“Everything in life is somewhere else, and you get there in a car,” says writer E. B. White.
Although the automobile was initially designed to simply take its driver and passengers from point A to point B, today it is much more.
Marshall McLuhan observed, “The car has become an article of dress without which we feel uncertain, unclad, and incomplete in the urban compound.”
Whether a car is selected for how the owner wants others to perceive him/her, or if it is simply based on function and price, the choice can send a serious message.
A particular type of car is often associated with a specific type of person. Young men drive Mustangs, soccer moms drive minivans, and wealthy snobs drive Rolls Royces. Although the perception of a car is largely created by marketing—Corvettes for speed, Volvos for safety, it may be difficult to determine if buyers select a vehicle to project an image and make an impression or because the same group of people always buy the same type of car.
For the highest paid actors, with virtually unlimited disposable income and the means to purchase one or more of the most expensive cars made, the criteria for selection is not always to demonstrate wealth. During the Golden Age of early cinema, no Hollywood star would be seen in anything but the most outrageous luxury car imaginable.
However, today, celebrity cars are also selected for political and ideological reasons. Today's chic vehicle might not be the most expensive one available.
The following are twenty of the highest paid actors and what they chose to drive.
20 Jeremy Renner: Porsche Carrera 4
At $19 million, Jeremy Renner is at the bottom of the list of 20 highest paid actors, but it may be one time he doesn’t mind coming in last. He can afford a luxury like the Chateau Marmont in Hollywood.
Zigzat.com says, “‘Quintessential Hollywood,’ this ‘iconic’ Sunset Strip haunt is ‘chock-full of under-30 celebrities’ (‘yes, that's what's-her-name from that show’) soaking up the ‘historically important’ ambiance ‘outside on the terrace’ amid ‘lovely’, lush gardens; fittingly, service is ‘thick with attitude’, and the ‘delicious’ but ‘quite simple’ American fare is ‘too costly by half’, but most acknowledge that's ‘not the point’ – it's all about ‘playing it cool among the familiar faces’ you'll see.”
After an eventful Saturday evening at Chateau Marmont, Jeremy Renner escaped with music from his cell phone and some privacy in his Porsche Carrera 4.
19 Matt Damon: Cadillac Escalade
Matthew Damon is an actor, film producer, and screenwriter, perhaps most recognized for his role as Jason Bourne in the Bourne film series. Forbes magazine ranks him the most bankable star in Hollywood and one of the highest-grossing actors of all time.
Although Matt Damon made a cool $21 million last year, his fleet of cars is modest compared to many celebrities who make less money. His choice of vehicles is heavily weighted toward the small carbon footprint, low environmental impact cars.
Damon’s car collection includes a Toyota Prius ($20,000), Tesla Roadster ($200,000), Tesla Model S ($75,000), Cadillac Escalade ($50,000), and Toyota Sequoia ($45,000).
Here he opens the door to his Escalade after a workout in a Southern California gym.
18 Ryan Reynolds: Triumph Motorcycle
Ryan Reynolds passion for riding motorcycles began at age fifteen when he learned to ride on a Honda CB750. His acting career began at about the same time, and for more than 25 years he has been very successful and made a lot of money. Reynolds earned $21.5 million last year giving him an estimated net worth of nearly $75 million.
A significant disposable income has permitted Reynolds to accumulate a collection of his favorite motorcycles including a fully chromed 1964 Triumph 650 designed and built by The Factory Metal Works. He named it the Nine O’ Clock Gun to honor a Vancouver, Canada naval cannon fired every night.
However, his favorite may be a custom bike built to look like an old Triumph Thruxton.
17 Jennifer Lawrence: Volkswagen Eos
Hollywood Legend says that struggling actors work as restaurant waiters, share a small apartment with several other aspiring actors and drive Volkswagen Beetles. The small percentage that land a key role that launches their career to stardom, no longer go to restaurants except as customers, find a luxurious apartment in a posh neighborhood, and trade in the VW (or just give it a not-so-fortunate friend) for an exotic car more suitable for a rising star.
