Being an actor might seem like the best job in the world: you get pampered by runners, travel the globe and hang out with the coolest people in Hollywood. But although acting might seem like you’re not actually working a day in your life, that’s not entirely true. Actors need to be physically fit and in the right shape for the part, memorise entire scripts and spend long periods of time away from home – often interfering with their personal lives.
Besides the obvious setbacks, the acting world has become increasingly competitive; it takes a lot of hard work and dedication to making it on the hit-list year after year.
So, let’s take a look at who bagged themselves a spot on the list of the 10 highest-paid actors in the world in 2020.
10. Jackie Chan
Earnings: $40 million (£31.3 million)
Hong Kongese mega-star Jackie Chan has been in the spotlight for over 40 years. He made his debut on the big screen in 1972 as a stuntman in Fist of Fury and has since appeared in countless martial arts movies, both in Asia and North America, including Rush Hour in 1998. Most recently, Chan has amassed most of his earnings from his roles in Viy 2: Journey to China and The Climbers as well as a number of endorsement deals and producer credits.
9. Adam Sandler
Earnings: $41 million (£32 million)
Adam Sandler has graced our screens since 1991 when he first appeared in The Cosby Show. Since then, he’s gone on to create comedy gold from Big Daddy to 50 First Dates and The Waterboy. While many think he’s lost his knack, Netflix begs to differ: his eight-figure deal with them continues to pay his bills, and they love him so much that they extended his contract in January to include another four films.
8. Will Smith
Earnings: $44.5 million (£34.8 million)
Almost three decades later since starring in The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air, Will Smith’s still got it, breaking records with his social media accounts including Instagram, YouTube, Snapchat and TikTok. With over 48 million followers on Instagram alone, the rapper-turned-superstar has reached a whole new audience without finding the need to tap into endorsements.
With such a large social fanbase, Smith raked in a large paycheque during lockdown by recording a 12-episode series for Snapchat called Will from Home. His appearance in Netflix’s Bright 2 also aided his 2019–2020 earnings.
7. Akshay Kumar
Earnings: $48.5 million (£37.9 million)
After making his Bollywood debut in 1991 with the film Saugandh, Akshay Kumar became a well-known Hindi actor. He has since appeared in at least four movies per year, performing his own death-defying stunts and making a real mark on the Bollywood scene. The award-winning actor also rakes in money through a number of endorsements with over 20 brands, including Tate and Eveready.
6. Vin Diesel
Earnings: $54 million (£42.2 million)
Known for his iconic performances in the Fast & Furious movies as well as his leading role in The Pacifier, Vin Diesel has shown his versatile acting skills. In 2020, the goldmine movie franchise paid Diesel $20 million (£15.6 million) upfront for his performance in F9, whose filming was halted due to the coronavirus pandemic. Besides his large paycheques from the Fast & Furious franchise, the actor also appeared in the Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2, Bloodshot and XXX: Return of Xander Cage.
5. Ben Affleck
Earnings: $55 million (£43 million)
Ben Affleck is a notorious actor known for his Oscar-winning performances in Good Will Hunting and Argo. And while he took a short hiatus to get over his alcoholism after splitting with his wife Jennifer Garner, he’s back better than ever with his upcoming films The Last Duel and Hypnotic. It’s also been reported that Affleck will return as Batman in The Flash, and we can’t wait to see it!
4. Mark Wahlberg
Earnings: $58 million (£45.3 million)
Mark Wahlberg made a big name for himself when he starred in Ted and its sequel and made us all fall in love with his warming character. Since then, he dropped off the acting scene until he signed up for the lead role in Netflix’s Spenser Confidential and upcoming movie Infinite. In 2020, he also worked behind the camera, producing HBO’s McMillions as well as docuseries Run this City.
Besides acting, Mark also invested in his own burger chain, Wahlburgers, and fitness company E45 Training – you’ve probably seen him promoting his fitness workouts on Instagram!
3. Ryan Reynolds
Earnings: $71.5 million (£55.9 million)
Famously known for his witty humour and his great relationship with wife Blake Lively, Ryan Reynolds is also extremely talented when it comes to his acting skills. In 2020, he made most of his earnings from his performance in 6 Underground as well as the upcoming movie Red Notice. He also signed a hefty deal to star in Apple TVs upcoming version of A Christmas Carol.
Besides acting, Ryan Reynolds co-owned Aviation American Gin, which later sold to Diageo for over $500 million (£390.9 million) in 2020 (which happened after the scoring period). He remains a small stake co-owner of the business.
2. Dwayne ‘The Rock’ Johnson
Earnings: $87.5 million (£68.4 million)
After his hilarious performance in Jumanji: Welcome to Jungle, it’s unsurprising that Dwayne ‘The Rock’ Johnson is featured among some of the highest-paid celebrities in film. With over 360 million Instagram followers, The Rock has set himself apart from all the other actors, which has put him in a league of his own. In fact, he cashes in on seven-figure social media marketing fees, in addition to his fees for marketing and promoting the movies he appears in and the gym gear he uses.
1. Tyler Perry
Earnings: $97 million (£75.8 million)
Tyler Perry, who was once homeless, has been crowned a billionaire in August 2020. After starting off in live theatre, Perry imagined and built his Madea franchise, which has grossed over $660 million (£515 million).
His wealth today also comes from his very own filming studios; a 30-acre property in Atlanta, Georgia with 12 soundstages and tailored sets. A smart move from the actor, which aided his high profits over the last few years.
Who are you surprised to see on, or missing from, this list? Join the conversation down below and let us know!
This article is an updated version of an earlier article originally published on 2 March 2015.
Currency conversions are based on rates supplied by XE.com on 22 September 2020.