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Believe it Or Not: This is How Much Hollywood Actors Get Paid

How Much do Actors get Paid
Most people seem to be fascinated by all the glitz and glam of celebrities, and more so, the big bucks they make. So how much do they really make, and how much do the not-so-famous newbies make? Here's a look.
Arjun Kulkarni
Bollywood Actress Wearing An Indian Outfit
An Actor's 'Salary'
The top stars can ask for pretty much any amount they feel is right. They, along with their agent and other experts in this field, assess their own brand value, and the effort they are putting in, and ask the producers for that much money.

The compensation of a big actor depends on several things. Some may choose to take their compensation after the completion of the movie, and then have nothing to do with it. Another option which seasoned actors tend to choose, is to enter a profit-sharing agreement with the producers. This means that the actor may choose to take a share of the profits that the movie producers make through various channels, like ticket sales, merchandise sales (in case of superhero films), DVD sales, and sale of rights to TV channels. In such a case, the actor may settle for a lower salary. The salaries vary a lot, as the terms and conditions of signing are different. They may ask for a signing-on fee even before the shooting for the film commences.

*Figures in Million USD
Highest-Paid Actors (Male)
Robert Downey Jr. 75
Channing Tatum 60
Hugh Jackman 55
Mark Wahlberg 52
Dwayne Johnson 46
Leonardo DiCaprio 39
Adam Sandler 37
Tom Cruise 35
Denzel Washington 33
Liam Neeson 32
Highest-Paid Actors (Female)
Angelina Jolie 33
Jennifer Lawrence 26
Kristen Stewart 22
Jennifer Aniston 20
Emma Stone 16
Charlize Theron 15
Sandra Bullock 14
Natalie Portman 14
Mila Kunis 11
Julia Roberts 11
Highest-Paid TV Actors (Male)
Ashton Kutcher 24
Hugh Laurie 18
Ray Romano 18
Alec Baldwin 15
Mark Harmon 15
Tim Allen 14
Jon Cryer 13
Patrick Dempsey 12
Jim Parsons 8
Johnny Galecki 8
Highest-Paid TV Actors (Female)
Sofia Vergara 19
Kim Kardashian 18
Eva Longoria 15
Bethenny Frankel 12
Khloe Kardashian 11
Tina Fey 11
Mariska Hargitay 10
Zooey Deschanel 9
Felicity Huffman 9
Ellen Pompeo 9
As far as commercials are concerned, it again depends on the brand value of the actor and the size of the brand that he or she endorses. The actor may also choose to take the compensation in kind, rather than in cash. This means that if an actor is endorsing a certain brand, he or she may choose to take a part of the compensation in the form of free samples of the product being endorsed.
How Much Do New Actors Get Paid?
The numbers mentioned above may seem real tempting indeed, but unless you are a Tom Cruise or a Kristen Stewart, you might wanna set your targets a LOT lower. The salary of lesser-known actors really depends on the rate demanded by the actors' union, called the SAG (Screen Actors Guild). The SAG aims to protect the interests of the budding actors, and protects them from being exploited by the producers to work for extremely low wages. They are the ones, who decide what the base salary of an actor should be, based on which, the producers have to give the daily or weekly wages to the actors, who are performing in the movie, TV series or commercial.

Hence, if an actor chooses to be a registered member of the SAG, he stands to get a daily wage of $842 a day or $2,921 a week (2012 - 2013). While some websites give an average annual earnings for a new actor, those figures can be very inaccurate, as the actor may or may not be employed for the entire year. If he is amongst the select few who are employed for the full year, then even at these rates, he will have quite a good life indeed.
So, while the starting salary of an actor may not be all that great, and the chances of a full-time employment may be low, there is a huge opportunity to grow in this field. I guess, initially, it depends on the producer, but with hard work and dedication, you could soon be dictating the terms!