5 Ways Movie Stars Make Money Between Films

Most movie stars like to take breaks between big films, but they don’t necessarily want to stop making money. Check out these five ways movie stars make money between films.

Working as Musicians

Creative types often use their off time pursuing other crafts, such as visual art or music. Keanu Reeves played bass in a band called Dogstar until the Matrix Trilogy hurtled him into a new level of celebrity. Donald Glover, who acts in movies as well as the television series Community, spends quite a bit of time pursuing his career as a rapper under the pseudonym Childish Gambino. By all accounts, Glover is considerably better at his musical craft than Reeves.

Inventing New Technologies

Few actors have successful careers as inventors. 1930′s film star Hedy Lamarr, however, had a flair for mathematics that made her an outstanding inventor as well as an actress. In fact, Lamarr co-created a technology that made it nearly impossible for enemy armies to jam radio communications from US soldiers. The military didn’t fully understand the importance of her invention, but her frequency-hopping, spread-spectrum patent played an instrumental role in developing Wi-Fi networks and Bluetooth.

Endorsing Products

Jenna Fischer, who has performed in hit comedies such as Blades of Glory and Hall Pass, made some extra cash by endorsing Proactiv products in 2010. While endorsing products like Proactiv’s dark spot corrector, she also won a Screen Actors Guild Award for her performance on The Office. That must have been a busy year!

Appearing in Foreign Commercials

A lot of actors don’t want to appear in commercials because they worry the work might tarnish their reputations. When they’re away from home, though, many of them will appear in commercials for extra cash. Jennifer Aniston appeared in a German Heineken commercial. Leonardo DiCaprio starred in a TV ad for an Italian telephone company. One of the weirdest examples, though, comes from Nicholas Cage, who played himself in a commercial for a Japanese gaming device. In the ad, he becomes crazed by blonde triplets, jumps on top of his car while yelling “fever!”, and speeds off without warning.

Investing in Businesses

Movie stars have a lot of money, so they are key targets for any entrepreneur who needs startup capital. Planet Hollywood is probably the most popular example of this. Without investments and endorsements from Bruce Willis, Demi Moore, Sylvester Stallone, and Arnold Schwarzenegger, it’s unlikely that this chain would have become as popular.
Ashton Kutcher has invested his money in companies that seem much hipper by today’s standards. Some of his investments include Foursquare and Spotify. He also bought into Skype before it became popular. Even if he hadn’t gotten rich off his romantic comedies, that well-timed investment would have made him extremely wealthy.
Actors have to do more than just sit around looking attractive when they’re between films. What other celebrities have you seen participating in side projects?

  

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One and a Half Men

What made Two and a Half Men a great show? The raunchy humor was a part of it, but the lines were delivered by great actors playing hilarious characters. Charlie Sheen carried the show with his portrayal of Charlie Harper, and Jon Cryer’s Alan was the perfect foil. The contrast between the two men was real and created the perfect setting for all sorts of situations, and each character made us laugh along the way.

We shouldn’t expect Chuck Lorre and the writers to create a new version of this formula overnight, and it’s impossible to judge the new version of Men after one episode, but there was something missing in the first episode.

I’m not referring to the over-the-top swipes at Sheen’s character and the need to create a new storyline. I thought most of the jokes about Charlie’s death were forced and fell flat, while some of the cameos were funny, particularly the Dharma and Greg appearance. Lorre and his writers will move on, and these scenes have nothing to do with the future of the show.

The problem so far rests with Ashton Kutcher’s new character, billionaire Walden Schmidt, who meets Alan after trying to kill himself. I thought Kutcher was a great choice to replace Sheen, but Lorre seems to have created a flat character with the charisma and humor of a dead fish. He’s good-looking and bags beautiful babes like Charlie with little effort, but he’s also pathetic and boring, at least so far.

Cryer was excellent as usual, and he had many of the laugh lines in this first episode playing off of Walden Schmidt’s good looks and huge assets. His line that he “masturbated and cried myself to sleep” after Walden hooked up with the two babes they brought back to the beach house was classic Alan. But his loser routine worked great when played off of the charismatic and brutally funny Charlie Harper. How long can this work, however, opposite the dour Walden Schmidt?

Maybe the writers will have this character undergo a metamorphosis in part 2 of this opening episode or in future episodes as he embraces all the advantages he has in life. They have to do something, because none of Kutcher’s lines made me chuckle, let alone laugh out loud. Kutcher seemed like a good choice because he’s pulled off a zany and provocative character in the past. He can find a voice here if given the chance. Yet so far he’s more like a straight man, and that has to change. As great as Jon Cryer can be, he can’t carry this show all by himself, and so far the writers are giving Kutcher very little to work with.

  

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