Jennifer Lawrence has become one of the most famous actresses in the world, earning $24 million last year. However, for several years, her choice in automobiles was more typical of a less successful actress. Granted her car wasn’t a VW Beetle and the Eos she drove cost $30,000 new, but it was VW nonetheless.
16 Jennifer Aniston: Mercedes S Class
Rachel Green, played by Jennifer Aniston, on the hit TV series Friends (1994–2004) became a household name and helped launch Aniston on a successful twenty-five-year acting career that is still strong today. She earned Screen Actors Guild, Golden Globe, and Primetime Emmy awards and countless accolades for her roles on the big screen.
According to the Guinness Book of World Records, in her final season with Friends, she became the highest-paid television actress of all time at $1 million-per-episode.
Last year her film roles earned her $25.5 million.
Aniston’s car collection includes a Range Rover Vogue, Audi A8, Bentley Continental GT, and a Mercedes S-Class sedan.
15 Emma Stone: Audi S6
Best known for her humorous and charming roles in comedies, Emma Stone was the highest-paid actress in the world in 2017, earning nearly $26 million.
Some of her most memorable roles include Olive Penderghast in 2010's Easy A, and as Peter Parker's center of attention in The Amazing Spider-Man (2012) and the 2014 sequel. In just over ten years, she has received numerous accolades including an Oscar nomination for Best Supporting Actress in the dark comedy Birdman in 2014, and in 2016 an Oscar for her portrayal of an aspiring actress in La La Land.
Her favorite mode of transportation was once the Mini Cooper S, but recently she has opted for an Audi, either the Q5 or the S6.
14 Ryan Gosling: Toyota Prius
Walt Disney once said, “All our dreams can come true if we have the courage to pursue them.” While Disney was speaking to everyone, his advice was taken to heart by several young actors who worked on his show. Along with Justin Timberlake, Britney Spears, Keri Russell, Christina Aguilera, and numerous other famous actors, Ryan Gosling got his start in show business on the Mickey Mouse Club.
Named one of the 50 Hottest Bachelors by People Magazine after appearing in the sleeper film The Notebook in 2004, Gosling received an Academy Award nomination as Best Actor for his performance in Half Nelson (2006).
Although he made $29 million last year, his car collection remains modest with his favorite a Toyota Prius.
13 Samuel L. Jackson: Maybach
Samuel L. Jackson earned $30.5 million last year. His success in the film industry is unparalleled. The box office tracking company, A.C. Nielsen E.C.I., determined that Jackson appeared in more films throughout the 1990s than any other actor. The movies grossed $1.7 billion domestically.
By 2011, the films in which Jackson played the leading role or a supporting part have grossed nearly $4.91 billion at the North American box office. Jackson is the seventh highest-grossing lead actor and the second highest-grossing actor, following only famous voice actor Frank Welker.
The recipient of countless awards Jackson was nominated for best supporting actor in the 1994 film Pulp Fiction. He drives a Jaguar XF, Audi A6, Acura MDX, and shown here, a Maybach 57 S.
12 Tom Hanks: Polish Fiat
The Fiat 126 is a 2-door, rear wheel drive, economy car with a four-speed manual gearbox, introduced in October 1972 at the Turin Auto Show as a replacement for the Fiat 500.
Powered by a 36.2 cubic inch (594 cubic cm) engine with 23 hp and 29 lb.-ft. of torque, the city car accelerates from 0- 60 mph in a painstakingly slow 40.8 seconds and reaches a top speed 65 mph. Fiat manufactured most of 126s from 1972 to 2000 in Bielsko-Biała, Poland.
Tom Hanks, who made $31 million last year, owns a Fiat 126. Most likely Tom found this one during his European travels, but it is identical to his except perhaps the color, collapsed hood, rear flat tire, fuzzy dice hanging from the rear-view mirror, and the tasteless body stickers.
11 Chris Hemsworth: Acura MDX
According to Marvel Comics, in Norse mythology, Thor is associated with the power of thunder and lightning, but he is called “The God of Thunder” for the thunderous sound his hammer makes when he hits an object with it.
