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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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will smith….will smith….will smith….will smith 

the best actin 

i saw all his moveis

and i have to say about his movei (i'm the legend)

he's legend for real

and i think too if he'll actin in this film….he'll make the film cool and better hehe

i like him so so much

05:24 PM Apr 15 2009 |





I personally hate those who actually think actors are gods.  Actors are just ordinary people that happened to have talents and gain support of others. It is crazy and unbelievable.

04:43 PM Apr 15 2009 |




I hate to be cynical, but why should he or anyone who's earned his money with hard work, share it with someone who's only waiting on others to do something for them and "help" them? Remember that guy that they gave some substantial amount of money, as an experiment, I think from Oprah's show, a homeless guy? What did he do? Just wasted it all and ended up back in the street.

Most of those celebrities already give and share a lot, through charities and supporting major causes. Why don't we try and do something of our own and focus on our own business instead of counting celebrities' earnings? If he has been smart enough and capable and ambitious and has made it, then good for him. You could use what you have wisely and put it to good use and still do well for yourself and even make it big with some common sense and hard work. If you spend less time on hating rich people, you'll probably have more time and energy to work out how you could make it.

04:05 PM Apr 15 2009 |




they are over paid if you compare with teachers or other professions, but it becomes logical when you see how much money their movies produce around the world

03:57 PM Apr 15 2009 |



i like brad and Johnny,they did amazing job,they earned the money fair and sqare,they put in a lot of effort we couldn't imagine,just because we didn't see the hard work they did doesn't mean they earn easy money~

03:38 PM Apr 15 2009 |



i like brad and Johnny,they did amazing job,they earned the money fair and sqare,they put in a lot of effort we couldn't imagine,just because we didn't see the hard work they did doesn't mean they earn easy money~

03:38 PM Apr 15 2009 |




I think they are just a little overpaid.I dont know how much money does anyone can posses knowing the fact that many people in Africa or around the globe are dying because hunger.!!!

03:20 PM Apr 15 2009 |



Will Smith is the best Actor theses days at least he came out with   a really nice movie at the beginning of 2009 "Seven Pounds" having a strong story with tragedy ending….............so why he dosn't deserve millions if he enjoys us.

03:10 PM Apr 15 2009 |

liong diana


i like will smith and i think he deserves to get million dollars for his acting. His acting is very good. The other actors like brat pitt and johnny depp are also very good in acting.

02:49 PM Apr 15 2009 |




in my opinion celebrities are overpaid. if they earn tes of millions each year, teachers, doctors, engineers, lawyers etc should earn about a million dollar a year. i think they all deserve to earn much money more than celebrities do. by the way, we are those who make them earn so much money by running to the cinemas as soon as a movie is released. hahaha

02:41 PM Apr 15 2009 |




It sounds that the celebrity salary is too much,but have you thought how much they have paid out.Celebrity is an absorbing occupation,if you have the talent,you can do what you wanna do.

12:37 PM Apr 15 2009 |



I think they deserve a great salary because sometimes they may be in danger when shooting some scenes.

12:11 PM Apr 15 2009 |



Saudi Arabia

I love Will Smisth a lot.
It’s nice…

11:21 AM Apr 15 2009 |





yes !!!why somebody can be paid much money !!!

11:14 AM Apr 15 2009 |




i think celebrities are regular people and it's unfair that they  earn so much money….i can't see the reason for that….they just acting and saying things they have memorized…

maybe they do it very well but just the same they earn to much…

11:13 AM Apr 15 2009 |




i want that 80 bucks :p

09:03 AM Apr 15 2009 |


Hong Kong

I think that celebrity really earn too much money, which is more than they deserve. Although they are very talented, they are not worth to be paid so high. Also, they don't need so much money actually. The beautiful clothes are supplied by the sponsorship, and I think all their needs are supplied by their company.They won't need such a large amount of money.

08:35 AM Apr 15 2009 |




,,,unfair,,but they have countless  fans~ so. much money

08:10 AM Apr 15 2009 |




Celebrity salares are definitely too high. For this money many people didn't earn through whole life! I don't agree with Dale – ok, mayby they are talented, but every man has talet in something, so why actors or music stars have to earn so much money?

07:36 AM Apr 15 2009 |



In this age of eyeball attention being the most scarce resources, so high salary is understandable. Whether it is fair or unfair, it happens for a reason. The most import thing we can do is to change our attitude or mind-set toward "sucess". A normal, realistic, calm attitude toward success for a whole society counts.


06:47 AM Apr 15 2009 |

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