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Tom Cruise only has to say 6 words in a movie to make the U.S. annual median wage

The mobile-gaming company Casumo released a project breaking down how much actors make per word. Try not to cry scrolling through these findings.

Tom Cruise only has to say 6 words in a movie to make the U.S. annual median wage
[Photo: Nature/iStock; Gage Skidmore/Wikimedia Commons; Flickr user David Shankbone]
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It’s no surprise that Hollywood’s elite are in an economic stratosphere that the average person can only dream of.

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But mobile gaming company Casumo recently released a project that highlights just how vast that disparity actually is.

After compiling actors’ reported salaries and the number of words in their scripts, Casumo compared its results against the annual median wage in the United States, which is $38,640.

Per their findings, Tom Cruise earns a staggering $7,091 per word, more than any actor in Hollywood. That means he only has to say about six words on screen to hit the median wage. Kurt Russell ($5,682) and Johnny Depp ($4,877) round out the top 3 earners for men, while Cameron Diaz, Courtney Cox, and Jodie Foster earn the most among women at $4,637, $3,528, and $3,265 per word, respectively.

View image larger here. [Image: courtesy of Casumo]
Casumo also broke out which roles earned actors the most money per word. The top 3 for men:

1. Kurt Russell as Todd in Soldier: $36,855 per word
2. Liam Neeson as Zeus in Clash of the Titans: $35,211 per word
3. Johnny Depp as Mad Hatter in Alice in Wonderland: $34,037 per word

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And top 3 for the women:

1. Julia Roberts as Tess Ocean in Ocean’s Eleven: $14,599 per word
2. Julia Roberts as Tess Ocean in Ocean’s Twelve: $12,315 per word
3. Courtney Cox as Gale Weathers in Scream 4: $11,094 per word

Check out Casumo’s full list and more about their methodology here.

About the author

KC covers entertainment and pop culture for Fast Company. Previously, KC was part of the Emmy Award-winning team at "Good Morning America," where he was the social media producer.

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