Who’s in the Money? 2019's Top Paid Actors
Although his 2018 salary of $239 million trumps everyone on this list, George Clooney isn't on the 2019 list of biggest earners in Hollywood. Of course, Clooney has been busy with his twins and hasn’t appeared on the big screen since 2016 — the 2018 windfall came from a tequila deal — so we can cut him some slack. But if Clooney is out, who made the big bucks for their acting chops in 2019?
The ladies won’t be pleased to hear the list is mostly filled with men. In fact, only 10 of the 30 highest paid actors in 2019 are women. Perhaps the upcoming decade will see that start to change — only time will tell.
30. Kristen Stewart, $7 Million
Kristin Stewart earned a total of $25 million for her starring role in the five Twilight films. Since then, most of her roles have been in independent films, which don’t tend to pay as much, but it wasn't like she couldn't afford to be choosy. However, this year, she got involved in a more mainstream film: a Charlie's Angels reboot.
29. Idris Elba, $8 Million
Idris Elba landed the role of Brixton in Fast and Furious Presents: Hobbs and Shaw, a hugely successful film released in 2019. He brought in $8 million for that role, which isn’t too shabby for not being the main star. His total yearly salary didn't go above and beyond that figure, but that's not all he did for the year.
28. Ben Affleck, $8 Million
Ben Affleck had an $8 million income year in 2019, largely for his starring role in Netflix's Triple Frontier, an action film directed by J.C. Chandor. This was Affleck's first major role since 2017, when he took a break from his career due to a relapse in his battle with alcoholism.
27. Leonardo DiCaprio, $10 Million
Leonardo DiCaprio had a pretty slow 2019, all things considered. His only role was in Quentin Tarantino's latest film, Once Upon a Time in Hollywood. DiCaprio often earns huge paychecks to work on a film, but this one paid him less than he usually expects to make. Of course, the fortune he’s made on other films allows him to pick and choose roles based on preference rather than money.
26. Gal Gadot $10 Million
Gal Gadot is the star of DC Comic's Wonder Woman 1984, set to be released next summer. She was paid $10 million upfront for her role, which is not an amount to take lightly. This paycheck earned Gadot a seat on the list of top earning actors for a single role in 2019, after all.
25. Brad Pitt $10 Million
Brad Pitt's big role in 2019 was in Quentin Tarantino's summer flick Once Upon a Time in Hollywood. At the outset, it was unclear how well the film would do at the box office — people tend to love or hate Tarantino films — so the producers weren’t doling out the big bucks, even for big-name stars like Pitt.
24. Jason Statham, $13 Million
Fast and Furious Presents: Hobbs and Shaw was British actor Jason Statham's big paycheck for the year 2019. He earned $13 million for that role, which pretty much accounts for his entire year's salary. It may be down from other years, but it’s certainly not a sum most people would complain about — Statham included.
23. Ellen Pompeo, $22 Million
Ellen Pompeo's first and only major role as an actress began when she landed a spot on ABC's hit television show Grey's Anatomy in 2005. Before she got that role, Pompeo said she could barely make rent. Well, now it's 14 years later, and she is making $575,000 per episode, bringing her yearly salary to a grand total of $22 million.
22. Charlize Theron, $23 Million
Charlize Theron made $23 million in 2019, a salary that came from an assortment of roles and projects rather than just one. First of all, she had a busy year as an actress, starring in three films released in 2019: Long Shot, The Addams Family and Bombshell.
21. Margot Robbie, $23.5 Million
Birds of Prey (and the Fantabulous Emancipation of One Harley Quinn) isn't set to premiere until February 2020, but Margot Robbie made $10 million upfront for playing the film's lead character. On top of that, Robbie was also a producer for Birds of Prey. All these things were huge contributors to her $23.5 million salary for 2019.
20. Elisabeth Moss, $24 Million
When the Hulu hit series The Handmaid's Tale premiered in 2017, the show's leading actress, Elisabeth Moss, was only making $200,000 per episode. Nearly three years later, both the show and Moss herself have won numerous awards, making The Handmaid's Tale one of the most critically-acclaimed productions currently on the air.
19. Kaley Cuoco, $25 Million
Nearly all of Kaley Cuoco's $25 million salary for 2019 came from her role on the immensely successful CBS television sitcom The Big Bang Theory. During the show's 12th and final (sniff) season in 2019, Cuoco made $900,000 per episode, and that's only because she took a $100,000 pay cut so some of her co-stars could be paid more. Nice, right?
18. Ryan Reynolds, $27 Million
Ryan Reynolds may not have had the biggest overall salary for acting in 2019 — making a mere $27 million for the year — but he did accomplish something equally impressive. Reynolds was the highest paid actor in 2019 for a single role. Yes, that entire $27 million came from his lead role in the Michael Bay vigilante film 6 Underground.
17. Jennifer Aniston, $28 Million
The world fell in love with Jennifer Aniston's role as Rachel Green on the ‘90s sitcom Friends. However, since the show ended 15 years ago, Aniston hasn't given television another go until recently. Her huge $28 million earnings in 2019 have a lot to do with her re-entrance into television, starring on the Apple TV+ series, The Morning Show, where she makes $2 million per episode.
