It is not uncommon for the core cast of a movie or TV series to get together and negotiate for higher paychecks. With the band the casts have formed behind the scenes, sticking together is not at all surprising. However, if it is one person, it is usually a female artist demanding to have equal pay with her male co-star in the project. The top female actors earn just as much as 38% as the top male actors. Even Amanda Seyfried once aired her complaints regarding this in an interview where she revealed that there was one movie where she learned that her pay is only 10% of the pay of her co-star.
Such scenarios, unfortunately, are still prevalent even to this day, but of course, while others just bite their tongue and accept their fate, some stars just know what they deserve, and these stars listed below did not back down to get what they deserve.
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A post shared by Charlize Theron (@charlizeafrica)
When she co-starred with Chris Hemsworth in the movie The Huntsman, Theron was not supposed to earn as much as her male co-star. However, when the Sony hack in 2014 revealed how much difference there is in the pay for men and women stars, she just could not stand keeping quiet. When Theron found out the massive difference in their pay, she negotiated for better pay with the producers, who ultimately gave in to her request and gave her $10 million more than her initial salary. This was done because Theron insisted that she have to be paid equal to what Hemsworth is receiving. She got a great track record and is already a prominent actress, so the producers gave in.
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The Shameless star did not hesitate to miss the eighth season of the show after she discovered the pay difference between her and co-star William H. Macy. Though her contract terms were not revealed to the public, she said that she was paid way less than Macy for the first seven seasons, and she is ready to leave the show if the producers do not pay her what she deserves. She initially asked for a higher salary than Macy in the eighth season of the show considering he was paid more in the first seven seasons. The producers did not accept her request; however, they made their salaries equal according to the reports. Both of the lead stars of the show earned $350,000 per episode.
‘This Is Us’ Cast
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When the NBC drama This Is Us became a huge hit on television, the main casts of the show got serious pay raises. Before season three of the show even started, the main cast members Mandy Moore, Chrissy Metz, Justin Hartley, Milo Ventimiglia, and Sterling K. Brown joined forces to negotiate for better and bigger paychecks. The terms of their original contracts state that Ventimiglia and Moore both earn $85,000 per episode, Brown got $75,000 per episode, and Metz and Hartley were paid $40,000 each per episode. After the show became a hit, they renegotiated for them to have equal pay of $250,000 each per episode, which the producer gave in to.
‘Big Bang Theory’ Cast
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The five original main cast members of the The Big Bang Theory – Kaley Cuoco, Jim Parsons, Johnny Galecki, Kunal Nayyar, and Simon Helberg made headlines in 2017 because they all gave way and agreed to a $100,000 pay cut just so the other casts can receive pay raise. In order to support the negotiation for pay raises for their co-stars Melissa Rauch and Mayim Bialik, they decided to agree to a pay cut wherein they will each still receive $900,000 per episode. With the pay cut for the five main casts, their co-stars Rauch and Bialik got a massive pay raise where they will both receive $425,000 each per episode, which was previously just $175,000 each per episode.
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This list would not be complete without the group that first negotiated as a whole to get better pay. When the show Friends first aired, the main cast members Jennifer Aniston, Lisa Kudrow, Courteney Cox, Matt LeBlanc, David Schwimmer, and Matthew Perry just earned $22,500 per episode. However, as the show progressed, Schwimmer and Aniston got a pay raise to $40,000 each per episode when season two began. With Schwimmer leading the group, they banded together for season three pay raise negotiations. Since the cast joined forces, it gave them leverage and security for their job, which made the producers back down. The group happily got $1 million each per episode for the final two seasons of Friends.
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One of the biggest superstars in Hollywood, Jennifer Lopez, sure knows how much she is worth. The singer, dancer, and actress negotiated a pay raise back in 2011 when she was still a judge at American Idol for season 10. She was reported to be receiving $12 million per season; however, just after two seasons, she knew she wanted pay raise, so she asked for it. The initial negotiation failed; however, the producers eventually gave in, and she got a pay raise of $17.5 million per season.
Robert Downey Jr.
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After being hired as Iron Man, Robert Downey Jr.’s reported to have received $500,000 way back in 2008. However, because of the massive success of his role portrayal for the iconic character, he demanded a massive bump of $10 million for both Iron Man 3 and Iron Man 2. He then renegotiated again for the second time when he was not contented and got 2.5 percent of the total sales of the movie, and he earned about $50 million for his portrayal in the first Avengers movie.
Helen Hunt and Paul Reiser
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The co-stars of the series Mad About You, Helen Hunt and Paul Reiser, both negotiated a massive pay raise. Initially, the two were reported to earn $250,000 per episode, and they renegotiated their salaries, and both of them got $1 million each per episode.
A post shared by Simon Cowell (@simoncowell)
Well, Simon Cowell definitely knows how much he is worth and is not afraid to speak up about it. When Cowell sat down as a judge for the reality shows Britain’s Got Talent, The X Factor, America’s Got Talent, and American Idol, he knew he’d got credibility and knew what it was worth. He renegotiated a massive pay increase from $36 million per season to $45 million. This made him the highest-paid TV star at the time.
Stranger Things Cast
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Being young and innocent did not stop the main cast of Stranger Things from asking for a pay raise. Initially, the main casts Millie Bobby Brown Finn Wolfhard, Noah Schnapp, Caleb McLaughlin, and Gaten Matarazzo received $30,000 each per episode in the first two seasons. With the show’s massive success, the cast did not hesitate to ask for a pay raise, and they all got it for $250,000 each per episode in 2018.
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Sources: Independent UK, Go Banking Rates, Repeller, Wonderwall
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