8 Supporting Actors Who Were Paid SIGNIFICANTLY More Than The Main Star

Stand still for a minute and earn a million dollars? The Jedi are truly powerful!

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Marvel Studios

In Hollywood, there are no rules when it comes to determining how much an actor should be paid. As long as they're given the legal minimum, it's every man (or woman) for themselves at the negotiating table, meaning that salaries can end up being higher than expected, but can also come in on the low side too.

It's also tricky to determine which actors are more valuable to a project. You might think that the person at the top of the poster or the actor playing the main character is the one who deserves the biggest amount of cash, but in reality, the face of the movie isn't guaranteed to take home the biggest cheque at the end of the shoot.

In fact, it's not unheard of for supporting actors to be the ones who get paid the most - even taking home more than the leads. Maybe they're an esteemed character actor with a legacy of famous work behind them and the star of the movie is a fresh-faced newcomer, or maybe both actors are on even footing in terms of fame, and it's left up to other factors to decide who gets the largest payout.

Either way, the phrase "work less, earn more" definitely applies here...

8. Robin Williams Made More Than Matt Damon (Good Will Hunting)

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If Matt Damon wasn't already on the map, then he definitely was after starring in 1997's Good Will Hunting. The film - which he co-wrote with Ben Affleck - won two Academy Awards and made over $200 million, a huge success that sent the young actor on a positive career streak that he's still enjoying today.

Back in the late '90s though, Robin Williams was easily the bigger name, and so, he earned a much more sizable paycheque than Damon - despite being billed as a supporting player.

On The Bill Simmons Podcast in 2018, Damon revealed that he sold the Good Will Hunting script for $600,000 - which he split with Ben Affleck - and got $350,000 for acting in the film, making for a $650,000 overall payday.

Williams, on the other hand, made a shrewd deal that saw him take less upfront, in exchange for a cut of the profits. He was paid $5 million before starting (which was a bargain, because he could easily have asked for triple that amount), but because the movie did so well, his deal saw that figure rise significantly.

But even with just that upfront salary, he made around eight times what Damon did.


WhoCulture Channel Manager/Doctor Who Editor at WhatCulture. Can confirm that bow ties are cool.