Are They Worth It?: Forbes’ 10 Highest Paid Actors

By Dustin Brewer

Forbes has released their 2014 10 Highest Paid Actors list. We take a look at the list and if those on it are worthy of their high costs.

It’s no secret that actors are some of the most overpaid people in the world and with the release of Forbes’ latest list of the highest paid actors in the world comes the debate- who is really earning their fortunes?

10 – Mark Wahlberg – $32 Million

Does he deserve it? Yes and I’m shocked it’s not more.

Sure, Transformers 4 was a giant jumbled mess of plot device and weak writing, but Wahlberg has been in a zone where anything he makes is going to make truckloads of money and he’ll at least be entertaining to watch in it. From this time last year til now he’s put out 2 Guns, Lone Survivor and Trans4mers, cementing his status as a top tier action hero.

9 – Will Smith – $32 Million

Does he deserve it? Yes but barely.

I’m not going to lie, I’m a little shocked that Big Willie Style earned as much as Mark Wahlberg with Smith’s only film being the tank-tastic After Earth and cameos in Anchorman 2 and Winter’s Tale as Satan (seriously) but given Will’s track record before After Earth, we’re going to have to wait and see how his next project turns out before we revoke his star status.

8 – Christian Bale – $35 Million

Does he deserve it? Yes and then some.

Christian last donned the cowl of Batman in 2012 but followed that up in 2013 with a role in Out of the Furnace that was considered the best part of a muddled and unfocused film and also received his second Oscar nomination for his role in American Hustle. Plus, the people are going to be clamoring to have him return to Batman after Batman vs Superman is released and bums everyone out.

7 – Ben Affleck – $35 Million

Does he deserve it? Sometimes.

Well, speak of the new Batman and he shall appear. Ben only appeared in one film in 2013, the Justin Timberlake starring, gambling thriller Runner Runner which, makes no sense given that he was coming off of an Academy Award win for Best Picture for his film Argo. No one on this list is as hit or miss as Batfleck, who will next appear in what looks like a fantastic film; the David Fincher directed Gone Girl, where Ben may or may not have murdered his wife.

6 – Liam Neeson – $36 Million

Does he deserve it? EVERY CENT.

Not only has Liam reinvented himself as basically the premiere go-to action star, but 2013 saw him also cameo in Anchorman 2,  provide the voice of Bad Cop in the Lego Movie where he sent up his action hero persona and appear as the villain in Seth MacFarlane’s western comedy A Million Ways to Die in the West. Before 2014 is done, he’ll be returning to opening cans of whoop ass in A Walk Among the Tombstones before once again unleashing his certain set of skills in Taken 3.

5 – Chris Hemsworth – $37 Million

Does he deserve it? Not yet.

Yes, he’s fantastic as Thor but his other ventures haven’t been nearly as lucrative or well received. His attempt at dramatic awards material, Ron Howard’s Formula One film Rush failed to do much at the box office and was virtually shut out at awards time. Before appearing in Avengers 2, his box office clout will be tested in Michael Mann’s hacking drama, Cyber.

4 – Leonardo DiCaprio – $39 Million

Does he deserve it? Absolutely.

Leo Dio is consistently bringing it in unconventional films that end up being smash hits and awards contenders. The Wolf of Wall Street failed to bring Leo the Oscar he deserves, but it did get 5 Oscar nominations as well as $395 million worldwide. Not bad for a  three-hour film about greed, sex and drugs and it did it on the strength of DiCaprio’s performance.

3 – Bradley Cooper – $46 Million

Does he deserve it? Yeah, why not.

B Coop started off playing basically himself in every movie he appeared in, but has begun to balance those roles with more diverse roles in films like Place Beyond the Pines and Silver Linings Playbook. In 2013 he was in Hangover Part 3 but balanced that with an Oscar nominated turn in American Hustle, his second nomination. In a few weeks he’s going to voice Rocket Raccoon, the sure to be breakout star from Marvel’s newest opus; Guardians of the Galaxy.

2 – Dwayne Johnson – $52 Million –

Does he deserve it? You shouldn’t even have to ask.

Do you smell what the Rock is cooking? It’s box office glory at every single turn. He deserved every award in existence for his work in Pain & Gain, not to mention the renewed box office success he brought to the GI Joe and Fast & Furious franchises. Next up, he’s going to be Hercules, the only man in the world that could possibly stand on par with Arnold Schwarzenegger and Kevin Sorbo. Hercules however does mark his first time headlining a major blockbuster on his own, but if it’s successful, then Dwayne will hit an even higher level of star power and maybe one day top this list.

1 – Robert Downey Jr – $75 Million

Does he deserve it? Yes. Honestly, it could come out that gold yachts filled with cash continually come to his house and I’d still say he deserves it.

RDJ must have a printing press at his house because he made more money than the Rock by almost a full Mark Wahlberg and he didn’t make a movie this whole year. He appeared in Jon Favreau’s film Chef for a few minutes but is mostly still just riding high on the unrelenting success of his Sherlock Holmes movies and as Iron Man in those films and in the Avengers. Before he dons the suit again in Avengers: Age of Ultron, he’ll appear in The Judge, hoping to show his dramatic chops that he’s shied away from in recent years.

It’s hard to argue that anyone deserves to make $75 million in one calendar year but RDJ’s story is a fantastic one of redemption, not to mention that the films he’s been in have grossed billions of dollars, largely because of him so it makes sense that the golden goose would get the biggest cut.

With Avengers: Age of Ultron coming out in 2015, it’s pretty safe to say that Downey will be staying at the top of this list for a long time to come.


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