Celebs you'd be surprised don't have to work anymore

Because life is unfair, some celebs are so wealthy that they don't have to work anymore. Yep, that's right — there's a whole class of stars that have earned so much from a single project that they never have to book a job ever again. Whether through making extremely shrewd back-end deals or catching pop culture lightning in a bottle at just the right time, these stars are essentially set for life and can spend all day never leaving the couch if they wanted to. Think how much Netflix they could watch!

But not all celebs do that. Despite having enormous bank accounts that most of us can only dream about, these A-listers scored huge windfalls and kept on trucking. Whether it's because they truly love their jobs or because no amount of money will ever be enough — we're guessing it's a little of both — the stars you're about to see keep going out there and doing their thing even though they've already made a ridiculous fortune.

Kim Kardashian

Technically, you could say that Kim Kardashian made her first fortune when she earned $5 million from the release of her infamous, ahem, private tape. However, $5 million is a small drop in the bucket when it comes to living in Hollywood. Where Kim really lucked out was the timing. In the late 2000s, leaked videos of celebs were still a rare occurrence and generated huge headlines that Kim's savvy momager, Kris Jenner, spun into reality TV gold.

Granted, Keeping Up With The Kardashians made the whole family stinking rich and turned them into instant celebrities, but the reality series has been extremely beneficial to Kim who's worth $175 million, according to Time. That's a whole lot of cheddar just for letting camera crews follow her around for a few weeks out of the year. Sure, she may have had to fake a marriage along the way, but for the most part, Kim never has to work again thanks to doing just one thing: Being Kim Kardashian.

Robert Downey Jr.

From the '80s all the way to the late 2000s, Robert Downey Jr.'s career was a punchline thanks to the actors' struggles with drugs and alcohol that eventually landed him in the slammer. When director Jon Favreau wanted to cast him as Tony Stark in 2008's Iron Man, Marvel Studios was extremely against the idea, and the actor only made a small amount of money for the part after the studio gave in. While it's hard to think of the Marvel Cinematic Universe as anything but a massive money-making juggernaut, Iron Man was a huge gamble. But, boy, did it pay off.

After Iron Man became a phenomenal success, Marvel Studios began aiming for their most ambitious project yet: The Avengers. Only they couldn't do it without Downey Jr. who was now the linchpin of the Marvel universe, which gave him some considerable leverage at the bargaining table. By 2015, playing Tony Stark made Downey Jr. the highest paid actor in the world, according to Variety. The publication reported that he was pulling in $40 million from Marvel's Captain America: Civil War alone. And that amount has only gotten bigger. Bleeding Cool reported that Downey Jr. snagged a $200 million deal just for starring in Avengers: Infinity War and its sequel. He could literally become Iron Man in real life with that kind of money.

Jennifer Aniston

If you've ever seen Jennifer Aniston star in a questionable comedy like Office Christmas Party or We're The Millers and wondered what the heck she's doing with herself, we feel you. As everyone knows, Aniston's claim to fame is the hit NBC sitcom Friends, which not only put her on the map but also added a whole bunch of zeroes to her bank account. By the last two seasons, Aniston and the main cast were pulling in an unprecedented $1 million per episode (via Entertainment Weekly). Keep in mind, those salaries were for a network sitcom, which meant 24 episodes per season. So basically Aniston earned $48 million just for the last two years of Friends alone. But it gets even more insane.

In 2015, over a decade after Friends went off the air, USA Today reported that Aniston pulls in $20 million a year from reruns of Friends. She could spend an entire year doing nothing and still make a small fortune, which seems a lot better than starring in an Adam Sandler movie. Nobody loves acting that much, do they?

Jerry Seinfeld

Over ten years after Seinfeld aired its controversial last episode, Jerry Seinfeld made a highly publicized return to NBC with The Marriage Ref. Unfortunately, audiences weren't feeling it, and Seinfeld found himself getting roasted for the "painful and pointless" show that was nowhere near the quality of Seinfeld. However, the comedian didn't let a stumble out of the gate stop him, and he quickly pivoted to the internet where his new series Comedians in Cars Getting Coffee became such a hit that it led to Seinfeld inking a massive $100 million deal with Netflix for the show and two comedy specials. Except here's the thing: Seinfeld doesn't need a dime of it.

According to CNBC, on top of his massive salary for working on Seinfeld, the actor/comedian has made $400 million from syndication deals since the show went off the air. That's nearly half a billion dollars just for reruns and another $100 million to drink coffee with his friends. Can Seinfeld negotiate our next jobs for us?

