Some screenplays require actors to go above and beyond when it comes to delivering dialogue. The early films of Woody Allen or just about any episode of TV’s “Gilmore Girls” feature characters rattling off lines at a mile a minute, hardly stopping to take a breath.
Yet other movies require actors to rely less on dialogue and more on subtle, physical tools to portray their characters. Leonardo DiCaprio’s role as Hugh Glass in 2015’s “The Revenant” is one such example. With very few lines of speech, he managed to carry the two-and-a-half-hour film, and win an Oscar in the process.
Saying little, however, does not prevent many of today’s most high-profile acting talent from collecting massive amounts of money. In some cases, Hollywood has doled out as much as $10,000 per word to its favored actors.
To determine the actors getting paid the most per word, 24/7 Wall Street reviewed salary data and word counts for about 2,000 movies. Actors were ranked by the ratio of their total earnings to the number of words of dialogue written for their character in a given screenplay.
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