Since 2013, Australian actor Chris Hemsworth has starred as Thor in the Marvel Universe for several films like The Avengers, Thor: The Dark World, Avengers: Doctor Strange, Age of Ultron, Thor: Avenger and Ragnarok: Infinity War. In 2017 he earned $31.5 million mostly from his movies Rush and Thor.
Both Elsa Pataky (Chris’ wife) star of the Fast and Furious movie series and Chris have been seen driving several different Acura models including a TL and MDX.
10 Akshay Kumar: Yamaha Vmax 1700
As a young boy, Akshay Kumar had a passion for Karate and even studied martial arts in Thailand. However, as a teenager, he told his father he wanted to be an actor.
He made the right choice. In August 2017, Forbes magazine declared Rajiv Hari Om Bhatia (Akshay Kumar) to be the tenth highest paid actor in the world. His films outperformed all other Bollywood (the Indian movie industry, based in Mumbai, (formerly Bombay)) movies, grossed more than $ 290 million in the year 2013 and exceeded $ 440 million in 2016.
Kumar made $35.5 million last year.
While Kumar’s car collection lists like the inventory of an exotic car dealership, his Yamaha VMax 1700 motorcycle may be his favorite.
9 Salman Khan: Audi RS7
Abdul Rashid Salim Salman Khan is a Bollywood (Indian) film actor, sometime singer, television personality, and producer. His film career spans over thirty years, during which time Khan received many awards, including two Filmfare Awards for acting and two National Film Awards as a film producer.
Khan made the Forbes 2018 list of 100 Top-Paid Celebrity Entertainers in world. He was the highest ranked Indian actor with earnings of $37.7 million.
His car collection features a BMW X6, Toyota Land Cruiser, Mercedes-Benz S-Class, Land Rover Range Rover, Mercedes-Benz AMG GL, Audi Q7, and Porsche Cayenne GTS.
However, his favorite is perhaps the Audi RS7 which he helped launch in India (and bought one for himself shortly after that).
8 Shah Rukh Khan: BMW i8
Shah Rukh Khan started working in Delhi theater and then moved into acting for TV serials in the late 80s. According to a reliable source, he arrived in Mumbai carrying less than $5 in his pocket. Today, Shah Rukh Khan is one of the most successful actors in India. He earned $38 million in 2017.
The BMW i8, at $150,00, may be the least expensive car in Khan’s fleet of luxury and high-performance vehicles but it is one of the most exotic.
The two-seat Roadster features an aerodynamically optimized exterior with gullwing doors and a soft-top roof. The car is powered by a combination of BMW TwinPower Turbo technology, a 1.5-liter, 228-hp, three-cylinder gas engine and a hybrid synchronous electric motor that drives a hybrid-specific AWD system.
7 Tom Cruise: Bugatti Veyron
Tom Cruise likes to do his own movie stunts. Whether it is hanging onto the wing of an airplane, climbing up the tallest skyscraper in the world, or driving a motorcycle through the streets of Paris, his participation makes his movies even more realistic and generates vicarious stress in the audience for his character and Cruise’s survival.
His movie stunts also helped earn him $43 million last year.
As one might expect, Cruise’s penchant for speed and excitement in his films carries over to his personal life and has influenced his choice of vehicles. Although his Chevy Chevelle SS and Mustang Saleen are performance standouts, his Bugatti Veyron is the clear winner for high-performance in his car collection.
6 Robert Downey Jr.: Ferrari California T
Robert Downey Jr. has made a very successful career playing the role of Tony Stark in Iron Man, Iron Man 2, Marvel's The Avengers, Iron Man 3, Avengers: Age of Ultron, Captain America: Civil War, Spider-Man: Homecoming, Avengers: Infinity War, and Avengers: Endgame. Last year he earned $48 million.
In the Iron Man films, Robert Downey Jr. (Tony Stark) spends more time getting around in the Iron Man suit than he does in a car (usually an Audi). However, in his private life, he drives a car, and he has an impressive collection. While he favors Audis, he also appreciates other brands including this Ferrari California T.