Jack Nicholson

When Tim Burton's Batman hit theaters in 1989, nobody could've predicted that it'd become a massive hit and set the stage for 30 years of comic book movies. At the time, Batman was mostly known for the campy TV series starring Adam West, but Burton's vision completely changed the caped crusader. However, one person had an inkling of how well the movie would do — the Joker himself, Jack Nicholson. According to Entertainment Weekly, Nicholson lowered his normal $10 million fee to $6 million in exchange for a cut of the backend and merchandising deals that paid off huge for the actor. Nicholson reportedly pulled in $50 million just for one film, which was a lot of dough in 1989.

On top of that, Nicholson famously worked a deal where he only had to work three weeks for a limited amount of hours each day and would never miss a Lakers game. And for that small amount of work, he essentially stole the entire movie and walked away with one of the biggest paychecks in Hollywood at the time. Now that's something to grin about.

Keanu Reeves

During the '90s, Keanu Reeves had cemented his status as a notable actor in Hollywood thanks to roles in The Devil's Advocate and the blockbuster hit Speed. Granted, Reeves wasn't the biggest action hero around, but all of that changed when The Matrix became a pop culture phenomenon and made Reeves an international superstar. Playing Neo not only boosted Reeves' profile, but it had a significant impact on his net worth. Except here's where the situation gets murky…

While it's not exactly known how much Reeves made from The Matrix series, according to Uproxx, it's believed to be somewhere north of $100 million. In fact, Reeves' payday is rumored to be so high that an online urban legend started spreading about him giving away $80 million to the special effects and costume-making teams who worked on The Matrix films. What really happened, however, is that during filming for the first movie, before anyone knew it would be a hit, Reeves gave up a portion of his upfront money to help cover the cost of production (via Fox News). After that, Reeves' investment paid off big time, and he was set for life thanks to his backend deal on the breakthrough sci-fi franchise.

Tom Hanks

It's not hyperbole to say that Tom Hanks is one of the most prolific actors in Hollywood. With roles in such memorable films as Apollo 13, The Green Mile, and Pixar's Toy Story, Hanks has distinguished himself as an actor and earned himself the nickname of "America's Dad" thanks to his lovable demeanor. To put it this way, Hanks is such a comforting and talented presence that he's the only actor in Hollywood who could perfectly play Mr. Rogers and do the role justice.

However, Hanks' most famous role is his Oscar-winning turn in Forrest Gump. But what most people don't know is that Hanks earned a whopping $60 million for telling moviegoers that life is like a box of chocolates, and he could've easily retired on that kind of money in the early '90s. With a paycheck like that, a person definitely wouldn't have to work anymore. Thankfully for us though, Hanks continues to be a steady presence in theaters, and like Forrest Gump, he's shown no signs of slowing down.

Miley Cyrus

Before Miley Cyrus became Miley Cyrus, she was the star of Hannah Montana, a massively popular show with kid audiences on the Disney Channel. While you could technically say that being Billy Ray Cyrus' daughter was Miley's claim to fame, Billy Ray was more of a punchline than a country star when Hannah Montana first aired in 2006. It was 100 percent Miley's talent that put her on the map, but the young star eventually started to feel boxed in by her Disney Channel alter ego.

In 2008, as Miley's more provocative side began to peek out, The New York Times reported that the Hannah Montana franchise was worth $1 billion. However, we all know that Miley "matured" past the show, and it was canceled as parents raised concerned about Miley's influence on their kids. Since Billy Ray also credited the show with destroying his family, it was definitely high time for Hannah Montana to retire.

While Miley often says she wasn't paid much by Disney in the beginning, she also admitted to Elle that her parents realized they were sitting on a gold mine and hired "smart people" to hash out her contract, which presumably included a nice chunk of that Hannah Montana billion.

Tom Cruise

When it comes to movie stars, there's no name that's bigger than Tom Cruise. With such hits as Jerry Maguire, Minority Report, and Edge of Tomorrow, Cruise is the epitome of blockbuster fame. But what you probably don't know is that Cruise made a sizable income relatively early in his career. And, no, we're not talking as far back as Top Gun, which undoubtedly made him a star. Rather, by the mid-'90s, Cruise had landed a huge windfall for a film franchise that's still going strong today: Mission: Impossible.

According to Entertainment Weekly, thanks to being both the star and producer, Cruise earned $70 million just from the first movie alone. After securing that kind of money, Cruise clearly didn't have to work anymore, but, as we all know, Cruise takes things to the extreme, including doing his own stunts. We'd ask what his secret is, but the less we know about Scientology these days, the better.