It’s official, Robert Downey Jr is the highest paid actor in Hollywood, beating out George Clooney, Brad Pitt, Hugh Jackman and Leonardo DiCaprio and Channing Tatum. The Iron Man actor who used to be considered a risk on any film he worked on has risen to the top of the heap.
According to Forbes magazine, he is the top earner in the dream factory and if he wasn’t sexy enough for women throughout the world already, his huge bank account figures would definitely increase his “pulling power.”
The 48 year-old actor tops the Forbes yearly least of entertainers with big wallets with an estimated $75 million in earning. Channing Tatum came in second place and Hugh Jackman danced in at third place.
It wasn’t that long ago that Downey’s drug habits made the news more than reviews of his films did. If you had a contest of celebrities who wore the orange jumpsuit associated with jail most often, Downey would probably win that one hands down as well.
Movie makers began to avoid Downey and his drug issues, arrest record, prison record and his party hard personality. He wasn’t a good risk for any film and most producers and studios didn’t want to pay the massive insurance premiums for using Downey, if they could insure him at all.
But Downey is a real-life Iron Man. Someone who actually survived substance misuse that he’d enjoyed for years. While other actors dropped like flies from lethal combinations of legal and illegal drugs in their systems, the Tony Stark actor stood his ground like a human Timex watch.
There is a certain bitter irony, that in the same week that Robert Downey Jr has been named as the highest paid actor in Hollywood, a young actor who was just starting his “star’s” journey died in a Vancouver Hotel room alone. Unfortunately, Cory Monteith’s death is not unique amongst the rich and famous in Hollywood.
The list of actors who’ve played too long in the substance abuse game is long and will, no doubt, get longer. Heath Ledger, and River Phoenix are just two of the ones who died before their time and young Cory Monteith has sadly joined their list.
But Robert Downey must surely count as the luckiest man in the world, or as mentioned above, he’s a real life Tony Stark/Iron Man. He has survived dancing with the devil and mocking death for years and his trial by drugs has managed to turn him into an almost guaranteed hit magnet.
Want someone to carry your film? Go get Downey, he’ll carry the entire film and insure that people will rush to see him in whatever film he makes. It is, as they say, an “understood.”
The top earners list in Forbes is put together with input from agents, producers and other “power-players” in the Hollywood industry who know what each star’s estimated earnings were for the period between June 2012 and June 2013.
The Forbes magazine article states that, Robert Downey Jr is a “hit machine.” It also points out that, “He’s starred in six movies that have each grossed over $500 million at the box office worldwide. Two of those films, The Avengers and Iron Man 3, each earned over $1 billion.”
Robert Downey Jr is not just a survivor, he’s the highest paid actor in Hollywood. And that’s worth surviving for. What is interesting to think about is what he’s spending his money on now that he’s given up the drugs.
By Michael Smith