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, memorize 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 2022.
10. Chris Hemsworth
Earnings: $130 million
Australian actor Chris Hemsworth comes in at number 10. He rose to fame in Australian soap opera Home and Away, though he’s best known for his leading role in the Thor movie franchise as well as his appearances in Star Trek, Men in Black: International and Snow White and the Huntsman.
Hemsworth is also a bit of a techpreneur, and is the man behind the Centr fitness app, where paying customers have access to nutrition, wellness and exercise routines. Oh, and just to ramp up his popularity even more, he was named “Sexiest Man Alive” by People magazine in 2014.
9. Ryan Reynolds
Earnings: $150 million
Famously known for his witty humor 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 Red Notice. In 2022, Reynolds starred in sci-fi adventure film The Adam Project, which was a huge Netflix success.
Besides acting, Ryan Reynolds co-owned Aviation American Gin, which he later sold to Diageo for over $500 million in 2020. He, however, remains a small stake co-owner of the business.
8. Daniel Craig
Earnings: $160 million
Craig. Daniel Craig. The man who gained international fame playing the world-renowned role of James Bond (otherwise known as 007).
He began his acting career in theater after graduating from the Guildhall School of Music and Drama. After this, he starred in The Power of One and A Kid in King Arthur’s Court.
Everything changed for Craig, though, when he landed the role of James Bond in Casino Royale, which earned him a BAFTA nomination. In the 2022 New Year Honors, he was appointed Companion of the Order of St Michael and St George for his services to film and theater.
7. Tyler Perry
Earnings: $165 million
Tyler Perry, who was once homeless, was crowned a billionaire in August 2020. After starting off in live theater, Perry imagined and built his Madea franchise, which has grossed over $660 million.
His wealth today also comes from his very own filming studios: a 30-acre property in Atlanta, GA with 12 soundstages and tailored sets. A smart move from the actor, which aided his high profits over the last few years.
6. Leonardo DiCaprio
Earnings: $260 million
Actor and film producer Leonardo DiCaprio is well-known for his roles in the 1996 modern take on Shakespeare’s Romeo and Juliet and the award-winning Titanic in 1997 — he would have survived if Rose shifted up the floating door a little, by the way.
Following the release of the highest-grossing film of the time, he reduced his workload for a while, before jumping back in to acting with films like Catch Me If You Can and Gangs of New York.
In 2016, he appeared in Time magazine’s 100 Most Influential People in the World. In more recent times, he’s shifted his focus towards environmental documentaries, including Virunga, a documentary about four people fighting to protect mountain gorillas from poaching and war.
5. Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson
Earnings: $275 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 328 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.
4. Denzel Washington
Earnings: $280 million
Denzel Washington is one of Hollywood’s most successful and well-respected actors. He has starred in a wide range of films, from historical dramas like Glory to action thrillers like Man on Fire. Washington is known for his intense and nuanced performances, and he has won multiple Oscars for his work.
In addition to his acting talent, Washington is also a skilled director, and he has helmed several features, including the award-winning Fences. Whether he’s appearing on screen or behind the camera, Washington is a truly gifted artist, and his body of work is sure to entertain audiences for years to come.
3. Mark Wahlberg
Earnings: $300 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 the movie Infinite. In 2020, he also worked behind the camera, producing HBO’s McMillions, as well as docuseries Run this City.
Besides acting, Wahlberg also invested in his own burger chain Wahlburgers and fitness company E45 Training — you’ve probably seen him promoting his fitness workouts on Instagram! He also launched “Ballers Report” in 2021, an online platform that features inspiring business stories, entertainment, podcasts and videos.
2. Adam Sandler
Earnings: $480 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 believe he’s lost his knack, Netflix begs to differ. His eight-figure deal with the streaming platform continues to pay his bills, and they love him so much that they extended his contract in January 2020 to include another four films.
1. Will Smith
Earnings: $500 million
Almost three decades later since starring in The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air, Will Smith has still got it, breaking records with his social media accounts, including Instagram, YouTube, Snapchat and TikTok. With over 64.2 million followers on Instagram alone, the rapper-turned-actor 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 paycheck during lockdown by recording a 12-episode series for Snapchat called Will from Home.
Smith, meanwhile, was surrounded by controversy at the 2022 Oscars ceremony, where he climbed up on stage and slapped presenter Chris Rock, who had made a joke about his wife Jada Pinkett Smith.
So, there you have it. I’m pretty sure everyone will recognize all the actors on this list, showing just how much they slip into our minds through the work they do.
We all have our favorite actors, and it’s no secret that they earn a lot of money. But do you know why? Actors are some of the most highly paid professionals in the world because they can make audiences laugh, cry and feel every emotion in between. And while not everyone may be able to relate to what they do on-screen, we still look up to them as role models and inspirations.
Who are you surprised to see on, or missing from, this list? Join the conversation down below and let us know!
Originally published on March 2, 2015. Features contributions by Joanna Zambas.