The Highest-Paid Hollywood Stars in 2020

Mar 19, 2021Danica

Hollywood is an exciting and interesting place for all of us, and we sometimes think that this is the place where dreams are made of. Speaking of dreams, all the actors in Tinseltown started as ordinary people with dreams, but with hard work, talent and dedication, they succeeded. So which of our favorite actors on our screens are paid the highest?

Image Credits: Getty Images / Sofía Vergara at a show. | Trae Patton - NBC/NBCU

Conquering Tinseltown One Paycheck at a Time

It is a given that you need so much patience and dedication to breakthrough Hollywood, and these actors have proven just that. From big names such as Dwayne Johnson, Sofia Vergara, and Adam Sandler, they have proven that their appearance in one film can earn them a hefty paycheck. Although, who else got some of the highest salaries from Hollywood in 2020?

Image Credits: Getty Images / Ryan Reynolds at an event. | ANGELA WEISS - AFP

Viola Davis

We know Viola Davis from her astounding roles in films like The Help, Fences, and so much more—but it is for her role as Annalise Keating that landed her as one of Hollywood’s best-paid actresses! Viola’s performance on How to Get Away with Murder has catapulted her into being an A-Lister. However, how did Viola start in the industry?

Image Credits: Getty Images / Viola Davis at an event. | ANDREAS SOLARO - AFP

How Viola Davis Started Out

Not many people might know this, but Viola Davis started her career as a stage actress. She has done performances both in Broadway and Off-Broadway shows before climbing the ranks in Hollywood. It is safe to say that this legendary actress deserved the $15.5M she was paid in 2020; now, let us move onto this next actor on our list.

Image Credits: Getty Images / Viola Davis on the red carpet. | LEON NEAL - AFP

Jackie Chan

Is there anybody in this world who does not love nor appreciate the legendary films and characters of Jackie Chan? This icon’s career has spanned for six decades, and he is still going stronger than ever! So, how many films did Jackie make in the past year, and how hefty was his paycheck?

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How Jackie Chan Started Out

Jackie Chan has been in front of the camera as an extra and as Bruce Lee’s stuntman as early as the 60s, and he is still going at it! In 2020, Jackie made five films, and he also has a lot of endorsements and licensing deals that made him $40M in the past year crazy was that? This next star on our list is also quite a big name on television!

Image Credits: Getty Images / Jackie Chan posing in Paris. | Benjamin Auger - Paris Match

Elisabeth Moss

If you have even seen a few episodes of the hit series, The Handmaid’s Tale, you are probably familiar with Elisabeth Moss. This amazing actress is currently being paid about $1M per episode, and we do think that she deserves this for her fantastic portrayal of June Osborne. Although, it had not always been easy for Elisabeth...

Image Credits: Getty Images / Elisabeth Moss on the red carpet. | VALERIE MACON - AFP

How Elisabeth Moss Started Out

Elisabeth Moss had already started acting in the 1990s, and her first significant role was for the political series, The West Wing. Then she landed her breakthrough role as Peggy Olson in Mad Men, and she then found her current success in The Handmaid’s Tale. We love seeing Elisabeth on our screens, but we wonder if she will leap into the silver screen anytime soon…

Image Credits: Getty Images / Elisabeth Moss on set. | Chris Large - NBCU

Adam Sandler

We know Adam Sandler to be one of the most amazing actor-comedians of his generation, and he gives off such a fun vibe. He has found a new-found home on Netflix since his film, Murder Mystery, became one of the most popular movies on the streaming site. So how much did Adam earn from his roles on his newest Netflix films?

Image Credits: Getty Images / Adam Sandler at an event. | Peter Kramer - NBCU Photo Bank/NBCUniversal

How Adam Sandler Started Out

Before he started getting $41M in profit, Adam Sandler was simply a comedian with a dream. So he set out to become a cast member on Saturday Night Live, and he was a regular on the show from 1990 to 1995; after this stint, he pursued his dreams in Hollywood. Thank goodness he did because Tinseltown will never be the same without his charms and wit!

