December 7, 2022 at 3:34 pm

10 Actors Who Took Massive Pay Cuts To Get Movies Made

by Matthew Gilligan

I love hearing stories about Hollywood celebs who do good deeds and help other folks out…because we usually only hear about the negative side of movie and TV stars.

But today we’re going to get a heaping helping of wholesomeness and learn about 10 actors who took big pay cuts to help get films made or who gave a whole lot of money to charity to help out their fellow humans.

Prepare to get your heart warmed.

1. Chadwick Boseman

The late Chadwick Boseman was known as one of Hollywood’s good guys. And he proved it when he donated part of his salary for the film 21 Bridges so his co-star Sienna Miller was able to get the salary that she asked for.

Miller said, “He said that that was what I deserved to be paid. It was about the most astounding thing that I’ve experienced. That kind of thing just doesn’t happen. He said, ‘You’re getting paid what you deserve, and what you’re worth.'”


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2. Will Smith

Will Smith has been in the headlines for controversy as of late but when he starred in and produced the film King Richard, Smith divided up some of his $40 million paycheck among his castmates so the studio could accommodate the other actors after it switched from an exclusively theatrical release to include streaming.


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3. Brendan Fraser

Brendan Fraser donated all the money he made from the 2013 film Gimme Shelter to Several Sources Shelters, a shelter in New Jersey that helps out homeless teenage girls that the film was based on.


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4. Michael Sheen

Sheen announced in 2021 that he would become a “non-profit actor” and he would donate all the money he makes from acting to social causes.

Sheen said, “I’ve realized in the last few years that I want to be one of those people who help other people the way so many people helped me. I don’t want to just be someone who enjoys the fruits of what other people have done and then pull the drawbridge up.”

5. Jack Black

Funnyman Jack Black took a pay cut from $12 million to $1 million and he split that money with his co-star Kyle Gass to get the film Tenacious D in the Pick of Destiny made.


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6. Timothée Chalamet

Chalemet received backlash after starring in Woody Allen’s film A Rainy Day in New York and he donated his salary from the film to LGBT center Time’s Up, and RAINN.

The actor said, “I have, to this point, chosen projects from the perspective of a young actor trying to walk in the footsteps of more seasoned actors I admire. But I am learning that a good role isn’t the only criteria for accepting a job — that has become much clearer to me in the past few months, having witnessed the birth of a powerful movement intent on ending injustice, inequality and above all, silence… I want to be worthy of standing shoulder to shoulder with brave artists who are fighting for all people to be treated with the respect and dignity they deserve.”


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7. Ryan Reynolds

Reynolds seems to be everywhere these days the actor paid for Deadpool screenwriters Rhett Reese and Paul Wernick to be on set during filming after Fox refuses to pay for them to be there.


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8. George Clooney

One of Hollywood’s biggest stars, Clooney took on paycheck up front so the his salary could be used to make sure the film Syriana would get made.

Clooney said, “I had to go to [production partner Warner Bros.] and say, ‘Here’s the deal. Say someone would pay me $20 million to be in the film. If someone were to pay me that, which I’ve certainly been offered, that would basically mean I’m a $20 million investor in this film.’ It makes me gambling with them. I’m saying, ‘I’m taking no money up front; I’m already investing in this film. Now, do you want to come on board, or do I raise the money somewhere else, which I probably can.'”

9. Beyoncé

Superstar singer and actor Beyoncé donated her entire $4 million salary from the film Cadillac Records to a drug rehabilitation center called Phoenix House.

She played Etta James in the film and spent several weeks at the rehab center preparing for her role.


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10. Keanu Reeves

Who doesn’t love Keanu Reeves?

The only stories you ever hear about the actor are positive and heartwarming and here’s another one.

Reeves took major pay cuts so he could star with legendary actors Al Pacino in The Devil’s Advocate and with Gene Hackman in The Replacements.


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