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Some of Hollywood’s most prominent actors get paid millions of dollars for making brief cameo appearances in films. For instance, Meryl Streep, who has an impressive career spanning multiple decades, appeared for just five minutes in Mamma Mia! Here We Go Again while earning a $3 million salary.

Meryl Streep plays Donna in ‘Mamma Mia’

Mamma Mia!, a movie musical released in 2008, is based on the stage show of the same name. Streep portrays one of the film’s main characters, Donna, a hotel owner living in Greece. Her daughter, Sophie, is about to get married. Having grown up with just her mom, Sophie (Amanda Seyfried) reads Donna’s old journals to discover who her biological father is. It turns out, he could have been one of three men — so she invites them all to the wedding.

Streep starred alongside Seyfried, Pierce Brosnan, Colin Firth, Stellan Skarsgård, and several others in the acclaimed film. Mamma Mia! was such a resounding box office success that Universal Pictures decided a sequel was necessary. So, 10 years later, fans got one.

Meryl Streep made a $3 million salary for 5 minutes of ‘Mamma Mia! Here We Go Again’

Fans of Streep know she isn’t usually one to reprise a role. After all, the multi-Oscar winner has a lot of successful films under her belt. And she’s pretty choosy about what she signs on for. So it’s not surprising that she isn’t in Mamma Mia! Here We Go Again for very long.

In an interview with IndieWire, Mamma Mia! producer Judy Craymer discussed Streep’s contributions to the 2018 sequel. “She’s the most lauded actress and the most extraordinary actress in the world so she doesn’t do sequels, so to speak,” Craymer explained. “She gave 295% of her energy on the last film and I don’t think she wanted to be running around cliff tops singing a bunch of ABBA songs.”

Ultimately, the star sang just two songs and appeared in only a few minutes of the film. Meanwhile, English actor Lily James plays the younger version of Donna in most of the film. But despite only appearing in the movie for such a short time, Metro UK claims that Meryl Streep received a salary of $3 million for Mamma Mia! Here We Go Again.

To put it in context, Seyfried is said to have earned about the same amount. Cher, who plays Sophie’s hilarious grandma, reportedly earned $1 million for her role. 

How much does Meryl Streep make, and what is her net worth?

meryl streep mamma mia salary
Actor Meryl Streep attends The 23rd Annual Screen Actors Guild Awards at The Shrine Auditorium on January 29, 2017 in Los Angeles, California. | Christopher Polk/Getty Images for TNT

Meryl Streep Has Never Done a Sequel to a Movie and Refuses to Start With ‘The Devil Wears Prada’

Given her notoriety, it makes sense Streep received such an impressive salary. The once-in-a-generation actor began her long and successful career began in 1975. And she’s still going strong. Streep has received numerous accolades over her career, including two BAFTAs, three Oscars, eight Golden Globes, and two Emmys.

According to Celebrity Net Worth, Streep made $35,000 for The Deer Hunter in 1978, which is about $140,000 in today’s money. A year later, she made $85,000 for Kramer vs. Kramer, which is about $340,000 today. In the 1980s, she consistently made $4 million per movie.

These days, Streep can rake in $20 million for a single movie or $10 million if the film includes backend profits. She only demanded $1 million to play the title role in The Iron Lady and gave it all to the Women’s History Museum.

Streep is consistently one of the highest-paid actors in the world, with a net worth of $160 million in 2022.