A billion dollar deal and an activewear empire: 10 actors who make more money from their side gigs.

If this year's Hollywood strikes have taught us anything, it's that actors aren't making as much money as we'd expect.

It's unsurprising that the world's biggest actors are seeking side gigs that make bank. 

Take for example Gwyneth Paltrow. The Oscar-winner hasn't had a starring role in a movie since 2015's Mortdecai, but she's elected to instead focus on building her lifestyle brand Goop. 

“I’ve thought about it in terms of my lived experience of being an actor who was told to be here at this time, to wear that and to stand there and to do it again,” she told the New York Times in a new profile. “You never feel on a movie set that you have power. It was hard for me to do what I’m told... I feel like I was always tugging a little at the constraints of it.”

In the profile, Paltrow's friend Brit Morin spoke about how Goop had more potential for earnings than any actor's career. “You can get a 1,000 times return on investment, and a box office has never seen that. Entertaining is a short-term way to influence someone. She’s created products people have in their homes, are using on their faces, wearing, eating.”

Let's go through some actors who have found side-hustles more profitable than their acting salaries, beginning with the woman who started it all...

Gwyneth Paltrow. 

 Gwyneth Paltrow at a Goop Health Summit. Image: Getty. 


It's a brand that needs no introduction, but Goop first began as Paltrow's weekly newsletter in 2008. At the time, she was still a working actor, a mother and married to Coldplay's Chris Martin.  

Goop would go on to become a lifestyle empire, selling everything from beauty products and kitchenwares to candles that smell like vaginas, and offering an annual wellness summit. 

Goop is estimated to be worth $250 million. 

Blake Lively and Ryan Reynolds.

Powerhouse couple Blake Lively and Ryan Reynold are building a beverage empire together. 


Reynolds became a co-owner of Aviation Gin in 2018, and by 2020, the brand was sold to British spirits giant Diageo for $610 million. 

Then in 2021, Lively founded mixer product company Betty Buzz, with the ad created alongside her husband's Maximum Effort production company.

"The idea of Betty Buzz came out of a partnership in the first place. My husband has a gin company. I was the at-home mixologist. I’m always making drinks for people," Blake told Forbes.

Jessica Alba.

Jessica Alba at the launch of Honest Beauty. Image: Getty. 


Jessica Alba started the Honest Company in 2012 with 17 products. By 2013, the company's sales had already reached $50 million.

The brand's items are sold in Walmart, Ulta, and GNC, which includes cleaning products, baby clothing and products, skincare and beauty. A large bulk of the company's sales come from their subscription service which sends monthly diapers and other baby essentials. 

At its height in 2015, the Honest Company was valued at $1.7 billion. 

Drew Barrymore.

Drew Barrymore at Walmart. Image: Getty. 


Drew Barrymore does it all. Along with her gig hosting her daytime talk show, she's the founder of kitchenware brand Beautiful and makeup empire, FLOWER Beauty, which is said to generate $50 million in revenue.

Both lines are available at Walmart, with the kitchen line including items like an air fryer and heart-shaped dutch oven. Barrymore also co-owns production company, Flower Films. 

George Clooney.

In 2013, tequila company Casamigos was founded by George Clooney, Rande Gerber and Mike Meldman. By 2017, Clooney sold his tequila company to Diageo for $1 billion. In 2022, Casamigos was named as one of the fastest-growing spirits brands. 

Clooney also has a long-standing partnership with Nespresso which has reportedly already made the actor a cool $40 million. 

Robert De Niro.

Nobu founders Robert De Niro and Chef Nobu Matsuhisa. Image: Getty.


Robert De Niro co-founded a niche little fine-dining sushi restaurant called Nobu, which would go on to open 55 restaurants around the world. 

Teaming up with celebrity chef Nobuyuki 'Nobu' Matsuhisa and entrepreneur Meir Teper, Nobu would become an exclusive foodie destination known for attracting celebrities and socialites to its doors. 

Prior to Covid, the chain had a goal of making $1 billion in sales by this year. Most of De Niro's fortune has come from Nobu, making several hundred million dollars every year.

Reese Witherspoon.

Reese Witherspoon founded Hello Sunshine in 2016 to tell women-driven stories. The production company is behind  TV shows like Big Little Lies, The Morning Show and Little Fires Everywhere.


The production company includes Reese’s Book Club, which often features books which are adapted into a series or movie produced by Hello Sunshine. 

In 2021, Witherspoon was named the world's richest actress after a media company purchased a majority stake in Hello Sunshine worth $900 million.

In 2015, Reese also founded clothing and lifestyle brand, Draper James, which she sold her majority stake in for an undisclosed amount in September 2023. 

Kate Hudson.

Kate Hudson visits Fabletics in California. Image: Getty.


While Fabletics was initially founded by Adam Goldenberg, Don Ressler and Ginger Ressler in 2012, Kate Hudson collaborated with the brand in 2013, taking on a 20 percent share of the company. 

The activewear brand has since exploded in popularity. Fabletics opened up brick and mortar stores in 2015, and has since opened 75 stores worldwide. As of 2020, the company was making $500 million in annual revenue which is helped by the Fabletics' two million VIP members subscriptions.

Sofia Vergara.

Sofia Vergara was once the world's highest paid actress for her role in Modern Family, and she keeps the money flowing in with a range of different business ventures having a casual net worth of $180 million.

She co-founded lingerie brand EBY with Renata Black, she has a line of furniture and fragrances, but her most profitable venture so far has been Sofia Jeans by Sofia Vergara. 

The jeans are top-sellers in Walmart and Kmart in the US. According to Forbes, she "has sold enough jeans to be four times taller than the Eiffel Tower". 

Feature image: Getty.

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