Wage Against The Machine: 17 MCU Actors Who Earn Way Less Than We Think

It's no secret that actors, especially big movie stars, earn a lot of money. Big budget movie productions tend to pay rather well, which is probably why so many actors are now seeking parts in the comic books films. There are many reasons why actors take on superhero roles and money is definitely an important factor. Of course, not everyone is Robert Downey Jr. and not just anyone can earn that kind of money. However, a great number of MCU stars do indeed earn enormous amounts of money. While their salaries are not disclosed to the public, there are websites that offer insight into celebrities' net worth.

The thing is, we as the audience, have created an unrealistic picture of how much money there actually is in the entertainment world. And while there are actors who are worth hundreds of millions of dollars, they are a select group. As for the MCU, it is common knowledge that Robert Downey Jr. as the face of the Marvel Cinematic Universe earns the most money. But don't just assume that the majority of MCU stars earn crazy amounts of money too. We did a little digging around and found out which 17 MCU stars earn way less money than we think.

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Karen Gillan
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Karen Gillan

Prior to appearing in Guardians of the Galaxy, Karen Gillan was best known for her portrayal of Amy Pond in the British hit television series Doctor Who. This Scottish actress started her acting career with TV roles and made a successful transition to the big screen. Gillan went all out for the role of Nebula in Guardians of the Galaxy, shaving her entire head since the character is supposed to be bold.

For Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2, Gillan was allowed to keep the top layer of her hair, which she described as the best gift ever. But how much money did Gillan earn from her MCU appearances? Well, judging by her net worth not that much. Gillan’s net worth is estimated at $2 million, making her one of the "poorest" MCU stars.


Deborah Ann Woll

Deborah Ann Woll may not be a huge movie star like a bunch of other names on this list, but she was the female lead in Daredevil and a supporting character in The Defenders and The Punisher. Before she took on the part of Karen Page in the MCU, Deborah Ann Woll was best known for her role as Jessica Hamby on HBO's drama series True Blood. Her other work mostly includes minor television and movie appearances.

But what we wanna know is how much Deborah Ann Woll actually earned with her appearances on the Netflix television series. Well, although her MCU salary hasn't been disclosed, information on her estimated net worth is available. This MCU Netflix star has a net worth of roughly $2 million.


Mike Colter

Mike Colter has been attempting to make it on TV for quite some time. Colter made guest appearances on shows such as American Horror Story and The Good Wife. And in 2011, he was part of the main cast of the CW series Ringer, which was cancelled after only one season. Colter finally got his big break when he landed the part of Luke Cage in the Netflix Marvel Cinematic Universe lineup of shows.

As Luke Cage, Mike Colter first appeared in Jessica Jones and the following year he was a lead in his own Netflix series titled Luke Cage. Recently, Colter starred in Marvel’s mini-series The Defenders. Surprisingly though, despite the fact he was a star of three Marvel series, Colter’s net worth stands at approximately $2 million.


Hayley Atwell

Hayley Atwell’s television series Agent Carter was unfortunately canceled way too soon, much to our disappointment. And somewhere deep in our hearts, we're still hoping Marvel will somehow bring it back. Atwell first appeared as Agent Peggy Carter in Captain America: The First Avenger and reprised her role in three other MCU movies, a Marvel One-Shot and the aforementioned television series.

Her portrayal of Peggy Carter earned Atwell world-wide recognition, hundreds of thousands of Twitter followers and of course money. But don’t think for a second that Atwell made small fortune from the MCU. According to the available data, this British actress has an estimated net worth of "merely" $3 million. Not something you’d expect from an MCU actor, who’s done both movies and television.


Sebastian Stan

Much like the majority of MCU stars, Sebastian Stan was a relative nobody before being cast in the Marvel Cinematic Universe. Prior to becoming the Winter Soldier, this Romanian-American actor was mainly a TV actor with some lackluster movies on his resume. This lack of "movie star" status was probably a significant factor that influenced Stan’s salary.

Sebastian Stan’s net worth is estimated at $4 million, which considering that he’s been in three MCU movies thus far is quite unexpected. In all of these movies he’s had a pretty big role to play, especially Captain America: The Winter Soldier. Clearly, no number of fangirls could have helped Stan negotiate a higher salary. He just isn’t a big enough name, like Robert Downey Jr. or Scarlett Johansson.


