George Clooney made nearly twice as much as The Rock last year — and he has tequila to thank

  • George Clooney is the highest-paid male actor of 2018, even though he didn't appear in a film.

  • Instead, he has the $1 billion sale of his Casamigos tequila to thank for his $239 million pay cheque.

  • This figure knocked former highest-paid actor Dwayne "The Rock" Johnson into second place.

  • You can read the story of how Casamigos was set up by accident here.


George Clooney is officially the highest-paid male actor of 2018, knocking Dwayne "The Rock" Johnson off the top spot — and he has tequila, rather than films, to thank.

The 57-year-old earned $239 million between June 1 2017 and June 1 2018, making him the highest-paid actor on Forbes' list despite the fact he hasn't featured in a film since 2016's "Money Monster."

Instead, his position is mostly thanks to the $1 billion sale of his tequila brand Casamigos to drinks giant Diageo in June last year, according to Forbes, as well as additional earnings from endorsements and older movies.

The actor and two friends founded Casamigos, one of the fastest-growing tequila brands in the world, in 2013. When Business Insider spoke to Rande Gerber, Clooney's business partner, in March 2017, he said the idea came about "by accident," and that money was never the reason for launching the brand.

In an email to CNBC last June, Clooney said: "If you asked us four years ago if we had a billion dollar company, I don't think we would have said yes. This reflects Diageo's belief in our company and our belief in Diageo. But we're not going anywhere. We'll still be very much a part of Casamigos. Starting with a shot tonight. Maybe two."

Elsewhere on Forbes' list, The Rock came in second place banking $124 million in the same period, followed by Robert Downey Jr. at $81 million.

You can see the full list of the 10 highest-paid male actors, who made $748.5 million combined in 2018, here.

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SEE ALSO: George Clooney's tequila company just sold for $1 billion — here's the story of how it was set up by accident