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15 A-List Stars Who Were Paid Shockingly Low Salaries

15 A-List Stars Who Were Paid Shockingly Low Salaries

Who’s your most favorite movie star of all time? Well, there’s barely anyone who hasn’t had a crush on a famous talk-show host, pop artist or a Hollywood movie star. Surely, these men and women are also ordinary folks who just happened to be born under a lucky star. While some of the most successful actors out there owe their fortunate lives to an immense talent and hard work, others are simply too lucky. Either way, we often get misled by their prosperous careers. As a result, we think that these recognizable people sleep in beds made of money.

No matter what the local newspaper says about them, it’s absolutely the way things are. Most of them can’t afford fancy Middle East vehicles as we all thought. Additionally, there’s a whole lot of great movie stars who are paid shockingly small amounts of cash for their roles. And today we’ll touch upon on a bunch of successful Hollywood stars who should be paid much more for their dedication on set.

15. Jennifer Lawrence


Well, Jen may be your favorite superstar, but she’s still one of the lowest paid Hollywood actresses. Undoubtedly, her beauty and charm are undeniable but what about her talent and acting skills anyway? Perhaps, her Academy Award has also helped her capture the attention of some of the greatest movie directors out there. For instance, “The Hunger Games” has generated more than $680,000,000 whereas she’s only received the humble amount of $500 k for her role. But still, Jennifer’s got a long way to go before becoming a legend in the shiny world of Hollywood. Gladly, she’s a young and self-driven lady who knows how to achieve her goals.

14. Natalie Portman


In truth, Natalie Portman is a lady with an extraordinary beauty who can absolutely offer unique acting skills. Nevertheless, Natalie’s one of the rarest stars to catch on the big screen. And don’t think that she’s hardly desired as a great female actress. It’s just that her high salary demands don’t really work in her favor. And yes, she definitely possesses an Oscar Award that only adds a touch of glamor to her fame. Indeed, her fine acting skills are simply undeniable as well. As it stands, there’s a return of almost $42 for every dollar invested in her salary. And just take a guess, it’s absolutely the highest rate for a female Hollywood actress. On the other hand, there are many other equally talented actors who offer a significantly smaller rate. And eventually, they get the best roles. After all, you can’t live off movie awards forever, can you?

13. Anna Kendrick

via The Hollywood Reporter

Meet the charming Anna Kendrick who can also brag about landing a couple of great roles over the course of her acting career. Do you still remember her lovely performance in the Twilight saga? If you hardly miss her presence there, then think of her role in the pretty famous Up In The Air or Pitch Perfect. Even though we can call appreciate her acting and singing talents on the big screen, Anna still remains a considerably low paid actress. Apart from that, Anna has also joked about her old cocaine habits which she cannot afford any longer. Well, that’s the spirit?

12. Matthew McConaughey

via Variety

No way! We’ve thought so too. But no matter how famous you are, the reputation doesn’t always bring money to the table. Indeed, Matthew McConaughey is definitely a marvellous individual whose talent is beyond commentary. Let’s talk about his character in the extremely successful Dallas Buyers Club thoughHave you actually seen it? Oh, dear, we strongly suggest that you give this awesome movie a try. Matthew’s great acting skills cannot be challenged and he’s totally made us stare at him for eternity. His unbelievable body transformation in the movie and deep dedication is just another reason why we love him so much. But in reality, it hasn’t really made him any richer at all. Believe it or not, his payment for the role has been exactly $200 k while the production has generated more than $15 million at the box office.

11. Kristen Wiig

via HuffPost

Oh, the charming and gifted Kristen Wiig! Kristen’s definitely anything but your typical Hollywood actress. Not only did she nail it in Bridesmaids, which has garnered more than $170 m at the box office, but she’s such a nice person as well! Also, isn’t that a pretty high number anyway? And certainly, it takes more than a beautiful smile and toned abs to make a successful movie. Indeed, Kristen is that type of an actress who can do it without trying way too hard. Perhaps, this is why she’s best known for her Bridesmaids character. Why don’t we see her on the big screen anymore? Maybe, her pretensions about her compensations have grown tremendously too. Presently, she’s hardly an owner of a few opulent villas and luxurious residencies to reject every offer coming her way.

10. John Travolta

via HuffPost

Have you watched Pulp Fiction? No? Well, you’ve certainly missed a lot, dear. Actually, this is one of the greatest ironies EVER. Do you have an idea how much cash the amazing John Travolta has received for impersonating his badass character in the movie? We’re pretty sure that you won’t believe us, but Travolta was given no more than $150 k. Frankly, he’s totally nailed it in Tarantino’s legendary film, which also helped Travolta revive his career at the time. But just in case you’d love to know about the total sum of money garnered at the box office, it’s exactly $107,928,762. Pretty nice, huh?

