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Who Are The World’s Highest-Paid Actors In 2021?

Acting is a rather glamorous profession. Actors get to walk down red carpets in thousand-dollar suits and have access to some of the most exclusive places on earth -plus get paid enough to afford mansions most could only dream of.

However, there are some actors who rise above the rest, not just because of their talent but because of their rising pay. The demand for their acting reputation is so high, that directors and filmmakers alike are willing to pay thousands and even millions of dollars for their acting contributions. 

The highest-paid actors in Hollywood can also demand astronomical figures for their services and bizarrely, they generally get them. Since the turn of the millennium, A-lister’s have steadily seen the salaries increase per production, with more emphasis placed on star power and revenue streams exploding.

Not to mention the actor may have extra payouts due to numerous advertising contracts and various brand deals related to the movie.

Here are some of the top 2021 highest-paid actors in the world as told by Forbes.

In order:

WILL SMITH

  • Highest Salary For A Role In A Movie: $40 Million

Will Smith rose to fame in the 1990s, acting in the television series The Fresh Prince Of Bel-Air and in 1996 the star made a huge jump from television to the big screen with his role in Independence Day. This cemented him in acting and got him starring roles in Men In Black, I Robot, I Am Legend and The Pursuit Of Happiness.

His acting career continued to grow with his recent role in the Disney remake of Aladdin in 2019, where he played the Genie. This role alone made him $12.5 Million. But now there is an Oscar-buzz surrounding Will Smith’s new film King Richard which was released in September this year. His role as Richard Williams, father of tennis greats Venus and Serena netted him a reported $40 million, good enough for third place in this year’s top-earning actors.

  • Total Net Worth: $350 Million

PAUL RUDD

  • Highest Salary For A Role In A Movie: $41 Million

Paul Rudd has been in dozens of films since his debut in Sisters in the ’90s. In the 2000s his roles usually fell into light-hearted romantic comedies like Dinner For Schmucks, The 40-Year-Old Virgin and Anchorman. However, in 2019 he changed his course to play more action-packed drama roles in major Marvel films. Due to his starring role in The Wasp, Antman and The Avengers: End Game, Rudd has been reportedly been paid out a total of $41 Million for his time in Marvel. 

  • Net Worth: $70 Million

CHRIS EVANS

  • Highest Salary For A Role In A Movie: $43 Million

Our beloved Captain America, another Marvel superhero, Chris Evans hasn’t been doing acting for very long. He made his break in the 2001 film – Biodiversity: Wild About Life! This was a 1997 educational film co-produced by the National Fish and Wildlife Foundation, before making appearances in minor television roles in the early 2000s.

But in 2005 he played the human torch in the movie series Fantastic Four and from then onwards was known to all as a superhero. In 2011 he was cast as a new member of the Marvel family and his career only skyrocketed from there. From the Avenger franchise, the star pocketed $43 Million alone.

  • Net Worth: 80 Million

ADAM SANDLER

  • Salary For His Role In A Movie: $57 Million

One of the highest-paid actors to this day for many years is Adam Sandler. The star went from being a cast member on the television show Saturday Night Live, to playing roles in a host of comedy movies in the 1990s and more series roles in the early 2000s. 

Not only does he star in the films but has been known to produce and direct multiple big-screen movies. The film Uncut Gems, a 2019 American crime thriller film, stars Adam Sandler as Howard Ratner, a Jewish-American jeweller and gambling addict in New York City’s Diamond District, who must retrieve an expensive gem he purchased to pay off his debts.

The movie which was released in 2019 made him a whopping $57 Million alone.

  • Net Worth: $420 Million

JACKIE CHAN

  • Salary For His Role In A Movie: $58 Million

The oldest and perhaps one of the most well-known actors on the planet, Jackie Chan began his career way back in the 1990s. He landed small roles as a child and soon became well-known for his incredible stuntwork. His big American break came from starring in Rush Hour, Around The World In 80 Days, Shanghai Noon and Karate Kid. In 2019 he earned $58 million that year for his roles in Journey to China: The Mystery of Iron Mask Master and The Knight of Shadows: Between Yin and Yang. 

  • Net Worth: $420 Million

ROBERT DOWNEY Jr.

  • Highest Salary For A Role In A Movie: $66 Million

The Marvel star who plays superhero Iron Man, also known as Tony Stark earned $66 Million in 2019 for his role. The Avengers: End Game gave the star $55 Million alone. He is the second watched Box Office star of all time with his films grossing over $14 Billion. In the early 1990s, he played in Chaplin and Less Than Zero but unfortunately went in and out of prison for drug addiction until his life changed in 2008. He was cast as Iron Man.

  • Net Worth: $300 Million

CHRIS HEMSWORTH

  • Highest Salary For A Role In A Movie: $76 Million

Once again, Marvel set out to create some of the highest-paid actors of all time. Chris Hemsworth, commonly known for his role as Thor, started his career back in Australia playing small-time roles. His breakthrough came from Thor in 2011 as well as playing in the Men In Black Remake in 2019. In Forbes magazine’s latest list of highest-paid actors in Hollywood, he gained a reported salary of $76.4million from movies in Marvel alone.

  • Net Worth: $130 Millon

DWAYNE ‘THE ROCK’ JOHNSON

  • Highest Salary For A Role In A Movie: $89 Million 

Dwayne ‘The Rock’ Johnson is an A-lister in terms of the highest-paid actors, however, this year, he’s slipped to the second spot. The star earned $89 Million for his role in the Fast And Furious franchise alone.

Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson was born into a professional wrestling family in 1972. An injury ended his college football career, so he entered the ring with the WWE. 

As “The Rock,” he won the WWE Heavyweight title numerous times. Johnson then parlayed his wrestling fame into a film career, appearing in projects like 2001’s The Mummy Returns and 2010’s Tooth Fairy

Later projects include the HBO series Ballers (where he earned $700 000 per episode) and the Jumanji franchises (he earned $23 Million upfront). Not to mention his voice as demigod Maui in Moana.

  • Net Worth: $320 Million

DANIEL CRAIG

  • Highest Salary For A Role In A Movie: $100 Million

Sitting at number one is as reported, Daniel Craig. He is the highest-paid actor for 2021 thanks to a lucrative deal with Netflix. The streaming service picked up Craig’s runaway hit Knives Out with two sequels set to premiere in the coming years. 

Craig’s $100 million pay-cheque can be credited to the projected back-end box office participation, but also a hefty contribution from the Bond franchise and film No Time to Die set to swell the final figure.

In total, Craig has made an estimated $82.4 million from playing James Bond in five movies alone, $100 Million in total. 

  • Net Worth: $160 Million

SEE MORE: WHO ARE THE WORLD’S HIGHEST-PAID MODELS?