: The First Avenger.
It could be argued that Evans wasn’t really at the same caliber as Robert Downey Jr. just yet, even with the fact that he’d taken on the role of Johnny Storm in two Fantastic Four movies. But given that the MCU was still in the early stages and was hoping and praying that their stories would work their magic, it’s not hard to believe that he made so little for this movie. He would eventually go on to make even more in other movies, but it’s fair to say that he never really reached the same level as RDJ since Iron Man was first and, more often than not, one of the highest-paid individuals in the franchise.
3. Gal Gadot made $300,000 for Wonder Woman.
This might come as a real shock since Gadot plays the titular character and one would think that she would have been offered a king’s ransom in order to play this role. But if anyone is really thinking about it, Gal was an actress before this, but she was also still somewhat unknown and not quite as famous as she could be. Once she played the role and nailed it though one can only imagine how her net worth climbed and climbed. At this point, it’s fair to say that she’s one of the higher paid members of the DC universe, though it’s likely that a couple of people might outrank her.
2. Jonah Hill made $60,000 for The Wolf of Wall Street.
This is really surprising since this movie didn’t come out that long ago and was one of the more talked about cinematic events during its time. The story goes that Jonah wanted to be a part of this movie so badly that he was willing to take anything he was offered, within reason of course, and this was the number that he agreed to. Whether you like Jonah Hill or not, some of us don’t since we think he’s a bit of a male diva, he’s still the kind of actor that has made things happen and has somehow become one of the more popular faces in the world when it comes to acting and, yes, comedy.
1. Clint Eastwood made $15,000 for A Fistful of Dollars.
This can probably be understood largely because it was the time period, Clint Eastwood was still getting his name out there, and despite being known to people this amount of money wasn’t huge back then, but it was substantial. Plus, this was one of the movies that helped to continue his career in a big way as his status as an on-screen cowboy only continued to rise as people stated more and more that he was one of the only one of his kind left. It’s easy to understand why people say that when the day comes that he passes that it will be the end of an era.
There was a time in every actor’s life when they didn’t hit the million-dollar mark.