9. Emma Stone

via W Magazine

Emma Stone aka the successful La-La Land star.  Let’s be 100 % honest for a second, shall we? This movie is simply a total win and there’s no second opinion about it. Besides, La-La Land has brought her an Academy Award which is definitely a great achievement both professionally and personally. All of this may sound pretty good for her, however, she hasn’t received much compensation for her incredible dedication and multifaceted talents. Surely, the movie has grossed over a crazy $75,000,000. This is how much cash it has brought at the box office. Certainly, this is hardly the best part of the story: the reported movie budget for the American musical drama film was only $8 m. Well, we really hope that Emma will find her way up to the top very soon. As for now, she still belongs to the list of the lowest paid Hollywood actresses.

8. Kristen Stewart

via Wallpaper Abyss

Kristen Stewart’s personal life might have been an interesting topic for a while, but it hasn’t contributed much to her professional growth since then. Also, rumour has it that Kristen’s managed to generate quite a big amount of cash thanks to her successful role in the Twilight saga. Sadly, we can’t tell you whether that’s true. What we do know for sure is that Kristen Stewart is hardly considered a wealthy celeb with tons of cash. Somehow Kristen’s still in the awkward position of commanding fat pay checks from studios, but she’s given them quite a big return on their investments as well. Thus, it’d be safe to say that they are even now.

7. Melissa McCarthy

via Life-Style

Oh, what can we say about the gorgeous and hilarious Melissa McCarthy? Hmm, we just can’t think of anything less appealing about her at all. Why? Because we totally fail to find something off about her personality or professionalism. Regardless of how talented this lady is, she’s still left unappreciated by the opulent world of Hollywood. It’s barely like she can’t land a great movie role. However, it seems like she’s received shockingly small amounts of money for pretty good roles.  For instance, the successful Mike & Molly is known to have attracted more than 10 million viewers per week! You can imagine the great amount of money that it must have generated in total. But still, Melissa McCarthy is another superstar who’s absolutely underpaid.

6. Jim Carrey

via Sarcasm Society

Oh, the epic Jim Carrey! Is there a more gifted Hollywood star than him? Seriously, his impersonations have marked the childhood of so many kids out there. Although he’s a pretty respected and renowned movie star, there are still a few things left unsaid. Have you seen his masterpiece entitled “Yes, Man?” If so, then you get the picture. But do you have a clue how much money he’s made? NONE! Exactly, Jim Carrey had NO salary at all for this film. The movie surpassed $35 million at the box office, and we assume he took some percentage of the cut for his work. But anyway, today he’s still listed as a Hollywood megastar who’s been paid shockingly low salaries. How sad!

5. Rory McCann

via YouTube

Will you believe us if we tell you that the Game of Thrones megastar named Rory McCann used to be a…carpenter? What’s even more curious is that our favourite badass character on the famous saga offered his services as a carpenter about 6 years ago. The phenomenal star’s fame has grown tremendously since the very beginning of the GoT mania. Today, he’s an exceptional megastar with such a crazy fan base for sure. Sadly, his salary hasn’t grown much since the very outset. According to rumors, Rory’s net worth is estimated at about $750 k which is kind of sad given the worldwide success of the Game of Thrones series.

4. Elijah Wood

via IMDb

Dear Elijah Wood, is it true? Unfortunately, your most favorite fantasy-drama trilogy hasn’t really brought Elijah many financial benefits. There’s no denying that the awesome Lord of the Rings star has made a name for himself thanks to the story. However, it’s certainly not like he’s earned millions of dollars for his participation in the movie either. As shocking as it sounds, Elijah Wood received about $200 k + some bonuses for his legendary character in the trilogy. And yes, this has been his payment for the whole 3 movie sequels! After all, the movie has performed so well at the box office, right? How crazy is this whole thing, right?!

3. Gary Busey


Frankly, we can’t deny that Gary Busey’s mind-blowing career has definitely marked the lives of so many generations out there. Indeed, he can offer such a pretty rich variety of movies which will totally take your breath away. But again, no matter how famous, successful and masterful Gary is, his present-day net worth is estimated at about $500 k. Regrettably, we don’t get to see him often on the big screen anyway. But generally, you’re certainly not the only one who’ve thought that Gary Busey is rich as Croesus. Obviously, he isn’t. Perhaps, he has never been that rich as we’ve all thought.

2. Chris Tucker

via YouTube

Much like his other colleagues, Chris Tucker is another great star who’s earned a startlingly low salary for a few of his best movie roles. EVER. Have you actually seen his character in Rush Hour? If so then you know how great he truly is. Despite all the insane hype surrounding the movie and his unforgettable character, it seems like it’s still not enough for Chris. Actually, he hasn’t really managed to receive much money from the mega-hit production. We can’t tell you what must have happened on the set. But still, it must have been related to money mismanagement in general.

1. James McAvoy


Generally, we often think that the greatest movie or pop stars can brag about some crazy pay checks. But in reality, most of them aren’t that wealthy at all. And neither is James. Nobody can’t deny that he has an organic talent with fine acting skills and looks. But nevertheless, his efforts on the big screen haven’t really made him more famous or rich. According to the Scottish actor, his humble nature has definitely helped him climb the ladder of success and keep a level head while starring alongside stars like Angelina Jolie. We’ve seen his rare talent in many mega-hit productions as well. However, it seems like he’s got a long way to go before reaching the very top financially.


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