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10 Actors Who Almost Worked For Free For Their Iconic Roles

You would think that for a movie that makes millions of dollars, the cast would be paid handsomely for their hard work right? Well, you’re not wrong. This is the case most of the time, but there are exceptions to everything. Some actors were seriously underpaid for their iconic roles, despite their movies being huge hits at the cinema.

To be clear, this amount of money is quite grand for most of us average folks. However, considering how many millions of dollars these actors helped those movies make, it really is not a big number at all. So let’s see which actors almost worked for free for their most iconic roles.

1. Chris Evans – Captain America: The First Avenger

Source: Marvel

Before he was a beloved actor and made millions of dollars from his role in The Avengers franchise, Chris Evans was only offered a $300,000 payroll for his first Captain America movie. It’s hard to believe. The man was hardly inexperienced, he played Johnny Storm in two Fantastic Four movies before!

2. Gal Gadot – Wonder Woman

Source: Warner Bros.

Another superhero that was underpaid is Wonder Woman. Gadot might make $10 million for Wonder Woman 1984, but for the first movie, she was only paid $300,000. For a huge hit movie that seems to bring a lot of revenue, this number is nothing.

3. Jonah Hill – The Wolf of Wall Street

Source: Paramount Pictures

The Wolf of Wall Street was one of the most-watched movies of all time. The lead Leonardo DiCaprio earned $10 million, so other actors must be paid handsomely too, right? Well, maybe. It’s certainly not the case with Jonah Hill. The actor was only paid $60,000, but he had no problem with it. He was even willing to sell his house to work with legendary director Martin Scorsese.

4. Michelle Williams – All the Money in the World

Source: Sony Pictures

While Mark Wahlberg was paid $1.5 million for the re-shooting of scenes in All the Money in the World, Michelle William was only paid $1,000. Yup, you read that right. That’s a thousand, not a million.

5. Jamie Dornan – Fifty Shades of Grey

Source: Universal Pictures

Hate it or love it, you gotta admit that Fifty Shades of Grey was a huge movie phenomenal when it came out. The handsome Mr. Grey must be making millions for this movie, right? Nope. Jamie Dornan was only paid $250,000 for the first movie.

6. Julia Roberts – Pretty Woman

Source: Buena Vista Pictures

Vivian in Pretty Woman must be one of Julia Roberts’s most iconic roles, but she wasn’t paid a huge payroll for it. In fact, the actress shared with Los Angeles Times that she made only $300,000 for her part in Pretty Woman.

7. John Travolta – Pulp Fiction

Source: Miramax Films

John Travolta was nominated for an Oscar for his performance in Pulp Fiction, but he only got paid $150,000 for his amazing work.

8. Harrison Ford – Star Wars: A New Hope

Source: 20th Century Fox

Even though Star Wars proved to be a massive hit, Harrison Ford only earned a small sum of $10,000. It was such a crime that he was paid so low, considering his character was one of the most iconic characters in cinematic history.

9. Sean Astin – The Lord of the Rings Trilogy

Source: New Line Cinema

Speaking of iconic characters in classic Hollywood movies, Peter Jackson’s Lord of the Rings trilogy had a budget of nearly $400 million, but Sean Astin only earned $250,000 for all three movies. That means he only made about $83,000 per film. His character is an important character too!

10. Joshua Leonard – The Blair Witch Project

Source: Artisan Entertainment

And last but not least, because it’s Halloween season, we must mention one of the best horror movies of all time: The Blair Witch Project. Despite the movie’s $250 million revenue, the lead Joshua Leonard only was paid $500 despite having to spend a week shooting in the cold woods, outdoors, and sleeping in tents.