You Won’t Believe How Little Orlando Bloom Made Playing Legolas in ‘Lord of the Rings’

Most articles about celebrity pay are about the astoundingly large salaries they usually make. However, there are some celebrity salary stories that surprise you with how little they make. We get so used to astronomically high salaries that we’re struck when a salary is not so larger than life. Exhibit A: Orlando Bloom and Legolas from The Lord of the Rings.

Orlando Bloom made less than a half-million for Legolas

Orlando Bloom
Orlando Bloom | Rich Fury/Getty Images

The Lord of the Rings trilogy made more than $1 billion in the United States alone. Director Peter Jackson shot the movies back to back to back, allowing them to come out only a year apart from each other. The capping triumph was the third film in the trilogy, The Return of the King, sweeping the Oscars in 2004. That was generally seen as an award for all three movies, not just the last one.

Those movies made Bloom’s name, especially as he drew in teen girls who might not have otherwise cared about JRR Tolkien’s story. However, Bloom made only $175,000 for The Fellowship of the Ring, according to The Playlist

Granted, $175,000 is nothing to scoff at, but when you read about salaries that are 60 times higher, like Gal Gadot’s well-earned $10 million salary for Wonder Woman 1984, it seems small by comparison. 

Orlando Bloom is fine with his low pay

Bloom made his comments to Howard Stern, saying: “Listen, greatest gift of my life. Are you kidding me? I’d do it again for half the money.”

Just to put Bloom’s salary in perspective, Sean Astin, who played Frodo’s loyal friend Sam, made $250,000 for Fellowship of the Ring. That said, when the movie became an even bigger hit than many people expected, the stars were able to negotiate increases for the follow-ups. 

“I was in a good spot,” Bloom said. “They negotiated pretty well for me to buy a couple of houses, it was that kind of money.”

This is why stars sometimes work in movies that seem ridiculously stupid and beneath their talents. Michael Caine was mocked for accepting a role in Jaws: The Revenge, a sequel that many say is laughably bad. Why would a great actor like Caine want or need to be in such a movie? 

“I have never seen it, but by all accounts it is terrible,” Caine said. “However, I have seen the house that it built, and it is terrific”

What is Orlando Bloom’s net worth?

All told, Bloom’s net worth is $40 million, thanks largely to his work in two franchises: Pirates of the Caribbean and Lord of the Rings. Or you could say his net worth comes from three franchises if you count the Hobbit movies as a different franchise. What’s ironic about that is that Legolas does not appear in that novel. 

That didn’t matter to Bloom, who didn’t hesitate to say yes to  Jackson. 

“If Pete said, ‘Jump,’ I’d say, ‘How high?’ based on my previous experiences with him and my gratitude toward him for giving me my start in life, as it were,” he told EW. 

Bloom’s net worth may see a jump if he ties the knot soon: He is engaged to singer Katy Perry, who is also one of the American Idol judges. Perry’s net worth is eight times larger than Bloom’s at $330 million, and Bloom joked about this to Stern, saying that his business manager will have to sort out his newly expanded finances. 

Bloom can be seen in the Amazon Prime series Carnival Row with Cara Delevingne. The series is about a human detective and a fairy who have an affair amid a series of murders.