15 Actors Who Took a Pay Cut for a Movie

POSTED BY , UPDATED ON March 15th, 2018


7. Leonardo DiCaprio (J. Edgar)

Leonardo DiCaprio as J. Edgar

Image Source: nme.com

Arguably one of the greatest actors to ever grace the silver screen, Leonardo DiCaprio is a household name. With a major name, of course, comes a major salary as the actor reportedly charges a hefty fee of $20 million.

However, for the biopic J. Edgar, DiCaprio made an exception and graciously comprised on his standard fee so the money could be appropriately spent on the movie’s production budget.


6. Jim Carrey (The Truman Show)

Jim Carrey The Truman Show

Image Source: esquire.com

Fans and critics alike predicted that Jim Carrey – known primarily for comedic roles – would at least get an Academy Award nomination, if not actually win it, for his dramatic role in The Truman Show. Though that did not happen, the world would get to witness that there is more to Carrey than hilarious performances.

The Hollywood star refuses to be recognized as a money-hungry celebrity and proved it once again. Eyeing it as an opportunity to evolve as an actor, Carrey starred in The Truman Show for $12 million whereas he would normally be paid $20 million for a movie.


5. Johnny Depp (The Lone Ranger)

Johnny Depp The Lone Ranger

Image Source: youtube.com

The development of The Lone Ranger initiated way back in 2002 and had to endure tumultuous dilemmas such as budget concerns, delays, and numerous script rewrites. Even after the leading cast of Armie Hammer and Johnny Depp were finalized, problems still loomed over the movie.

As the production budget was facing several setbacks, Johnny Depp willingly took a 20% pay-cut along with co-star Hammer and director Gore Verbinski so the movie could get back on track.


4. Jonah Hill (The Wolf of Wall Street)

Jonah Hill The Wolf of Wall Street

Image Source: variety.com

As one of the most critically acclaimed directors in Hollywood Martin Scorsese for the past five decades, it is no surprise that Hollywood actors are eager to work with him but Jonah Hill took the cake.

The actor was so desperate to star in Scorsese’s The Wolf of Wall Street that he agreed to accept a paltry salary of $60,000 for the movie. In the long run, Hill earned a nomination for the Academy Award for Best Supporting Actor.


3. Ryan Reynolds (Deadpool)

Ryan Reynolds Deadpool

Image Source: movieweb.com

It is no secret that Ryan Reynolds had been itching to star in a Deadpool solo film for several years. Following the horrific treatment that the beloved comic book character had to go through X-Men Origins: Wolverine, the fans were owed a comic-accurate version of Deadpool.

Even though a solo movie on Deadpool was greenlit, it had a measly budget of $58 million – $13 million short of the very first X-Men movie. Yet Reynolds was so committed to the project that he took a pay-cut and even poured in his own money so the movie lives up to the high expectations.


2. Hugh Jackman (Logan)

Hugh Jackman as Logan

Image Source: inverse.com

Speaking of comic book adaptions, Ryan Reynolds is not the only actor who took a pay-cut for a project. In his final portrayal of the iconic character of Wolverine in Logan, Hugh Jackman took a massive pay-cut so the studio could seal an R rating.

Violent, gritty, wretched and true to the source, Logan was a fitting end for Wolverine. Above all, it did justice to the aura of the character and Jackman deserves huge credit for making it possible.


1. Jack Nicholson (Batman)

Jack Nicholson Batman Movie

Image Source: imdb.com

Following several proposals for a decent Batman flick that failed to take off including one in which the Caped Crusader would be fighting crime in outer space, the folks at Warner Bros. Pictures finally approved the idea of Batman and the Joker going toe-to-toe against each other.

Producer Jon Peters and Batman co-creator Bob Kane’s first choice for the enigmatic role of the Joker was none other than Jack Nicholson who used to demand a then-average salary of $10 million. The actor agreed to accept a fee of $6 million provided that he be paid a portion of the movie’s earnings.

As it turned out, Batman was a critical and commercial success. The movie earned $411.3 million at the box office and sold a humungous amount of merchandise; thus leading Nicholson to earn a whopping amount of $50 million for his role of the Joker.