Making it to the big screen — many times over — has made Hollywood’s A-list movie stars very, very rich. The top-paid actors can now command eight-figure salaries to appear in a single film. Reese Witherspoon is one of those actors, and in 2002, her then-husband Ryan Phillippe knew very well how much she was making.
While they were presenting at the Oscars that year, Phillippe had Witherspoon read off the winner’s name, saying, “You make more than I do, so go ahead.” The actress was reminded of that big moment during a recent interview with Margaret Gardiner on “The HFPA in Conversation” podcast. Witherspoon admitted on the podcast, “There’s so few women that make a lot of money that sometimes they’re shamed for it, and sometimes they are expected to give more and do more and be more to others in the same position that say a male movie star would not be expected to … Women need to talk about money and how they made money and not feeling ashamed of it.”
So let’s talk about money and how much A-listers are making. Keep reading to test your knowledge of the net worths of some of the world’s most famous movie stars.
Last updated: Feb. 23, 2021
Cate Blanchett has been nominated for seven Academy Awards and won two: for 2004’s “The Aviator” and for 2013’s “Blue Jasmine.” Overall, the prestigious actress has accrued 87 acting credits — resulting in millions in the bank.
Tom Cruise rose to fame in the ’80s as the star of “Risky Business” and “Top Gun,” and his acting career hasn’t slowed down over the decades. Cruise now earns eight figures to star in films like “The Mummy” and the “Mission: Impossible” series, which is currently filming its seventh and eighth installments.
Viola Davis was the No. 10 highest-paid actress of 2020 with $15.5 million in earnings for the year, Forbes reported. She made the ranking for the first time last year thanks to paychecks from her starring roles in ABC’s “How to Get Away with Murder” and the Netflix original film “Ma Rainey’s Black Bottom.”
Leonardo DiCaprio has successfully transitioned from child star to heartthrob to serious actor — and he’s picked up seven Academy Award nominations along the way. After being nominated — and losing — five times — DiCaprio finally got his Oscar at the 2015 ceremony for his leading role in “The Revenant.”
With his unmistakable voice, Morgan Freeman has enraptured audiences in films like “Se7en,” “Invictus,” “Driving Miss Daisy” and “Million Dollar Baby.” Although Freeman has continued to act — and continued to pick up those corresponding big paychecks — he’s devoted some attention to a new passion in recent years: beekeeping. In 2019, the actor made headlines for converting his 124-acre Mississippi ranch into a bee sanctuary.
As the star of films like “Cast Away,” “Big,” “Forrest Gump” and “Apollo 13,” Tom Hanks has become a beloved actor by audiences and critics alike. He’s also built up a huge social following in recent years, with 16.6 million followers on Twitter alone.
Four-time Oscar nominee Ethan Hawke is the star of “Training Day” (2001), “Before Sunset” (2004), “The Purge” (2013) and “Boyhood” (2014). The box-office success of “The Purge” led to a payday of $2 million for Hawke on the backend, Forbes reported.
Anthony Hopkins is a horror film legend as the star of “The Silence of the Lambs” (1991) and “Hannibal” (2001). According to Forbes, the latter film “was the very definition of a breakout sequel, opening with $58 million in its debut weekend.”
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Kate Hudson made a name for herself as a rom-com queen and has since parlayed that fame into a veritable wellness empire. She has an activewear brand, Fabletics; a craft vodka line, King St. Vodka; has written two books; co-hosts a podcast; and became a Weight Watchers ambassador — all of which have added to her fortune.
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Regina King may be best known as an actress, but she’s recently added “director” to her CV. Her feature film directorial debut “One Night in Miami” premiered at the Venice Film Festival last year and made history as the first film presented at Venice directed by an African American woman, Forbes reported.
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As the star of the “Hunger Games” films, Jennifer Lawrence topped Forbes’ highest-paid actress list in both 2015 and 2016. In 2016, she earned $46 million, thanks in large part to her cut of the profits from the box-office gross of the final “Hunger Games” installment — $653.4 million — and her hefty upfront fees. She’s kept the big paychecks coming in as a member of the Marvel film franchise, most recently starring as Raven/Mystique in 2019’s “X-Men: Dark Phoenix.”
Landing the role of Michael Corleone in 1972’s “The Godfather” proved to be Al Pacino’s golden ticket to Hollywood. He’s starred in numerous high-profile films since then, including “Serpico” (1973), “Dog Day Afternoon” (1975) and “Dick Tracy” (1990).
Several of Joaquin Phoenix’s films have been major box-office successes: “Gladiator” made $461 million at the global box office and “The Village” made $257 million, Forbes reported. But those numbers are nothing compared to what “Joker” made around the globe — an insane $1.063 billion. It’s no wonder Phoenix is one of the richest A-list movie stars.
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Julia Roberts has held the title of America’s sweetheart during her long film career, which has included starring roles in classics like “Pretty Woman,” “Erin Brockovich” and “My Best Friend’s Wedding.” Although she’s made most of her fortune from her movie roles, Roberts’ most recent project was on the small screen, starring in the 2018 series “Homecoming.”
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Saoirse Ronan’s notable roles include “Atonement,” “Brooklyn,” “Lady Bird” and “Little Women” — all of which earned her Academy Award nominations. Though the young starlet has yet to win an Oscar, her increasing net worth is surely a good consolation prize.
Emma Stone was the highest-paid actress of 2017 with $26 million in pretax earnings for the year, Forbes reported. Most of the money came from her starring role in “La La Land,” which also won her the best actress Oscar. The film racked up $445.3 million at the global box office.
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With 21 Academy Award nominations under her belt, Meryl Streep is the most Oscar-nominated actress of all time. She has also earned five Emmy nominations, including a 2020 nomination for “Big Little Lies” — a role that paid her $800,000 an episode, Variety reported.
Being a critical darling has helped Streep rack up the big bucks. Click through to see how much she is worth.
According to Forbes, Denzel Washington had earned a whopping $290 million pretax between 2003 and 2017 thanks to his supersized paychecks — around $20 million per film. Washington is set to appear in two films in 2021: “The Little Things” and “Macbeth.”
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After starring in “Sense and Sensibility” in 1995, Kate Winslet rose to new levels of fame when she starred in “Titanic” in 1997. She has since starred in other major hits like “Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind” and “Revolutionary Road.” Winslet’s performances have earned her seven Oscar nominations and one win, for 2008’s “The Reader.”
Reese Witherspoon has turned her movie stardom into an entire empire that includes a production company, a multimedia company and a clothing line. Witherspoon is now making big bucks on the small screen too, with $1 million per episode paydays to star on Apple TV+’s “The Morning Show,” Hulu’s “Little Fires Everywhere” and HBO’s second season of “Big Little Lies,” Variety reported.
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Renée Zellweger’s acting resume is full of noteworthy films, like 1996’s “Jerry Maguire,” 2001’s “Bridget Jones’s Diary,” 2002’s “Chicago” and 2003’s “Cold Mountain.” Zellweger commands top dollar when she stars in a film — $10 million to $15 million per movie, according to The Hollywood Reporter — so it’s no wonder her decades on the big screen have made her very rich.
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This article originally appeared on GOBankingRates.com: The Richest of the Rich: See How Much Reese Witherspoon and More A-List Movie Stars Are Worth