5 Actors With Low Salaries In Big Profit Movies

Actors with big names usually have the ability to determine the direction of their acting contracts, whether in movies or dramas that favor them.

However, there are also situations where actors have to settle for a pittance payment, either due to their lower popularity at the time, film budget constraints or being willing to work for certain factors.

Here are five actors who were paid very little in movies, even though the movies they starred in exploded and grossed millions of ringgit.

1. Comedy actor ‘The Gods Must Be Crazy’

For those who follow the comedy films of the 1980s, the film ‘The Gods Must Be Crazy’ features a man named Nǃxau ǂToma from Namibia, who comes from the San tribe.

A farmer and breeder, Toma was found practicing a way of life that did not place materialistic importance at all. He was asked to act as the main character of the film for a fee of only USD 300 (RM1,335).

The success of the film, which depended heavily on his funny acting in dealing with new situations in his life, eventually became one of the most successful films in South Africa before entering the international market.

So far ‘The Gods Must Be Crazy’ has collected more than USD 200 million (about RM891 million) from the sale of tickets, tapes, VCDs and DVDs, helped by the controversy regarding the display of African society which is said to be unfair.

For his follow-up film, Toma managed to negotiate a fairer deal – earning around USD500,000 to appear again.

2. Jon Heder in ‘Napoleon Dynamite’

‘Napoleon Dynamite’ is one of the films that has a cult status in the popular culture of the world, being a film that is often referred to as the most successful film despite facing the constraints of a low budget.

The production of the film, which only had around USD400,000 (RM1.78 million) for the entire film, required many creative methods in saving funds. What is affected is the payment to the actors involved.

Jon Heder, who at that time was still new to acting, was offered to be the main character of the film with a fee of USD1,000 (RM4,455) and had to undergo a filming session of around 22 days.

Less than a year after being published in 2004, ‘Napoleon Dynamite’ managed to collect around USD 45 million giving them a return of more than 100 times their capital. Despite receiving a small fee, Heder’s career then skyrocketed and became one of the Hollywood comedy stars of the decade.

3. Legendary actors act for free

Not many are willing to work for free in production. However, for the late legendary actor Christopher Lee, the opportunity to help a production record a storyline that he liked enough was not missed.

The story is that the character of Lord Summerisle in the classic film ‘The Wicker Man‘(1973) was indeed worked with Lee as his player.

But after Lee was given the film’s script, the production team candidly explained that they were faced with budget constraints – obviously unable to pay the usual rates of Lee, who by then was already a big name in the horror genre.

Liking the film’s script, which he described as different from what was usually presented to the audience, Lee agreed to take on the role for free.

Now ‘The Wicker Man‘ is considered one of the main reference films of the horror genre, helping to popularize many festivals themed around the main symbols of the film, translated into novels and theatrical performances.

4. Paid only USD3,000 before being awarded the title of best actor

Among the many low-value deals that change an actor’s life, the story of actress Hillary Swank receiving only USD 3,000 (RM13,370) to play a very difficult lead role in the movie ‘Boys Don’t Cry’ is often told as a sacrifice enough. worth it

In terms of collection, this film can be considered a success with a collection of around USD20 million against a capital of USD2 million. However, Swank’s performance as a transgender person allowed her to win the Best Actress category of the Academy Award, which really changed her life.

Despite this, the rate of payment he received during the production process of the film was not enough for him to be covered by medical insurance in the United States.

After winning the Best Actress award, Swank said she once failed to get a supply of medication at the pharmacy – because she was still not eligible for the same protections as other workers.

5. Willing to accept a minimum wage to act with a dream director

For some actors, the chance to work with a coveted director is an opportunity they refuse to pass up – let alone when one is offered to act for legendary director Martin Scorsese.

That’s what was going through the mind of comedian Jonah Hill, after being offered only the bare minimum to be paid to artists as set by the Screen Actors Guild of America.

This is because during the casting session, the production team was reportedly in the process of deciding whether to offer the role to Hill or another unnamed actor.

In order to increase his chances of acting in the film Wolf of Wall Street, Hill acted to offer him as actor with a minimum payment of USD60,000 (RM267,350). The figure does not take into account other deductions such as taxes and commissions that must be paid.

The project is scheduled to run over 7 months, requiring a high level of commitment from Hill. Starring Leonardo DiCaprio as the main character, the film sparked massive controversy, not only due to its scenes but also related to the 1MDB scandal that was said to be used to finance the film.

All that didn’t stop Wolf of Wall Street from collecting USD392 million against a capital of USD100 million.

However, Jonah Hill’s sacrifice paid off – he, who has been better known as the ‘fat’ character in comedy films, was nominated for the second Academy Award for best supporting actor.

Despite failing to win it, Hill’s efforts to turn his career around seem to have been successful and he is now also comfortable portraying a more dramatic character.

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