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Brad Pitt! George Clooney! 10 Celebrities Who Received Shockingly Low Salaries for Their Iconic Film Roles

celebrities who were paid low for their hit movie roles
Source: MEGA

Mar. 8 2024, Published 4:30 p.m. ET

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Adam Levine in 'Begin Again'

adam levine in begin again
Source: MEGA

Adam Levine debuted as an actor in the 2012 film.

While some Hollywood stars were paid low, Adam Levine revealed he received nothing when he debuted in the indie film Begin Again.

"I did this movie for no money. I'm very lucky that I'm in that position," Levine informed USA Today of his role as Dave in the flick.

"I want to have good experiences. I don't want to do a bunch of s--t that I hate. I want to treat [acting] completely differently because I have the very fortunate luxury of not having to think of this in terms of money," Levine went on.

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Brad Pitt in 'Thelma & Louise'

brad pitt in thelma louise
Source: MEGA

Brad Pitt starred in a short film inspired by 'A Man and a Woman.'

Starring as J.D. in Thelma & Louise, Brad Pitt only brought home $6,000 despite the character being his first major role.

"I was going west. I landed and went straight to McDonald's. I got a newspaper. I had $275 (£200) to my name, and I saw in the paper that you could sign up for work as an extra, so I signed up for three places. Within a week, I was doing extra work, and I was really, really happy," he told The Sun about his move to Hollywood.

Christian Bale in 'American Psycho'

christian bale in american psycho
Source: MEGA

Christian Bale turned heads when he shaved off his head ahead of his new project.

Christian Bale only earned $1 million when he starred as Patrick Bateman in the hit film American Psycho. According to reports, he made less than the makeup artists.

"They had paid me the absolute minimum they were legally allowed to pay me," Bale revealed to GQ. "And I had a house that I was sharing with my dad and my sister and that was getting repossessed. So the first thing was: 'Holy crap. I've got to get a bit of money,' because I've got American Psycho done, but I remember one time sitting in the makeup trailer and the makeup artists were laughing at me because I was getting paid less than any of them."

He continued, "And so that was my motivation after that. Was just: 'I got to get enough that the house doesn't get repossessed.'"

The project became one of his breakthrough roles and made him one of the best stars in Hollywood.

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George Clooney in 'Good Night, and Good Luck'

george clooney in good night and good luck
Source: MEGA

George Clooney will work together with Brad Pitt in 'Wolfs.'

George Clooney had different roles in Good Night, and Good Luck. He did the writing, directing, and acting but only got paid $1 for each role. The film was a massive success as it garnered different accolades, including six Academy Award nominations.

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Harrison Ford in 'Star Wars: A New Hope'

harrison ford in star wars a new hope
Source: MEGA

Harrison Ford has won several accolades after starring in hit films over the decades.

George Harrison famously appeared in Star Wars: A New Hope as Han Solo. While the franchise was a massive success, he only received an offer of $10,000 to do the film.

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Jamie Lee Curtis in 'Halloween'

jamie lee curtis in halloween
Source: MEGA

Jamie Lee Curtis will star with Lindsay Lohan in a 'Freaky Friday' sequel.

Scream Queen Jamie Lee Curtis scored her first Halloween movie in 1978. Titled Halloween, the movie reportedly gave her $8,000 for her appearance and an extra $200 for her clothes for the project.

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Jeff Daniels in 'Dumb and Dumber'

jeff daniels in dumb and dumber
Source: MEGA

Jeff Daniels marked his film debut in the 1981 flick 'Ragtime.'

Dumb and Dumber allowed Jeff Daniels to star with Jim Carrey, but his $50,000 salary was way lower than what the latter received — $7 million.

"Jeff Daniels was not the obvious choice because he hadn't done any, you know, out and out comedies before that," Bobby Farrelly told The Hollywood Reporter. "He was always comedic in his roles."

Daniels, instead of turning down the offer, proceeded with his appearance and accepted the low salary.

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Jennifer Lopez in 'Hustlers'

jennifer lopez in hustlers
Source: MEGA

Jennifer Lopez released her new documentary, 'The Greatest Love Story Never Told,' which is about her love story with Ben Affleck.

In her interview with GQ, Jennifer Lopez revealed she worked on the award-winning film Hustlers for free.

"I do things because I love them. I didn't get paid a whole bunch of money for Hustlers," she said. "I did it for free and produced it. I bank on myself. That's the Jenny From the Block. I do what I want, I do what I love."

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Oprah Winfrey in 'The Color Purple'

oprah winfrey in the colour purple
Source: MEGA

Oprah Winfrey's records were also said to be included in the leak.

Even Oprah Winfrey wholeheartedly accepted a low pay to play a notable role in a film.

The Color Purple tapped the Queen of All Media to play the role of Sofia in the 2023 flick. She shared with Essence why she accepted the project although she was only paid $35,000 and why she considered the amount the best she had ever earned.

"To have all of you beautiful Black women bearing witness to the story, as the story moves forward, means so much. I believe that what Fantasia (Barrino) has said is true: Everybody who comes to see our film is going to be touched. They will be moved. And they will be healed. So thank you for the blessing," she continued.

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Sean William Scott in 'American Pie'

sean william scott in american pie
Source: MEGA

Sean William Scott revealed in a custody filing he has a 3-year-old daughter.

American Pie saw the performance of Seann William Scott as he played the role of Stifler in the film.

When he spoke to The Rich Eisen Show, he revealed he only got $8,000 for his participation. But for the actor, it was already a lot of money for him at the time.

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