Scarlett Johansson, Hollywood’s Highest-Grossing Actor, Took A Huge Pay Cut To Star In ‘Asteroid City’

With a $14.52 billion worldwide total, Scarlett Johansson is the highest-grossing actor of all-time. Much of that comes from Johansson’s work in the Marvel Cinematic Universe, but she’s been in numerous non-franchise movies to break the $100 million mark, including The Jungle Book ($953 million), Lucy ($457 million), and Lost in Translation ($117 million). For her box office success, Johansson regularly commands a $15 million-$20 million salary, but she took a major pay cut to star in Wes Anderson’s new film, Asteroid City.

Variety reports that “she happily earned a paltry $4,131 a week for two months of work on the Focus Features film that shot in Spain.” Based on figures available online, that appears to be the paid scale — the lowest rate a union actor can accept on a project — for a SAG-AFTRA member. It’s how Asteroid City, with a reported budget of $25 million, can afford not only Johansson, but also fellow A-listers Tom Hanks and Margot Robbie.

“I was curious: Who is this person? How did she get here, to be so successful at that time? She’s this star of stage and screen — what drove her there?” Johansson said about her preparation to play actress Midge Campbell, her character in Asteroid City, who Anderson wrote for her. “I like the sort of constraints of Wes’ precision. I think in some ways, it’s more liberating.”

Asteroid City comes out on June 23.

(Via Variety)