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Celebrity Salaries

Celebrity Salaries

Date: Apr 15 2009

Themes: Work

Grammar: Modal Verbs


1. Learn Vocabulary - Learn some new vocabulary before you start the lesson.

2. Read and Prepare - Read the introduction and prepare to hear the audio.

According to Forbes.com, Will Smith is the highest-paid actor in Hollywood. In 2008, he raked in 80 million dollars. So if he gave up his salary for one year, he could afford to give each of the 1 million English, baby! members 80 bucks!

Some people think that celebrity salaries have gotten out of control. It’s hard to imagine how anyone could possibly need, or deserve, to make tens of millions of dollars. But stars have to spend a lot so they can look great, wear beautiful clothes, and maintain the fabulous lifestyles that their fans love to read about in magazines.

So, should actors like Will Smith make millions? Listen to what Marni and Dale think.


1. Listen and Read - Listen to the audio and read the dialog at the same time.

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2. Study - Read the dialog again to see how the vocab words are used.





Marni:  I just read recently that Brad Pitt earns like 20 to 30 million dollars per movie that he makes.

Dale:  20 to 30 million dollars? How ‘bout the other actors, like Johnny Depp?

Marni:  I think he earns something like 75 million dollars.

Dale:  So do you think they should actually earn that much money?

Marni:  Absolutely not!

Dale:  I think it’s talent. I mean you have to have star power, and you have to have a lot of talent. And I know that a majority of the actors also have the ability to give to charity.

Marni:  Yes, which hopefully they do. And I don’t doubt that all those stars do that. But the mere fact that they’re making in the millions…Look at all the professions that are so underpaid and so overworked. Like, for instance, teachers, who make absolutely nothing. I just think…

Dale:  What do you think actors should earn?

Marni:  You know, I understand that they need to earn a lot of money. Whatever. But millions of dollars?

Dale:  What’s fair?

Marni:  OK, you know, maybe a few hundred thousand. Wouldn’t that be sufficient?

Dale:  Few hundred thousand. Few hundred thousand. So where would the rest of the money go?

Marni:  I think it should go back into the community.

Dale:  And I think that a lot of them do give back to the community.

Marni:  I know, but aren’t we really just going crazy and…We lift these people up on a pedestal like they’re gods just because they make millions of dollars.

Dale:  Well, some people do think that they are gods.


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Marni is shocked by how much money superstars like Johnny Depp and Brad Pitt earn. She doesn’t think anyone needs to earn more than a few hundred thousand dollars, even famous celebrities. Considering how little money other hardworking people make, it seems unfair to Marni that famous actors get paid so much. She also thinks we put celebrities on pedestals because of all their money. But they’re normal people just like us who shouldn’t be treated like gods.

Dale disagrees. He thinks the celebrities deserve to make millions of dollars because they’re very talented. Also, many of them give money to charity. So they do give back to their communities.

Do you think celebrities’ salaries are too high? Why? Are celebrities special or just regular people with unusual jobs?



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Well,i think they deserve all the money they rake in ,on the other hand they give back to the comunity i think this is fair

05:47 PM Feb 09 2014 |




Firstly,Only few people can become big stars surrounded by journalists and crazy funs.We just saw how much they get paid and ignore that sometimes they need long time waiting for a good charactor.Many actor can’t afford for their daily life.I think the numbers of teacher and doctor must bigger than actors.

12:32 PM Nov 30 2013 |




I think the celebrities' salaries based on public,fans,because people like them very much,and pay for them at second hand. but professions are not been support or paid attention as much as celebrities,so they earn less than celebrities.

And i don't think celebrities are special people,they are just regular people whith unsusal jobs,still,they can entertain people.

09:48 AM Jul 23 2010 |




for me i think he earns too much just because he is an  actor

peope suffer speciay in  africa they can't have even the water to drink it or food so why in the place of giving him this huge salary help this people if all the actors o hollywood  give the charity i think we will not have the pauverity because they earn a lot more than any professions


04:55 PM Jan 19 2010 |




well i c that 80 million dollars is nothing for will smith coz he makes us laught isn’t he?!! so pliz gove him more

10:39 AM Dec 01 2009 |



80 million dollars

12:35 AM Sep 07 2009 |



It´s not fair that an actor raket that much money.

01:08 PM Apr 20 2009 |




I think he didn't earn the money as much as media published..

the number of money just show his position in the Entertament industry….

03:55 AM Apr 20 2009 |




if the film companies pay them this money, then they worth it

11:55 PM Apr 19 2009 |



Russian Federation

I agree with Dale. They are talented and they do deserve all this money the earn. If it was so easy to film, millions of people would do it and would be able to rake in so much money. But very few actors can make us cry, while wathing a melodrama or  laugh untill cry, while watching a good comedy. And, you know,  I think, that 80% of movies' success, depends on talanted acting, and only 20 %  – on the script.

06:15 PM Apr 19 2009 |

s id

Saudi Arabia

i think  they worth that mony  because  they  have talent  but  that mony  too  much  what will they do

it  will better they use  for poor people

05:51 PM Apr 19 2009 |


Iran, Islamic Republic Of

wise comment!


11:20 AM Apr 19 2009 |


Russian Federation

I thinnk it is really very difficult to earn so much money for all people and for celebrities too!! For usual people it is harder but it is real! So,instead of talking about big salaries of celebrities and saying that is unfair, Go and Try to do such moneyLaughing

04:54 AM Apr 19 2009 |



Everyone knows that celebrities earn much money than common people.Maybe they are specil in some spects.The world can not exist fair.Different people have their values in different territories.The most important thing is that celebrities must help the people who are in trouble .Contribute themseleves to society.

03:22 AM Apr 19 2009 |



I think that celebrities are regular people just like us. But, also, they are special.
A movie can makes people happy and relaxing and this kind of emotion is hard to scale. So the celebieties are doing unusual jobs.

02:15 AM Apr 19 2009 |




i think they did not get benefits from their money because they will not take the money with them after they dead.

09:13 PM Apr 18 2009 |




Sometimes, some actors and actress have to take a lot of excercises to shoot a scene, or learn by heart lots of speakings, I mean, They have to act like whatever they´re supposed to.

Some celebrities have to act like a drunk, teacher, cop, etc. It can be a hard work. Picture in your mind, You have to change your way of being, to have your haircut, to get thinner or more beaultiful just to fulfill the desire of your director and deserve to be famous. It´s a massive work and must be well paid!

Other occupations are underpaid, but this is a problem they have to argue with the government and try to change it, so it´s another discussion to have.

09:08 PM Apr 18 2009 |



well I thing that they earn a lot of money. because it's not normal that they earn more than doctors or teachers who make difficult jobs.

10:49 AM Apr 18 2009 |

Miss Monroy


Well I think that celebrities are normal people like us just that they earn a lot more money than us, and about if that is fair or not doesn´t matter I think that is fair while they help to others, do charity and spend money make that other people get benefit from their money too. I think that they could deserve ´cuz it´s sort of hard to reach it. And I think that people deserve success if they strive and help to others.

06:00 PM Apr 17 2009 |

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