Famously, actor-turned-rapper Drake once confessed that he was paid almost nothing while appearing on Degrassi: The Next Generation. And on the other end of the spectrum is Charlie Sheen, who was paid $1.8 million per episode of Two and a Half Men.
Acting is a risky business, but the potential payout and fame have lured talented stars to the silver screen – and for these actors, the gamble paid off.
26. Peter Dinklage, Game of Thrones, $150,000
The character has existed in the books since the 1990s, with author George R.R. Martin often citing him as his favorite.
It was a risky role to cast, but HBO struck gold when they put veteran actor Peter Dinklage at the center of the role.
He earned an Emmy and a Golden Globe for his portrayal in the show’s first season, and now enjoys top billing on the program, with a cool $150,000 paycheck to boot.
Dinklage described his early years in the acting world as rough. Always wanting to stretch his acting talents, Dinklage has made a point of refusing to play stereotypical “dwarf” roles like leprechauns and elves, or cheap comic relief punching bags (though it must be said, the man’s comedic talents are fantastic).
Dinklage starved for years before making his way into Hollywood, scoring supporting parts in films like “Elf” and “Underdog” before his hard work paid off in full on “Game of Thrones”. Ever modest, the actor insists he’s simply doing his best at the job he loves. Fans couldn’t be more appreciative, and the exposure has led to some high-profile and high-paying work in films like “X-Men: Days of Future Past”.