Anthony Mackie

In 2014, Anthony Mackie joined the MCU as Sam Wilson, aka the Flacon, in Captain America: The Winter Soldier. Since then, Mackie has appeared in three other MCU movies and we will be seeing him in Avengers: Infinity War in May 2018. Prior to joining the most successful movie franchise ever, Anthony Mackie was best known for his role in the Academy Award winning movie The Hurt Locker.

According to the available data, Anthony Mackie’s net worth is estimated at $4 million. Not too shabby by any standard, but given that Mackie has had a rather sizable presence in the MCU ever since his first appearance in 2014, we kind of expected this number to be higher. Perhaps when he takes over as the Cap, Mackie will get a raise.


Tom Holland

Spider-Man went through yet another reboot once the character finally joined the MCU. This marked the third live-action version of Spidey in the span of just ten years. Spider-Man: Homecoming was released in July 2017 to huge financial success and wide critical acclaim. Tom Holland’s portrayal of the web crawler was immensely praised and rightfully so.

The young British actor delivered a pretty flawless performance, erasing any doubt the fans may have had had that Spider-Man indeed needed a reboot. Surprisingly though, Tom Holland didn’t earn an insane amount of money. According to the available data, the actor’s net worth is estimated at $4 million. But he is only at the beginning of his MCU career, so we have no doubt his net worth will increase.


Tessa Thompson

Thor: Ragnarok is still fresh in our minds and almost everyone agrees that one of the best parts of the movie was Tessa Thompson’s Valkyrie. After a long last, the notorious Valkyrie made her MCU debut portrayed by the gorgeous Tessa Thompson. Prior to donning on a superhero costume, Thompson was best known for her role in the CW series Veronica Mars, as well as movies such as Selma and Creed.

Tessa Thompson had quite a big role in Thor: Ragnarok, but she is just at the start of her MCU career and she’ll definitely earn much more money in the future. While we can’t say with certainty how much Marvel paid her for Ragnarok, for the time being, Thompson’s net worth stands at around $4 million.


Chadwick Boseman

Chadwick Boseman is one of the more famous and critically acclaimed actors to join the MCU in the last few years. The actor debuted as Black Panther in Captain America: Civil War and he’s expected to hit the big screen in his solo Black Panther movie in February 2018. Prior to joining the MCU, Chadwick Boseman was best known for portraying individuals from real life, in movies such as 42 and Get on Up.

So how much is this Marvel Cinematic Universe star worth? According to the available data, Boseman falls incomparably short to his character T'Challa, with a net worth of $5 million. Of course, Boseman has only recently joined the MCU and his wealth will probably increase exponentially in the years to come.


Elizabeth Olsen

Unlike her world-famous older sisters Mary-Kate and Ashely Olsen, Elizabeth wasn’t a child star although she started acting at a very young age. In 2011, Elizabeth Olsen got her big break with the critically acclaimed film Martha Marcy May Marlene, where she portrayed the traumatized titular character.

After the success of Martha Marcy May Marlene, Olsen hit a number of duds until she landed the biggest movie role of her life -- Scarlet Witch in the MCU. But how much did Elizabeth Olsen earn for the MCU movies she’s done? Well, not as much as you would expect. Olsen’s net worth is estimated at around $6 million, which when you consider the scale of the MCU movies and the net worth of most of her MCU co-stars is a surprisingly small number.


Emily VanCamp

The Canadian actress Emily VanCamp joined the MCU in 2014. VanCamp portrayed Peggy Carter’s niece Sharon Carter, aka Agent 13 in Captain America: The Winter Soldier and Captain America: Civil War. Outside of the MCU, Emily VanCamp is best known for her work on television series such as Everwood, Brothers & Sisters and Revenge.

After a short break from television roles, VanCamp will be back on TV starring on FOX’s medical drama The Resident. As for the MCU, it hasn’t been confirmed that Agent 13 will be coming back. Since her role in the movies wasn’t all that big and she wasn’t a huge star when she signed the contract, VanCamp didn’t make a fortune from her MCU role. Her net worth is estimated at $8 million.


