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Hollywood Pay Stats Reveal Acting's a Tough Business (Unless You're Leonardo DiCaprio or the 'Duck Dynasty' Crew)


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In Hollywood, it seems you go big or you go broke.

The Hollywood Reporter delved into the entertainment industry's salaries in the outlet's October "Money Issue," revealing that income inequality is rampant in one of the most progressive places on earth.

Image via Gregg Jaden / flickr Image via Gregg Jaden / flickr

The stereotype of the "starving actor" seemed to be supported by the data, as the Reporter revealed that the average Screen Actors Guild member earns $52,000 annually — but the "vast majority" make less than $1,000 per year from acting gigs.

Big name stars are raking in plenty of money while mid-level actors suffer, the Reporter noted, citing the example of "The Wolf of Wall Street" for which leading man Leonardo DiCaprio was paid $25 million while co-star Jonah Hill was paid just $60,000 (to be fair, Hill was reportedly so excited to work on the film that he volunteered for the low pay).

Reality TV is similarly divided: The Robertson clan gets more than $200,000 per episode of "Duck Dynasty," but most people who appear in reality shows are merely compensated for missed wages, the Reporter indicated.

(A&E) (A&E)

Still want to work in Hollywood?

Here's a sampling of some of the other pay figures provided by the Reporter:

  • Agent: $200,000 to $10 million annually
  • Agent's assistant: $10 to $13 per hour
  • Film director: $250,000 to $20 million per movie
  • TV director: $25,000 to $42,000 per episode
  • Entertainment lawyer: $2 million to $6 million annually
  • Makeup artist: $100,000 annually
  • Fire safety adviser: $73,000 annually
  • Porn star: $120,000 annually
  • Extra: $148 per day (with pay "bumps" for things like overtime and working around smoke)

An earlier version of this story incorrectly characterized the nature of overtime pay for extras; the story has been updated.

Featured image via Agence France-Presse

Follow Zach Noble (@thezachnoble) on Twitter

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