ByKatrina Stagg, writer at
Katrina Stagg

They are on the top of their game and totally killing it in the box office, but these stars all started out just like every other actor. Before it was starring roles and millions of dollars, it was extra work, bit parts and low budgets.

I thought it would be interesting to see just how far some of the biggest names in the box office have come from their first role to their current net worth. The difference is absolutely staggering considering many of these actors started out making minimum wage as extras on a set or not getting paid a thing.

Check out 8 of the highest grossing actors and their meager beginnings in the industry.

Disclaimer: These actors have not all said exactly what they made in their first role, so amounts are speculations based on what actors and extras made at the time.

8. Jennifer Lawrence

Winter's Bone (2010)
Winter's Bone (2010)

First role: Monk (2006).

Age at the time: 16-years-old.

First role salary: Lawrence's first major role was Winter's Bone (2010). Indie film actors can make between $1,800-$2,800 a week — to a $65,000 flat fee (minus reps’ commissions) according to THR.

Current net worth: $40 million.

Monk scene (2006)

7. Kristen Stewart

First credited role: The Safety of Objects (2001).

Age at the time: 11-years-old

First role salary: Est. $0 - $5.75 as an extra in The Thirteenth Year (1999). Estimation is based on minimum wage at the time.

Current net worth: $70 million.

6. Vin Diesel

First role: Strays (1997) - First credited feature.

Age at the time: 30-years-old.

First role salary: Unknown.

Net Worth Today: $75 million.

5. Jennifer Aniston

First role: Uncredited McDonald's dancer in Mac and Me (1988). First credited role - Molloy (1990).

Age at the time: 21-years-old (Molloy)

First role salary: Est. around $5/hr for her work as an extra in Mac and Me - Today non-union extras make around minimum wage so adjusted for inflation, in 1988 extras would be making $4.25 or above.

Net Worth Today: $150 million.

4. Robert Downey Jr.

First role: Pound (1970) credited as Bob Downey

Age at the time: 5-years-old

First role salary: $0 - Downey played opposite his father. I am speculating that Robert Downey Sr. was the one getting paid.

Current net worth: $170 Million. RDJ's Earnings for 2014 topped $75 million.

3. Angelina Jolie

First role: Lookin' to Get Out (1982) - credited as Angelina Jolie Voight

Age at the time: 7 -years-old

First role salary: $0 - Jolie's father starred in Lookin' to Get Out.

Current net worth: $200 million.

2. Leonardo DiCaprio

First role: The New Lassie (1989).

Age at the time: 15-years-old

First role salary: Unknown.

Current net worth: $220 million.

1. Johnny Depp

A Nightmare on Elm Street (1984)
A Nightmare on Elm Street (1984)

First role: A Nightmare on Elm Street (1984).

Age at the time: 21-years-old

First role salary: $1200 a week.

I was being paid $1200 a week for pretty much doing nothing for most of the day, then pretending to be someone else for a while, telling a few lies. I couldn't believe my luck.

Depp - By Christopher Heard

Current net worth: $400 million. Depp's annual salary is now around $20 million.

(Source: Celebrity Networth, The Richest, DIR)


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