16. Nicole Kidman, $34 Million
Nicole Kidman's Golden Globe and Emmy for her role in season one of Big Little Lies pushed her salary for the show from $350,000 per episode to $1 million per episode during season two. That amount doesn’t include the extra she makes as an executive producer of the now critically-acclaimed series, either.
15. Reese Witherspoon, $35 Million
Reese Witherspoon has been making $1 million per episode of Big Little Lies for all of season two. That juicy amount is quadruple what she made per episode for season one, thanks to the show's wild success. In all, her salary for 2019 was $35 million.
14. Will Smith, $35 Million
Will Smith has had an active 2019. His role as the Genie in Aladdin — a $1 billion live-action film — probably had something to do with his $35 million earnings for the year. Another big part of his resurging success for the year seems to come back to the energy he is putting into his social media.
13. Paul Rudd, $41 Million
Paul Rudd used to be all about making comedies — lucrative but not necessarily top dollar gigs — but landing the role as Marvel's Ant-Man changed the game for his salary. In 2019, he made $41 million. Some of it came from 2018's Ant-Man and the Wasp profits, and the other major part was his role in Avengers: Endgame, which helped him land a spot as one of the year's highest paid actors.
12. Chris Evans, $43.5 Million
Like his famous co-stars, Chris Evans' role as Captain America in Avengers: Endgame left his bank account much bigger than when the year started. He earned $15 million for that single film alone, which is actually $14 million more than he made when Marvel first hired him for Captain America: The First Avenger in 2011. Now, that's a huge raise!
11. Jerry Seinfeld, $43.5 Million
Between still earning millions per year for all those Seinfeld reruns, touring for stand-up comedy shows and his amazingly popular and entertaining web series — Comedians in Cars Getting Coffee — Jerry Seinfeld's total salary for 2019 was $43.5 million. In fact, the web series was just renewed for a ninth season, so there's more where that came from for next year already.
10. Sofía Vergara, $44.1 Million
Modern Family began its 11th and final season this fall, which has many fans beside themselves as they wait to see how the show ends. Many of the sitcom's fans have fallen in love with Sofía Vergara's character, Gloria, over the years, and her 2019 salary reflects her enormous fame. This year, she earned $44.1 million, making her 2019's second-highest paid actress.
9. Scarlett Johansson, $56 Million
Scarlett Johansson made $56 million in 2019, making it the second year in a row that she earned the top spot as the highest paid actress. The pay gap between actors and actresses remains noteworthy, so this is an especially impressive feat. Her role as Black Widow in Avengers: Endgame earned her a paycheck of $35 million all by itself.
8. Adam Sandler, $57 Million
Adam Sandler's movie heyday may have come and gone in previous decades, but he is still earning like he's in his prime in 2019. With his $57 million salary for the year, Sandler proves he is still very much a star. The hit comedy Murder Mystery with Jennifer Aniston was Sandler's biggest role in 2019 and his biggest source of earnings for the year.
7. Bradley Cooper, $57 Million
Avengers: Endgame created a huge payday for a lot of actors, and it's true that Bradley Cooper did quite well for his voice work on Rocket. However, as surprising as it may be, most of his $57 million 2019 salary actually came from other endeavors.
6. Jackie Chan, $58 Million
Known for his martial arts skills, Jackie Chan continues to make huge waves in the film industry. Just this past year, he starred in three films, helping him reach a $58 million payday for 2019. Journey to China: The Mystery of Iron Mask was recently released in China.
5. Akshay Kumar, $65 Million
Akshay Kumar may not be very well known in the U.S., but that doesn’t stop him from making boat loads of money from his Bollywood acting career in India. In fact, 2019 was a great year for him at $65 million. Kumar starred in a number of Indian films this year, including Mission Mangal, a drama about Indian space researchers going to Mars.
4. Robert Downey Jr., $66 Million
Robert Downey Jr's 2019 earnings were a measly $66 million, largely because he was Iron Man in Avenger's: Endgame. He also gets a piece of that movie's $2.796 billion box office sales — almost 8%, to be exact. From Avengers: Endgame alone, Downey Jr took home $55 million.
3. Chris Hemsworth, $76.4 Million
As Thor in Avengers: Endgame, Chris Hemsworth made a pretty penny, helping him reach the status of third-highest earning actor in 2019 at $76.4 million. Lucky for him, Thor survived the film, allowing him to star in Thor: Love and Thunder in 2021. Whether he is looking forward to playing Thor again or getting the big, fat paycheck that comes with it is a question for another day.
2. Kevin Hart, $87.5 Million
It's Kevin Hart's hustle as a comedian that has brought him such huge success, both in terms of notoriety and money. His $87.5 million salary for 2019 says it all. While Hart is an actor who has starred in both films and television series, his work in 2019 consisted mainly of touring for stand-up comedy shows.
1. The Rock, $89.4 Million
Dwayne Johnson, more commonly known as The Rock, made $89.4 million in 2019. He can mostly thank Jumanji: The Next Level for that huge salary. Almost a third of that amount was paid upfront, plus he gets 15% from other high-performing franchise films, such as Jumanji: Welcome to the Jungle.