Why George Clooney is the Best Paid Actor of 2018, Even Though He Didn’t Do Any Acting

George Clooney is one of the highest paid actors in the world among stars like Dwayne Johnson, Robert Downey Jr., Chris Hemsworth, and Jackie Chan. But unlike his well-known and wealthy counterparts, Clooney not only took the No. 1 spot for 2018 but did so without acting in a single film this year. With such an impressive title and even more impressive net worth it’s easy to see why Clooney and wife, Amal are one of Hollywood’s most giving couples.

George Clooney is the best-paid actor of 2018

George Clooney

George Clooney with his wife, Amal | Rich Fury/Getty Images

Clooney didn’t take part in any new movies or TV shows in the last year, but that didn’t stop him from claiming the best-paid actor spot thanks to his side hustles (and he isn’t the only one upping their income this way). The surprise purchase of his successful tequila company, Casamigos, in June 2017 boosted Clooney to the top of the list, pushing him ahead of Dwayne Johnson who took in an impressive $124 million thanks to his large upfront checks for starring in films such as Jumanji: Welcome To The Jungle. Clooney is also the brand ambassador for the famous coffee company, Nespresso and has starred in several commercials alongside stars such as Natalie Dormer, Andy Garcia, and Jack Black. The most recent Game of Thrones-themed advert helped bolster his profits this year.

How much money did George Clooney earn in 2018?

Clooney makes the 15 richest actors of all time list, with a net worth of approximately $500 million. He is also without a doubt the best-paid actor this year raking in an astonishing $239 million between June 1, 2017, and June 1, 2018. That means Clooney made about half of his total worth in a single year, talk about impressive. Approximately $233 million was from the purchase of Casamigos. Diageo purchased the tequila brand for a whopping $700 million up front and $300 million over the next decade depending on the brand’s performance. The remaining $6 million can be attributed to endorsements, his appearance in the Nespresso advertisment with Natalie Dormer, and residuals from his older movies.

The history of Casamigos

Casamigos Tequila is the wildly successful ultra-premium liquor brand that was founded by Clooney, Rande Gerber, and Mike Meldman in 2013. But the brand wasn’t created with money on the mind. While Clooney and business partner Gerber were building their vacations homes in Cabo San Lucas they found they were drinking tons of tequila. After all, what else does one drink in Mexico? After experiencing such a wide variety, they set out to make the perfect tequila that would satisfy their taste buds without the burn. The goal was to create a tequila they could drink all day and night, straight or over ice, without a resulting hangover the following morning.

The vacationing duo selected a distiller in Jalisco, Mexico and after months and trial and error (700 samples worth) they created the perfect product. For two years Casamigos (loosely translated to house of friends) was just a private label for Gerber and Clooney’s closest family and friends. After indulging in roughly a thousand bottles yearly, the distiller reached out and informed them that they needed to get licensed. This is how the Casamigos we know came to be.

Will Clooney retain his title in 2019?

Clooney will continue to receive income from his sale of Casamigos and his brand ambassador title with Nespresso isn’t going anywhere, but will he grace us with his presence on the big screen next year? Lucky for us Clooney will be starring in several upcoming movies, slotted to release in 2019/2020 including The Studio, America’s Most Admired Lawbreaker, Coronado High, Dangerously Funny, 700 Billion Man, Monster of Florence, Pioneer, White Helmets, Trading In Starvation, and Catch 22 which is filming now. With such a long roster and his already lucrative deals, it’s hard to imagine Clooney falling far from his No. 1 spot.