Yo, Adrien: What's Your Oscar Worth?

04/04/2003 at 10:00 AM EST

Hollywood is still a tough town, even when an actor has an Oscar on his or her resume. But the pay does get better, the Wall Street Journal reports.

The prospects look promising for "The Pianist" Best Actor winner Adrien Brody, whose last paycheck was $300,000. Brody, 26, is likely to experience a salary jump to $1.5 million for his next flick -- though the Journal suggests the actor could quickly leap into blockbusters or action flicks if he really wants to cash in on his newfound fame and fortune.

"The Hours" Best Actress Nicole Kidman, 35, last picked up $1 million but could conceivably start generating $15 million paychecks, says the paper, while "Chicago" Best Supporting Actress Catherine Zeta-Jones, 33 -- already a member of the $5 million club -- could jump up to $10 million.

Offbeat actor Chris Cooper (Best Supporting Actor for "Adaptation"), 51, reportedly looks to be having the hardest time of it, only graduating from $250,000 to $750,000, according to the Journal.

Then there's the roundup of recent winners whose careers just didn't click, despite their moment in Oscar's golden sun.

As the Journal reports, Hilary Swank (Best Actress for 1999's "Boys Don't Cry"), 28, never convinced producers she was bankable, and her latest, "The Core," opened last week to mixed reviews.

In other tales, Cuba Gooding Jr., 35, who lit up 1996's "Jerry Maguire" and took home the Best Supporting Actor award, has been relegated to sidekick roles or grade-C projects like the recent "Boat Trip."

The paper also notes that, despite his splash at the 1998 Oscars with "Life Is Beautiful," Roberto Benigni's follow-up, last year's "Pinocchio" tanked big time.

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