12 Multi-Million Dollar Movies That Famous Actors Had To Work for Pennies

A frequent complaint among audiences is the outrageously high salary that actors receive per movie. To be fair, when a film grosses hundreds of millions of dollars, it makes sense that its stars—who are usually the primary driving force behind a film's marketability—should receive a sizable portion of those revenues.
However, even in mainstream Hollywood fare, actors are sometimes underpaid for their job. Sometimes it's wholly by choice. In certain cases, an actor accepts a job in a small project because they are impressed by the subject. Other times, he/she just isn't famous enough to request a greater salary and is forced to work for peanuts in exchange for a future breakthrough role. These movies worth millions of dollars
These roles are included because the salary was low compared to the project or the actor's co-stars. This list includes salary packages that are clearly insufficient for the length of time the actor spent making the movies worth millions of dollars.

#1 Chris Evans — Captain America: The First Avenger

Source: © Captain America: The First Avenger / Marvel Studios

Poor salaries in superhero films are not rare. Chris Evans earned the same amount of money as Gal Gadot for the starring role in Captain America: The First Avenger. It is thought that in such projects, the brand is more significant than the face of any actor. However, after the film's popularity, the actor's income began to rise. Evans, for example, earned $15 million for the same role in Avengers: Endgame.

#2 Daisy Ridley — Star Wars: Episode VII — The Force Awakens

Source: © Star Wars: Episode VII - The Force Awakens / Lucasfilm

Daisy Ridley, who played one of the key characters in Star Wars: Episode VII — The Force Awakens, also did not make much money. She had made appearances in a horror film, Scrawl, as well as other shorts, before working on The Force Awakens. We don't know how much she received for Star Wars, but it's most likely from $100,000 to $300,000.

#3 Ethan Hawke — The Purge

Source: © The Purge / Universal Studios

In 2013, the star agreed to act in The Purge, a low-budget horror thriller, almost for free. “No trailer, no driver. Just a great role and director,”  he recalls. The film grossed far more than it cost to produce, so the actor received his share in the end.

#4 Gal Gadot — Wonder Woman

Source: © Wonder Woman / Warner Bros.

Gal Gadot is best known as Wonder Woman. Though the film grossed over $800 million worldwide, Gadot only received $300,000 for the role.

#5 Jennifer Aniston — Friends (season 1)

Source: © WARNER BROS TV / Album/East News

Jennifer Aniston has always been on the list of the highest-paid actresses. She was even listed in the Guinness Book of World Records for the $1 million she got for the Friends final episode. However, during the first season's filming, she only received $22,500 for each episode.

#6 Jennifer Lopez — Hustlers

Source: © IMP FEATURES/East News

 Jennifer Lopez received nothing for the role she portrayed as a well-known actress and singer in the film Hustlers for free. Lopez was also the film's producer since she was so taken with the story. She also wanted to convey that women could create excellent films, so she assembled a mostly female crew.

#7 Jim Carrey — Ace Ventura: Pet Detective

Source: © Warner Bros / Courtesy Everett Collection / East News

Jim Carrey made very little money at the start of his career. For example, he only received $350,000 for Ace Ventura: Pet Detective. However, the film was a huge success at the box office, and Carrey rose to stardom as a result. So he received $7 million and $20 million for his next projects, Dumb and Dumber and The Cable Guy, respectively.

#8 John Boyega — Star Wars: Episode VII — The Force Awakens

Source: © Star Wars: Episode VII - The Force Awakens / Lucasfilm

John Boyega, who has worked with Daisy Ridley in three Star Wars films, was paid the same as Ridley for the role (somewhere in the $100,000 to $300,000 range). However, Harrison Ford, a far more famous and accomplished actor, received between $10 and $20 million.

#9 Jon Voight — Midnight Cowboy

Source: © Courtesy Everett Collection / East News

John Voight is not only Angelina Jolie's father but also a well-known actor. He was willing to act in Midnight Cowboy for free in 1969. The actor believed that the film would highlight his acting abilities, and that is exactly what happened. He was paid $17,000 for the job and has a promising future.

#10 Julia Roberts — Mystic Pizza

Source: © East News

Julia Roberts' third film is Mystic Pizza. It was published two years before the iconic Pretty Woman (which didn't make her a lot of money either), and it's about the dreams and lives of three servers at Mystic Pizza. Roberts received an unbelievable $50,000 for her performance in this romantic comedy.

#11 Lindsay Lohan — The Canyons

Source: © Image supplied by Capital Pictures/EAST NEWS

Lindsay Lohan was a prominent star from the late 1990s to the early 2000s, with major roles in comedy Movies including The Parent Trap and Mean Girls. These roles made her famous and rich. However, her career began to deteriorate after a few years, and she decided to take a break. Lohan earned $6,000 for her role in the independent film The Canyons in 2013. The film was completed in 23 days. She was paid $200,000 for a scene in Scary Movie 5 the same year.

#12 Oprah Winfrey — The Color Purple

Source: © The Color Purple / Warner Bros.

Oprah Winfrey, a well-known television personality, played Sophia in Steven Spielberg's The Color Purple. Oprah was afraid that she would be fired, but the film won her an Oscar nod for Best Supporting Actress, and she received only $35,000 in payment.
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