From Javier Bardem to Reese Witherspoon: TV's highest paid actors revealed
The highest paid actors on TV and their respective salaries have been revealed in a new report examining the impact of a new California law, which prohibits employers from asking prospective employees how much money they were making at their previous jobs.
According to Variety, the law has changed the ways in which TV shows decide how much to pay actors. Since shows can longer base a salary on the actor’s previous quote, wages are now being determined more by the actor’s overall importance to the script than individual star power. While this has benefited marginalized performers, like women and people of color, the casting process remains complicated and budgets continue to grow. Despite the new law, the big money still seems to be going to the top.
Here are the top 10 TV earners of 2018, per Variety (numbers are per episode):
- Javier Bardem, $1.2 million for an Untitled Series from Amazon/Amblin TV.
- Reese Witherspoon, $1.1 million for an Untitled Morning Show Drama from Apple.
- Jennifer Aniston, $1.1 million for Untitled Morning Show Drama from Apple.
- Norman Reedus, $1 million for The Walking Dead from AMC Studios.
- Elisabeth Moss, $1 million for The Handmaid’s Tale from MGM.
- Julia Roberts, $600,000 for Homecoming from Universal Cable Productions.
- Steve Carell, $600,000 for Untitled Morning Show Drama from Apple.
- Kelly Clarkson, $560,000 for The Voice from Warner Horizon/MGM. (Calculated based on her $14 million salary per season.)
- Kevin Hart, $500,000 for TKO from MGM. (Tied with Sean Penn, $500,00 for The First from Endeavor Content.)
- Anthony Mackie, $475,000 for Altered Carbon from Skydance TV.
Many of these actors will be earning even more. For instance, Aniston, Witherspoon, Bardem, and Roberts will earn an extra fee because they’re listed as an executive producer on their respective projects. Stranger Things’ Millie Bobby Brown, who’s earning $350,000 per episode, is also reportedly collecting additional fees without a producer credit.