8 Actors Who Were Paid Huge Salaries For Very Little Work

Money for old rope...

Marlon Brando Superman
Warner Bros.

Actors get paid too much, and we all know it. People like you and I work our fingers to the bone and barely have two pennies to rub together, while Hollywood's A-listers regularly command upwards of eight figures per picture. I'm not doubting that they don't work hard, but when you consider that the likes of Tom Cruise, Will Smith and Tom Hanks have all earned over $70 million from a single movie, and done so on more than one occasion, it starts to seem a little ridiculous.

Even Robert Downey Jr, former Hollywood pariah turned one of the most popular actors on the planet, has seen his salary skyrocket from $500,000 for the first Iron Man to $50 million from The Avengers in just four years adn well beyond that by the time of Endgame, despite the latter two being ensemble pieces.

Look at this way, Tony Stark has roughly 37 minutes of screentime in The Avengers, which saw RDJ net well over $1.3m for every minute that he's onscreen. That's nice work if you can get it.

However, this article will take a look at some famous names who pocketed a great deal of cash for minimal exertion. Some are paid a huge amount for a brief period of time on set, others for what amounts to nothing more than a cameo, and there are some that didn't even appear in the movie at all but still made a nice little earner.

So read on and vent your frustrations at these 8 actors who got paid huge amounts for very little work...

Honourable Mention: Jesse Eisenberg - Camp Hell (2010)

Jesse Eisenberg Camp Hell
Holedigger Films

The recently-cast Lex Luthor finds himself as an honorable mention in this column thanks to a pending lawsuit, which if it goes the actor's way would make his brief appearance in this low-budget thriller one of the most highly-paid cameos in movie history. Shot in 2007, Eisenberg agreed to work for one day on the project as a favor to friends in what amounts to less than five minutes of screentime, for which he was paid a nominal fee (said to be around $3000).

However, by the time of the home video release some outlets prominently featured Eisenberg's picture on the cover and name above the title, in a blatant attempt to shift more units. As a result, the actor filed a lawsuit against Lionsgate Entertainment and Grindstone Entertainment for attempting to capitalize on his increasing fame, seeking damages of $3m for misappropriating the size of his role in the movie and using his name and likeness in an attempt to increase profits.

Things have been quiet on the lawsuit front recently, although a judge did allow Eisenberg to pursue his claim in court. If successful, the actor will pocket a sum equal to the entire budget of the movie.


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