Image Credits: Getty Images / Adam Sandler on Saturday Night Live. | Raymond Bonar - NBCU

Ellen Pompeo

If you are an avid fan of the hit series Grey’s Anatomy, then you probably know who Ellen Pompeo is! Ellen’s fantastic portrayal as Meredith Grey has landed her $550,000 for every single episode of Grey’s Anatomy—how crazy is that? However, as much as we love seeing Ellen on television, will we ever see her venture on the silver screen?

Image Credits: Getty Images / Ellen Pompeo on set. | Mitch Haaseth - Getty Images

How Ellen Pompeo Started Out

Ellen Pompeo never really dreamed of going for a Hollywood career. Still, it would seem that Hollywood wanted her because she was discovered by a casting director in New York City. Her first ever role was for a L’Oreal ad, and then she made her screen debut in Law & Order. She had gone on to do a couple more series, but it was Grey’s Anatomy that put her on the map.

Image Credits: Getty Images / Ellen Pompeo on set. | Michael Desmond - Walt Disney Television

Will Smith

Another great actor who has risen on top of Hollywood is none other than Will Smith! The Fresh Prince might have left Bel-Air so many decades ago, but that does not mean that he has to leave his royalties behind. Nowadays, Will not only makes money off his hit films, but he also takes full advantage of technology...

Image Credits: Getty Images / Will Smith at an event. | THOMAS SAMSON - AFP

How Will Smith Started Out

In today’s digital age, Will Smith is taking full advantage of both technology and the internet; he creates online content for both YouTube and Instagram, and he does have a bunch of mobile phone hits! It is so hard to imagine a Hollywood without Will, so we hope to see more of him in the future! Now, what about this next iconic actress on our list?

Image Credits: Getty Images / Will Smith on set. | Raymond W. Holman Jr. - NBCU Photo Bank

Nicole Kidman

Most of us have grown up watching Nicole Kidman on films like Moulin Rouge, Batman Forever, Eyes Wide Shut, Practical Magic, and so much more! Today, she is one of the main casts in the new Netflix musical, The Prom, and she was paid no less than an eight-figure salary! We know that Nicole only gets the best deals, but her career started quite shaky...

Image Credits: Getty Images / Nicole Kidman on the red carpet. | ANGELA WEISS - AFP

How Nicole Kidman Started Out

We know that Nicole Kidman is probably one of Australia's best things, but not many people know that she was born in Hawaii! Her breakthrough in the Australian acting scene came from her role in the series, Five Mile Creek; then you can say the rest is history. Now, this next one is a Broadway legend who is breaking barriers in Hollywood!

Image Credits: Getty Images / A portrait of Nicole Kidman. | Lichfield Archive - Getty Images

Lin-Manuel Miranda

It is Lin-Manuel Miranda’s first time on Hollywood’s best-paid list, and this is all thanks to Disney for acquiring the worldwide movie rights to his Broadway production of Hamilton. Apparently, Lin-Manuel had been paid about $75M for this alone—how crazy is that? Although this is not the last time we will see him on a list like this, but how did this Broadway genius start?

Image Credits: Getty Images / Lin-Manuel Miranda at an event. | Nathan Congleton - NBC/NBCU Photo Bank

How Lin-Manuel Miranda Started Out

Lin-Manuel Miranda’s net worth will not be rolling down anytime soon since he can expect an even bigger deal when the film adaptation of In the Heights comes out! People already knew that Lin-Manuel would be a Broadway phenomenon, but nobody expected him to be as big as today! It is safe to say that people who work hard get the full recognition that they deserve!

Image Credits: Getty Images / Lin-Manuel Miranda at the Tony Awards. | Jonathan Fickies - Bloomberg

Emily Blunt

Another big name in Hollywood that landed on this list is none other than Emily Blunt! Her performance in the blockbuster hit, A Quiet Place has earned her an eight-figure paycheck, and she can expect more from it on its second film. Plus, this is not the only project Emily is involved in; but what else do we know from this amazing actress?

