Pop culture obsessives writing for the pop culture obsessed.

George Clooney is the highest-paid actor in the world, despite not making a movie since 2016

Photo: Frazer Harrison (Getty Images for Turner)

Forbes’ annual rankings of the highest-paid actors and actresses are always at least somewhat controversial, if only because a lot of these people do not deserve this much money, but last year’s lists were particularly noteworthy for the fact that 14 actors (including top-earner Mark Wahlberg) made more money than the highest-paid actress (Emma Stone). That gap isn’t quite as pronounced this year, with only six men making more money than the highest-paid woman, but the gap between the highest-paid man and the highest-paid woman is absurd—for more than one reason.

But first, let’s talk lettuce: Scarlett Johansson was the highest paid actress of the past year, pulling in $40.5 million thanks to Infinity War. Actually, the core Avengers cast took up a bunch of spots on both lists, though the only one of Earth’s Mightiest Heroes on the list that Johansson beat was Chris Evans (which makes sense, since she had maybe six lines in the movie and he only had, like, three). Angelina Jolie came in second, mostly because of upfront pay for Maleficent 2, and Jennifer Aniston held on to her top-five position because she still makes a crap-load of money from Friends.


On the man side, Dwayne Johnson landed in second with $124 million, which makes sense because he’s in every movie, with Robert Downey Jr. and Chris Hemsworth taking third and fourth since they’ve both been in two Marvel movies in the past year. Still, they made nothing compared to the highest-paid actor: George Clooney, who made $239 million even though his last movie was Money Monster in 2016 (which wasn’t even a good movie).

In fact, his appearance on the list at all deserves a Mark McGwire-style asterisk, because Clooney only made that much money because he sold his tequila company Casamigos for $1 billion. Sure, he’ll be in the Catch-22 adaptation, but as far as 2017 is concerned, Clooney is a tequila mogul who appeared in a couple of Nespresso commercials.

If Clooney makes this much money not doing his job, maybe we should all get more money for not doing our jobs?

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