5 Jackie Chan: Lamborghini Aventador Jackie Chan Edition
Hong Kong's best-known film star, Jackie Chan, worked for years and endured multiple injuries in the manic martial arts cinema industry to achieve international success. Last year he earned $49 million.
His substantial net worth has enabled the actor to purchase some exceptional vehicles that include a Mitsubishi 3000 GT Prototype, Subaru Impreza, Mitsubishi Lancer Evo, Lamborghini Murcielago, and a Bugatti Veyron.
But perhaps his proudest vehicle is the Lamborghini Aventador Jackie Chan Edition, a one-off created to celebrate his 60th birthday. The titanium grey body is highlighted by gloss black wheels with red brake calipers, and the similar black and red color scheme for the interior features the characters of 'Long' stitched into the seats, a reference to Chan's Chinese name Cheng Long.
4 Adam Sandler: Cadillac CTS
Adam Sandler started his career as did many successful comedians on the television show Saturday Night Live. But it was his film Billy Madison that kickstarted his career. Many other successful comedies followed, including Big Daddy, The Waterboy, The Wedding Singer, and Happy Gilmore. His most successful movie was Big Daddy, grossing $163,479,795 worldwide.
Sandler is not limited only to comedy and has surprised his critics with talents in dramatic acting, screenwriting, and producing.
Although his income is in the same category as Robert Downey Jr’s income (Sandler made $50.5 million last year), his car collection pales by comparison. He drives a Cadillac Escalade, Range Rover Sport, and Cadillac CTS.
3 Vin Diesel: Dodge Charger
Vin Diesel earned a staggering $54.5 million last year, a disposable income that permits him to purchase any vehicle he wants. His collection is vast, containing new supercars, drag race cars, classic cars, and even a van.
Diesel has a 1970 Dodge Charger R/T which cost him $50,000, a 1993 Mazda RX7, a 1994 Toyota Supra, a 2011 Dodge Charger SRT8 valued at $32,000, a classic Dodge Charger Dayton, and a 1970 Plymouth Roadrunner.
Perhaps the most extraordinary example of his exotic car collection is the 2014 Lykan Hypersport. The black beast with 770 horsepower, 737 pound-feet of torque, an acceleration of 0-62 mph in less than 2.8 seconds, and a top speed of 245 mph cost him an astounding $3,400,000.
2 Dwayne Johnson: Pagani Huayra
Dwayne “the Rock” Johnson is near the top of the list of highest paid actors at $65 million earned in 2017.
From his humble roots as a professional wrestler, Johnson rose to become a globally acclaimed superstar and, in the process, accumulated an extensive car collection. His choices of vehicles include a 1999 Plymouth Prowler, Ford F-F150 Custom, Ferrari LaFerrari, Rolls Royce Wraith, and Range Rover Sport.
“The Rock” loves cars, and his fans love watching him climb out of his Pagani Huayra. At 6’4” with arms bigger than most people thighs it is hard to believe he can fit inside, much less drive the exotic car.
1 Mark Wahlberg: Rolls Royce Phantom Drophead Coupe
Mark Wahlberg topped the rankings for highest paid actors after earning $68 million in 2017. He is also a producer, businessman, model, songwriter, and rapper.
Wahlberg’s garage is full of expensive cars including a Bentley Azure ($365,000), Mercedes SLS ($220,000), Bentley Mulsanne ($296,000), Cadillac Escalade ($80,000) and Toyota Sienna ($31,000).
One of his latest editions is the Rolls Royce Phantom Drophead Coupe that carries a purchase price of $569,600. The Phantom's 6.75-liter V-12 engine delivers 563 hp and 663 pound-feet of torque. That is plenty of power and luxury to get Marky Mark (formerly of Marky Mark and the Funky Bunch) to his next rehearsal.
Sources: celebritycarsblog, zagat.com, justjared.com, imdb.com, caranddriver.com