Image Credits: Getty Images / Emily Blunt on the red carpet. | ANGELA WEISS - AFP

How Emily Blunt Started Out

From her days as Meryl Streep’s assistant in The Devil Wears Prada to her life as one of Hollywood’s most sought-after stars, Emily Blunt’s life is as good as it gets. She initially started acting to overcome her stutter as a teenager, and this is something she loved so much that she made an impressive career out of it! Now, let us see who this next actor on our list might be.

Image Credits: Getty Images / Emily Blunt at an event. | ROBYN BECK - AFP

Vin Diesel

Most of us probably know Vin Diesel from his role in the Fast and the Furious Franchise. Vin’s earnings in 2020 would have climbed from $54M to an even higher amount had the film release for the newest Fast and the Furious film not be pushed to April 2021. He did make a way to get a bit more cash back, which most actors do nowadays!

Image Credits: Getty Images / Vin Diesel at an event. | Nathan Congleton - NBCU Photo Bank/NBCUniversal

How Vin Diesel Started Out

From the beginning, Vin Diesel already knew that he was going to make it big since his first-ever short film, Multi-Facial, was chosen to be screened at the prestigious Cannes Film Festival! Today, he makes the most out of his role in the Fast and the Furious Franchise by acting as a producer for Fast & Furious Spy Racers. Well, what about this next one on our list?

Image Credits: Getty Images / Vin Diesel at an event. | Bill Denver - Telemundo

Meryl Streep

Are we even surprised to see the fantastic Meryl Streep on this list? This year, Meryl’s earnings mostly came from the films Let Them All Talk, The Prom, and Little Women; in total, she received an astounding $24M from these films! However, the limelight did not come as naturally to Meryl as the other actresses on this list...

Image Credits: Getty Images / Meryl Streep at an event. | LEON NEAL - AFP

How Meryl Streep Started Out

Before becoming the widely celebrated actress that she is today, Meryl Streep had to forge her showbusiness path! She started in theatre, but it was for her role in Kramer vs. Kramer that landed her on Hollywood’s radar! Today, everybody knows who Meryl Streep is, but do they still know about this next actor on our list?

Image Credits: Getty Images / Meryl Streep on set. | John Bulmer - Popperfoto

Mark Wahlberg

You might remember Mark Wahlberg’s campaign for Calvin Klein when he was a tad bit younger, but what is he up to today? His action-comedy, Spenser Confidential, is the third most-watched original film on Netflix, and he also has a few docuseries like McMillions and Wahl Street. So, was Hollywood always welcoming of Mark Wahlberg?

Image Credits: Getty Images / Mark Wahlberg at an event. | Nathan Congleton - NBCU Photo Bank/NBCUniversal

How Mark Wahlberg Started Out

Mark Wahlberg started as Marky Mark in the early 90s, but he transitioned to becoming an actor just a few years later. Thank goodness he did, because we do feel like he is so much better as an actor than he was as a rapper—but then again, you can watch Marky Mark’s old videos online, so we will leave you to be the judge of that. Well, this next actress is popular in Israel!

Image Credits: Getty Images / Marky Mark and the Funky Bunch performing live. | Margaret Norton - NBCU Photo Bank/NBCUniversal

Gal Gadot

Nowadays, we always associate Gal Gadot with her role as Wonder Woman. However, since Wonder Woman 1984 had been paused for a bit in 2020, she gathered a $20M paycheck from Netflix for her Red Notice role. Gal is one of Hollywood’s stars that is continually rising and making way for herself, but did you know that she started as a beauty queen?

Image Credits: Getty Images / Gal Gadot at an event. | Zach Pagano - NBCU Photo Bank/NBCUniversal

How Gal Gadot Started Out

Gal Gadot was Israel’s representative to Miss Universe since she won Miss Israel’s title in 2004. This beauty queen is serving looks nowadays because now we know what she is really capable of, and we cannot wait to see more of what Gal can do! Now, this next one on our list may or may not be another superhero!

