10 Highest Paid Actors of 2019
*This list is according to Forbes, pretax and pre-fees for agents, etc.
*From June 2018-June 2019
10. Will Smith
Will Smith first made a name for himself as a rapper called The Fresh Prince in the late eighties. He became more famous when he starred in the NBC show The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air that ran for six seasons. Smith then went on to transition to film and began to star in Hollywood blockbusters. He is the only actor to have 8 consecutive movies gross over $100 million in the domestic box office and have 8 consecutive movies open at the number 1 spot. Today he is one of Hollywood’s most bankable assets. Most of the films he stars in gross over $100 million worldwide. For his acting, Smith has been nominated for 5 Golden Globes and 2 Oscars. He is the 10th highest paid actor this year.
9. Paul Rudd
Ant-Man and The Wasp
Paul Rudd has been on Hollywood’s radar since 1992. He’s appeared on tv shows like Sisters, Wild Oats, Reno 911 and Friends as Phoebe’s boyfriend then husband. He acted in supporting roles in many classic comedies from the 2000’s, like Anchorman, The 40 Year Old Virgin, and Knocked Up. Then he starred in later comedies like Role Models and I love you man. It wasn’t a surprise when Rudd got the role as Scott Lang aka Ant-Man. His witty humor and lovable charm made the Ant-Man character in the new Marvel franchise a hit. He was the ninth most paid Holly wood star this year.
8. Chris Evans
Chris Evans was first introduced to audiences when he played a role in the raunchy teen comedy, Not Another Teen Movie. This led him to act in another teen comedy, The Perfect Score, in 2004. Next he starred in his first action film, Cellular, with Jason Statham and Kim Basinger. After he proved he could be a good action hero he played The Human Torch in the Fantastic Four series of the early mid 2000’s. Six years later he would receive another Marvel role as Captain America. He starred as Captain America or played in supporting roles in several films of the latest Marvel series and because so he’s made a ton of money. He’s ranked number 8 as the highest paid actor this year.
7. Adam Sandler
Hotel Transylvania 3: Summer Vacation
Adam Sandler is an actor/comedian known for his over-the-top comedic performances. He has starred in several classic comedies like Billy Madison, Happy Gilmore, The Waterboy, The Wedding Singer, Big Daddy and Mr. Deeds. Before he acted in movies he became famous as a performer on Saturday Night Live. He was notorious for singing funny songs on The Weekend Update segment. Since 2014, Sandler signed onto a very lucrative deal with Netflix twice, locking him in for 8 Adam Sandler movies exclusive to Netflix. Because of this and his voice acting in the Hotel Transylvania series, Sandler was the 7th highest paid actor in 2019.
6. Bradley Cooper
A Star is Born
Bradley Cooper made his film debut in the classic teen comedy, Wet Hot American Summer in 2001. He then gained recognition by having a big role in the JJ Abrams tv show Alias that ran for 5 seasons. He acted in a minor role in Wedding Crashers but stood out to critics. He became an international star when he co-starred in The Hangover series (2009-2013). From 2012-2014 he played more serious roles in the drama films, Silver Linings Playbook, American Hustle, and American Sniper. He was nominated for Oscars all three years, becoming the 10th actor in history to do so. Cooper also voiced the character Rocket Raccoon in the Marvel franchise in which he appeared in several high grossing films. He starred and directed in the critically acclaimed film A Star Is Born in 2018 that was very profitable. He didn’t take a salary in order to receive a part of the films gross. He was the sixth highest paid actor in 2019.
5. Jackie Chan
Journey to China: The Mystery of the Iron Mask
Jackie Chan is an actor, stuntman and martial artist. He is best known for his humor, acrobatic fighting style and amazing stunts he does himself. Chan has been acting since the 60’s and has appeared in 150 films. He’s starred in huge box office hits like the Rush Hour series, the Shanghai Noon series and the remake of the Karate Kid. Chan began his movie career appearing in Hong Kong kung fu movies. He found his niche in action comedies. This led him to be noticed by Hollywood and he starred along side Chris Tucker in the first Rush Hour. This film propelled Chan into A-list status in the US and even 20 years later his name still pulls a lot of weight there. Recently, Chan has went back to doing foreign films but he’s getting paid fat stacks of cash for doing so. He was the 5th highest paid actor in 2019.
4. Akshay Kumar
Akshay Kumar is a Canadian born Indian actor who stars in Bollywood films. He is one of the most prolific actors there, having been in 110 films and having won many awards. He is best known for his appearances in the movies, Ajnabee (2001), Garem Masala (2005) and Rustom (2016). He was the first Bollywood actor whose films domestic net lifetime earnings has exceeded US $430 million. He’s still going strong because he was the 4th highest paid actor of 2019.
3. Robert Downey Jr.
Robert Downey Jr. has been acting in movies since he was 5. When he was a teenager he was one of the actors made famous called “The Brat Pack”, who were in the 80’s films Weird Science and Less Than Zero. In 1992, he played Charlie Chaplin in the biopic film Chaplin, and was nominated for an Oscar for his performance. Afterwards, he struggled with substance abuse and legal troubles so Hollywood would not insure him to be in any films. His good friend and fellow actor, Mel Gibson paid for his insurance and Robert Downey Jr. started getting roles again. He acted in the successful crime film Kiss Kiss Bang Bang in 2005 and the action comedy Tropic Thunder in 2008. This revived his acting career and he was cast as Ironman for the Marvel Franchise. After the first Ironman movie he became an international star again. He also took less money upfront so he could get some of the film franchise’s profits. This catapulted him into being the most paid actor for many years in Hollywood due to the success of the Ironman franchise. He’s still doing extremely well, he was the 3rd most paid actor in Hollywood of 2019.
2. Chris Hemsworth
Men in Black: International
Chris Hemsworth is an Australian actor who became first recognized in the Australian tv series, Home and Away that ran from 2004-2007. He then left for Hollywood and got a supporting role as George Kirk in the Star Trek reboot in 2009. In 2011, Hemsworth scored the role of the Viking god Thor for the Marvel franchise. This launched his career into being a A-lister due to it’s success. In 2012 and on, he starred in films like Snow White and the Huntsman, Red Dawn, Cabin in the Woods and Rush. Hemsworth went on to appear in six more Marvel films and he starred in the reboot of the Men in Black franchise (2019). With several high grossing box office hits under his belt in the last decade, Hemsworh proved to be a very bankable star for Hollywood. In 2019 he was the 2nd most paid actor.
1 Dwayne Johnson
Jumanji: The Next Level
Fast & Furious Presents: Hobbs & Shaw
Dwayne Johnson has come a very far way from transitioning out of professional wrestling into a film career. A lot of people thought he couldn’t do it, he has proved them all wrong. Now he is the highest paid actor in Hollywood. People know him as just Dwayne Johnson not Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson, like in his early film credits. He became a huge star when he joined the cast of The Fast and Furious franchise. His presence revitalized the entire series and made it into one of the most profitable franchises in Hollywood’s history. He also starred in the new Jumanji series reboot which was a smash hit as well. Plus, he gets paid $700,000 an episode on his HBO show Ballers which is critically acclaimed. Dwayne Johnson has made the entertainment business billions of dollars and he’s paid well for his troubles. In 2019 alone, he made $89.4 million so far, including his Under Armor deal, making him is the highest paid actor in 2019.