Clark Gregg

Seldom will you find an actor as dedicated to his role in the Marvel Cinematic Universe as Clark Gregg is. Gregg, of course, portrays the infamous Agent Phil Coulson, who first appeared in Iron Man. What you may or may not know is that Gregg plays and voices Agent Coulson in every show, movie, one-shot, video game and animated series in the Marvel Cinematic Universe.

Currently, Clark Gregg has a regular gig on Marvel’s Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. and reportedly he makes $75 thousand per episode. According to the internet, Gregg’s net worth is estimated at $10 million. Not bad for a TV star, but given that Gregg has done so many other Marvel Cinematic Universe appearances one would expect his net worth to be just a bit higher.



Chiwetel Ejiofor is one of the most recent MCU recruits. This British actor co-starred along Benedict Cumberbatch in the 2016 Marvel movie, Doctor Strange. Ejiofor played Karl Mordo, Stephen Strange’s mentor who turns into an adversary, something that will be explored in future Doctor Strange sequels and maybe even in future Avengers movies.

Before he joined the MCU, Ejiofor had some pretty big movies on his resume. American Gangster, 12 Years a Slave and The Martian are all movies Chiwetel Ejiofor has been part of. With a portfolio such this one, you’d expect the actor to be at least $20 million worth, yet Ejiofor’s net worth stands at roughly $12 million. However, we’re certain Ejiofor’s future involvement in the MCU movies will see an increase in his net worth.


Dave Bautista

The Guardians of the Galaxy may have started out as a bunch of outcasts, but they have since become absolute fan-favorites. Both movies were released to wide critical acclaim and financial success. The actors who portray the lead superheroes quickly rose to popularity, with Chris Pratt becoming one of the biggest Hollywood stars of today.

Obviously, actors like Vin Diesel and Bradley Cooper hardly need a bump in popularity, but the former wrestler Dave Bautista and even Chris Pratt benefited greatly from the MCU. Now, as far as money goes, Pratt undoubtedly made the most. Bautista, on the other hand, probably got paid the least since Bautista’s net worth is estimated at $13 million. Not bad, but he’s certainly no RDJ or even Chris Evans.


Paul Bettany

Paul Bettany has been part of the MCU since the very beginning. First as Tony Stark’s dutiful A.I. -- J.A.R.V.I.S. and later as Vision. Bettany has appeared in a total of six MCU movies and is set to reprise his role in Marvel’s upcoming Avengers: Infinity War. Prior to becoming an MCU star, this British actor was best known for The Da Vinci Code and the critically acclaimed A Beautiful Mind.

Parallel to appearing in the Marvel Cinematic Universe, Bettany has been doing a bunch of other movies with varying success. But how much does Bettany actually earn? We tend to think that every MCU star is as rich as RDJ, but that couldn’t be further from the truth. Take Bettany for example, his net worth is estimated at $20 million.


Zoe Saldana

Zoe Saldana is one of the core cast members of one Marvel’s surprising hit movies about the Guardians of the Galaxy. Both of the Guardians movies were met with widely positive critical response and made tons of money at the box office. Actress Zoe Saldana plays the alien assassin Gamora, the only female member of the Guardians of the Galaxy and the most dangerous woman in the galaxy.

Prior to becoming an MCU star, Saldana was best known for her work on J.J. Abrams’ Star Trek and James Cameron’s Avatar. However, despite having landed some pretty huge roles, Saldana hasn’t made an insane amount of money. According to the available information, the actress has a net worth of $20 million, which could very well be affected by the infamous gender pay gap.


Tom Hiddleston

Perhaps the biggest surprise on this list is Tom Hiddleston. This British actor has been part of the MCU since 2011 when he first appeared as the villainous Loki in Thor. Since then, Tom Hiddleston has appeared in three other MCU movies. Hiddleston soared to success after just one appearance and he continues to be the most popular MCU villain.

He’s even more popular than his on-screen superhero brother Thor, played by Chris Hemsworth. However, if they were to compare net worth, Hemsworth would be in a huge advantage. Despite what you may believe, Hiddleston’s net worth is estimated at $20 million, a whole $50 million short of Hemsworth. Clearly, Marvel doesn’t place much value on the number of fans screaming your name at the conventions.

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