Image Credits: Getty Images / Gal Gadot at an event for Miss Universe 2004. | MARTIN BERNETTI - AFP

Ryan Reynolds

If you miss seeing Ryan Reynolds on the silver screen, well, we do think that his appearances on numerous Netflix films would suffice for now. Netflix announced last year that they are producing three more films starring Ryan Reynolds, and we do know that he will end up with another eight-figure paycheck. However, will Ryan go back to the silver screen?

Image Credits: Getty Images / Ryan Reynolds at an event. | ALBERTO PIZZOLI - AFP

How Ryan Reynolds Started Out

From his roles as Green Lantern and Deadpool, one can say that Ryan Reynolds is a bit of a superhero veteran. This ordinary guy from Canada has landed most aspiring actors’ dream job, and he even got the beautiful girl along with it—how lucky is that? Speaking of a beautiful girl, this next one probably has one of the most beautiful faces in Hollywood!

Image Credits: Getty Images / Ryan Reynolds and Blake Lively on the red carpet. | ALBERTO PIZZOLI - AFP

Angelina Jolie

Naturally, this list will not be complete without Angelina Jolie—although she might be the only celebrity on this list that made all of her money from traditional films. One of her most significant projects from the past year is for the film, The Eternals. A thing about Angelina that not many people know is that she has come from a long Hollywood royalties line.

Image Credits: Getty Images / Angelina Jolie at an event. | TIZIANA FABI - AFP

How Angelina Jolie Started Out

Angelina Jolie is the daughter of John Voight and Marcheline Bertrand, but even though her parents were already celebrities, Angelina had to forge a clear path. She is one of the most successful stars in Hollywood, and she also does humanitarian work for the United Nations. She truly is a woman of great beauty inside and out!

Image Credits: Getty Images / Angelina Jolie with the United Nations. | EMMANUEL DUNAND - AFP

Dwayne Johnson

Not many people may realize this, but Dwayne Johnson is the highest-paid actor in Hollywood for 2019 and 2020! In the last year, he garnered an astounding $87.5M for some of his blockbuster hits, both on the silver screen and Netflix. So how did he do it, and what else can we expect from The Rock this 2021?

Image Credits: Getty Images / Dwayne Johnson at an event. | Eddy Chen - Walt Disney Television

How Dwayne Johnson Started Out

Many projects are already lined up for Dwayne Johnson this year, and we cannot wait to see what he will venture into next. Dwayne has set countless records from being a wrestler for the WWE to be Hollywood’s leading man, and he continually inspires actors to do well. Now, you will never believe who the highest-paid actress of 2020 is!

Image Credits: Getty Images / Dwayne Johnson at an event. | PASCAL GUYOT - AFP

Sofía Vergara

The amazing actress who took the top spot on this list is none other than Sofía Vergara! This beautiful and funny actress has shared her wits and talents on Modern Family. Everybody loved her for it; nowadays, she is also one of America’s Got Talent judges. However, life had not always been easy for Sofía and her family.

Image Credits: Getty Images / Sofía Vergara at an event. | VALERIE MACON - AFP

How Sofía Vergara Started Out

A photographer discovered Sofía Vergara while she was walking at a random beach in Colombia—that was how gorgeous she looked like! Then she moved to Miami due to some of her family’s problems, but this also provided more opportunities for Sofía to thrive in Hollywood. So, the big question is this: how does Hollywood measure a star’s success?

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How Does Hollywood Measure a Star’s Success?

There are many different ways to measure someone’s success, but we know that Hollywood measures them differently. Obviously, there are other outstanding and exceptional stars, but they are not paid relatively high like the stars on this list. However, that does not mean that they are not talented nor successful.

Image Credits: Getty Images / Jackie Chan at an event. | Steve Fenn - Walt Disney Television

Hollywood is such a different, interesting yet exciting place, and we cannot wait to see who will continually thrive this year. Which of the stars on this list is your favorite? Let us know by leaving a comment below, and share this article with your family and friends!

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