We’ve all seen that part of a movie where an adult approaches a kid and dramatically asks them, “what do you want to be when you grow up?” When asked this ourselves, many responded different things. Some wanted to save people’s lives for a living, working as a doctor or a fireman. Others held a passion for sports, and wanted to partake in them at the highest level as professional athletes.
In this day and age however, things are a little different. The newest generation is currently growing up in a world absolutely driven by social media. As a result of this, the kind of person these kids typically look up to is the kind of person they see all the time, someone with the highest amount of media exposure possible. Ask a kid what they want to be when they grow up today, and they’ll more than likely give you one answer: famous. Hollywood actors in particular are a great example of this. They live a life full of fame, glamour, and because of their international exposure through the media and their movies, actors are easily some of the most recognizable people in the entire world. Not to mention, the job can come with quite the paycheck depending on the actor. Seriously, some of these people are paid some big bugs to do what they do. Although, there are a few factors that may come into play in deciding how much an actor makes. The kinds of movies they’ve been in, how currently relevant they are within pop-culture, things like these certainly lend a hand in deciding how much an actor goes home with at the end of the day.Some of these may or may not surprise you, but here are the top 5 highest paid actors in Hollywood.
#5 – Adam Sandler ($41 Million)
Right off the bat, comedian Adam Sandler’s entry in this list may seem a little surprising to a lot of people .Although he certainly has produced some great performances in the past (Click, Happy Gilmore, and The Wedding Singer, are a few noteworthy films Sandler has starred in), Adam isn’t exactly known for consistently playing oscar-worthy roles in his films. However, there is the matter of the sheer volume of movies he comes out with. Almost every year, Adam Sandler puts out films that are generally promoted rather heavily. Cumulatively, Sandler’s films have grossed approximately $4 billion at the worldwide box office. In 2014, Adam’s production company Happy Madison Productions signed a four movie deal with Netflix that is said to make up a large portion of the money he makes. Say what you want about his movies, but Adam Sandler makes money, and lots of it.
#4 – Bradley Cooper ($41.5 Million)
Rising to a level of particular prominence in 2014, Bradley Cooper had been a part of a series of very popular and high-grossing movies in the box office. 2014’s Guardians of the Galaxy, in which Bradley played the loud-mouthed Rocket Raccoon, was an absolutely enormous hit, making roughly $770 million in the box office. Just a quick note, generally anyone who has played a starring role in one of the Marvel Cinematic Universe’s current wave of films has seen at least above average monetary success. Cooper was also a main-character in what would become the highest-grossing comedy of all time, 2009’s The Hangover. Aside from just making movies that cash in big at the box-office, many of Bradley’s movies are well received critically. 2014 biographical war film American Sniper, for which Cooper was nominated for the Academy Award for Best Actor, was very well received by critics who both noted the impact of the movie, and the strength of Bradley’s performance. If he continues down this road, you’re only going to be seeing more and more of Bradley Cooper.
#3 – Vin Diesel ($47 Million)
If you would have checked this list most other years prior, Vin Diesel probably wouldn’t be a part of it. Though known primarily for his action flicks, Diesel has starred in a variety of movies like XXX, The Chronicles of Riddick, and The Pacifier. Diesel also starred as lovable tree and bodyguard, Groot, in 2015’s Guardians of the Galaxy. Once again, if you star in a current wave Marvel movie, you will probably make lots of money. Although, most people likely recognize Vin Diesel from his role as Dominic Toretto throughout the massively successful Fast and the Furious franchise. The first movie, The Fast and the Furious was released in 2001, starring Diesel and late actor Paul Walker. Over time, the franchise saw great successes, and developed immensely. To date, seven movies in the franchise have been released, with an eight one set to be released in 2017. It was, in fact, the $1.5 billion performance of Furious 7, that netted him the largest paycheck of his career. Having a comfortable place within several franchises and movie series, Vin Diesel probably won’t have to worry about money for a very long time.
#2 – Jackie Chan ($50 Million)
In a way, Jackie Chan is famous in a lot of the same ways Bruce Lee was. Chan traversed the boundaries of eastern culture and made a name for himself (a big one at that) through his immense success in Hollywood. Chan has starred in so many successful films that it’d be hard pressed to find someone who hasn’t at least heard of one of them. Known for his action movies, which take advantage of Chan’s martial arts prowess, he has starred in movies like the Rush Hour trilogy, the 2010 remake of The Karate Kid, Shanghai Noon, and its sequel Shanghai Knights. If family movies are more your thing, Chan also plays master Monkey in the Kung Fu Panda trilogy. Even when his movies don’t cash in too well in the box office, they often more than make up for it when they release in China. Having become such a household name in both markets, it’s no wonder why Jackie Chan finishes second on this list of Hollywood’s top 5 most paid actors.
#1 – Robert Downey Jr. ($50 Million)
Well, what do you expect? He’s Iron Man. One doesn’t have to delve too deep into Robert Downey Jr’s filmography to discover why he’s Hollywood’s highest paid actor. It’s been said twice before on this list that the current Marvel Cinematic Universe is basically one’s ticket to the big bucks. The release of Iron Man in 2008, which Downey Jr starred as the titular character in, was arguably the event that started this craze of superhero movies. Since then, his success has only grown. Not only has Robert Downey Jr since starred in Iron Man 2 and Iron Man 3, but he often is featured in most other movies in the Marvel Cinematic Universe. Just recently Robert co-starred in Captain America: Civil War, a movie which by itself has grossed $1.132 billion since its release. In fact, if you take a look at the top 10 highest grossing films of all time, Robert has starred in three of them. That’s astounding by anyone’s standards. So long as Downey Jr continues to charm millions playing billionaire/playboy/philanthropist Tony Stark, he’s not going to have much competition for the throne of Hollywood’s highest paid actor.
Although the actors on this list have done tremendously for themselves, this isn’t always the case at all. Many actors struggle to make this much money, whether it be because of the inability to find good roles, or perhaps they just don’t stay relevant within pop culture for as long as they’d like. As can be seen through this list, being famous definitely has its perks. One must also remember, that being the center of attention, may not always be as great as it seems.