It’s the Hollywood Foreign Press Association’s biggest night of the year when the Golden Globes kick off the entertainment awards season. The upcoming Golden Globe awards ceremony will air on Sunday, Jan. 6, 2019, live from the Beverly Hilton in Beverly Hills, Calif.
For Golden Globe nominees, winning can mean a lot — including a higher salary — and some winners have made big career moves off of post-award popularity. The value of a Golden Globe nomination in 2019 is undetermined, but a Golden Globe definitely boosts an entertainer’s star power, and thus their negotiating power. By looking at past careers, you can estimate how much a major award nomination is worth.
Actress Ellen Pompeo has played Dr. Meredith Grey for nearly two decades on “Grey’s Anatomy,” and she’s one of TV’s highest-paid actors. She was nominated for a Golden Globe in 2007 for portraying the show’s namesake. In the same year, Pompeo was making $200,000 per episode. She now commands $20 million a year — $575,000 per episode — for the show’s 15th and 16th seasons.
If Sheldon Cooper knew how much Jim Parsons was pulling in for each episode of “The Big Bang Theory,” his reaction would likely be “bazinga!” After three nominations and one Golden Globe win, Parsons saw a boost in his paycheck that more than tripled his salary. In August 2014, The Hollywood Reporter reported Parsons’ pay per episode increased from $325,000 to $1 million. “The Big Bang Theory” will conclude after its 12th season, allegedly because Parsons is ready to move on.
Chrissy Metz is a part of the ensemble cast that leaves audiences in tears after every episode. The “This Is Us” breakout star was earning $40,000 per episode during season one. Three seasons and two Golden Globe nominations for Metz later, the actress now commands $250,000 per episode, according to The Hollywood Reporter.
Reese Witherspoon is one of the power players in the juggernaut “Big Little Lies.” Not only did she earn a Golden Globe nomination for playing mom and busybody Madeline Martha Mackenzie in 2018, but she also earned a sizeable raise. For the show’s second season, Witherspoon’s salary tripled from a rumored $250,000 to $350,000 per episode to a reported $1.25 million per episode.
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The four-time Golden Globe nominee has been making audiences laugh as Gloria Delgado-Pritchett on “Modern Family” for nearly 10 years. Prior to her nominations, Sofia Vergara was making about $65,000 per episode. Not a shabby amount of money, but her current status as the highest-paid actress on TV for the seventh year in a row is thanks to the $42.5 million she earned last year between her “Modern Family” salary and lucrative endorsements, according to Forbes.
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Steve Carell played the exasperatingly unaware yet endearing boss in “The Office” for seven seasons. Carell’s work as Michael Scott received five nominations and one Golden Globe win and his paycheck — $297,000 per episode — reflected the show’s success. Carell has since transitioned to the silver screen and has demonstrated his acting range by taking on both comedic and dramatic roles, and he’s even lent his voice for animated movies. He is making a return to the small screen to star in an Apple-produced drama where he’ll collect $600,000 per episode, according to Variety.
It’s been 20 years since the “Seinfeld” finale, and Julia Louis-Dreyfus remains a household name and one of the richest actresses of all time. The sitcom that was famously “about nothing” launched the careers of its stars and made them very wealthy. By the show’s final season, Louis-Dreyfus leveraged her Golden Globe nomination and win to negotiate a 300 percent raise, from $150,000 to $600,000 per episode, according to Entertainment Weekly.
After successful runs on “The West Wing” and “Mad Men,” Elisabeth Moss was able to land the titular role on “The Handmaid’s Tale.” Moss’ salary has jumped from $75,000 per episode for her portrayal of secretary-turned-copywriter Peggy Olson in “Mad Men” to a reported $200,000 per episode for her powerful performance as Offred in “The Handmaid’s Tale” after her 2011 Golden Globe nomination for “Mad Men.”
Moss won the Globe for her “Handmaid’s Tale” performance in 2018, and she’s nominated for best performance by an actress in a television series (drama) for the role in 2019 as well.
Due to the smashing success of the Netflix show “Stranger Things,” David Harbour and his castmates received major pay raises. Upon the show’s debut in 2016, Harbour was making around $80,000 per episode. Harbour was able to parlay his 2018 Golden Globe nomination and the show’s popularity into a boost to the tune of $350,000 an episode, according to The Hollywood Reporter.
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Tina Fey celebrated back-to-back Golden Globe wins in 2008 and 2009 and four subsequent nominations for her role as quirky TV writer Liz Lemon on “30 Rock.” In 2009, the “Saturday Night Live” alum was making $300,000 per episode, and by the final season in 2013, the comedic actress was pulling in $500,000 per episode, according to The Richest.
For five seasons, Aaron Paul played Jesse Pinkman in “Breaking Bad,” and the show is still regarded as one of the greatest shows of all time by critics and fans. Before his 2014 Golden Globe nomination, Paul was reportedly making $150,000 per episode. Paul is now working on a new project called “The Path,” and he was able to leverage his popularity and talents to command $225,000 per episode, according to Variety.
Nicole Kidman is no stranger to Globes acclaim. The actress has been nominated for 15 Golden Globe awards — including a 2019 nomination for best performance by an actress in a motion picture (drama) for “Destroyer” — and has won four times, most recently at this year’s ceremony for her role in “Big Little Lies.”
Kidman’s “Big Little Lies” win could be a major reason for the not-little-at-all pay raise she’s reportedly getting for season two of the show. Like Witherspoon, Kidman is said to be earning $1 million an episode for the second season of the HBO drama, which is a big boost from her reported $250,000- to $350,000-an-episode paycheck from season one, The Hollywood Reporter reported.
She’s known for her blockbuster roles as Katniss Everdeen and Mystique, but Jennifer Lawrence’s breakout came in 2010’s “Winter’s Bone” and forever altered the course of her journey to superstardom. She received a Golden Globe nomination for her work in the film. Just one year after her nomination, she earned $500,000 for the first “Hunger Games” movie and later went on to become the highest-paid actress of 2016.
Click through to read more about the ugly truths about pay in the entertainment industry.
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Gabrielle Olya contributed to the reporting for this article.