From Oscar to Paycheck: 10 winners who smartly cashed in on the win

11.20.14 3 years ago 3 Comments

It's a common misconception that winning an Academy Award can significantly alter an actor's earnings or even turn them into movie star with serious box office clout. Speak to movie fans or even people who work in the industry and you'll find them making one false assumption after another.  

Here's one commonly heard example: Halle Berry received a per-picture salary boost after her Oscar-winning turn in “Monster's Ball.” Sure, but she'd booked her role in the blockbuster “Die Another Day” long before she took home the big prize and was already under contract for the two remaining  “X-Men” movies at the time. Those two franchises had just as much to do with her landing a “Catwoman” paycheck as her Best Actress Academy Award.

Moreover, winners such as Russell Crowe, Christian Bale, Natalie Portman, Morgan Freeman, Cate Blanchett, Tom Hanks, Jennifer Lawrence, Sandra Bullock, Kate Winslet, Reese Witherspoon, Matthew McConaughey, Jamie Foxx and Jeff Bridges, among others, were already getting significant paychecks years before they took home Oscar. Others winners have intentionally focused on less commercial movies (Sean Penn, Tilda Swinton) or Hollywood just hasn't seen them as significant draws (Marcia Gay Harden, Octavia Spencer).  

That being said, the times when actors have been able to cash in on their newfound Oscar glory have turned the misconception into a given. And, as you'd expect, Hollywood has made some real mistakes paying for previous accomplishments over the years.  

With that in mind, check out 10 memorable examples of Academy Award winners who found a substantial return immediately following their big night in the story gallery below.  You might be surprised who made the list and what exactly they got paid for.

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