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10 Actors Paid Next To Nothing For Major Roles

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Actors who received small paychecks for massive movies

La La Land did two things for the film industry in Hollywood. First, it reminded us that the Academy Awards is an imperfect mechanism relying on a few people to make it go perfectly. The second point, the one that we’re talking about today, is that there are struggling actors out there just looking for an opportunity. Heck, Jamie Lee Curtis was only paid 6,000 dollars for her role in the first Halloween. Think how big that movie ended up being in the end. She was drastically underpaid in hindsight.

This video is a lot about hindsight. Some of these actors took the pay they did because they wanted the opportunity. For instance, you’ll be shocked to see how much Jonah Hill made from Wolf of Wall Street or what John Candy accepted for his cameo in Home Alone. These are life-changing movies that every one of these celebrities was underpaid for in different ways.

To give you a better idea of the range you’ll see in this video, let me clarify this with some concrete examples. There are emergence stories with Robert Downey Jr., Mel Gibson, and Brad Pitt. Some actors settle for lower pay to work in big movies like Jon Voight and Oprah Winfrey. Then there are the low paying gigs that ended up launching the actors into stardom--quickly. I’m talking about celebrities like Jennifer Lawrence and Harrison Ford.

Again, some of these gigs paid more than most of us make in a year, but it’s still shocking to see it in relation to the film’s success. Once you click play, you’ll see.

0:00 Intro
0:29 Jamie Lee Curtis
1:25 Jonah Hill
2:21 Mel Gibson
3:14 John Candy
4:11 Robert Downey Jr.
5:07 Brad Pitt
5:55 Harrison Ford
6:52 Jon Voight
7:49 Oprah Winfrey
8:44 Jennifer Lawrence

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Written by: Davis McCondichie
Narrated by: CJ
Edited by: JayDee N

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