Comedy is an area where we can find relief from the everyday stresses of life - an artform which allows us to escape and laugh at the world if only for a moment. And they say that comedy is one of the more difficult arts - even more so than the dramatic genre - because of the challenge inherent in making people laugh. Yet, comedians often gain a reputation of always being funny but they become 'type cast' under the assumption that they won't have the depth to be able to pull off anything truly dramatic. But countless examples serve to dispel this myth; comedians are some of the most well rounded actors in the industry. Another common assumption about comedians is that they built up a sense of humour as a coping mechanism, having struggled in life - but this stereotype, for many comedians, is accurate.
Making the crossover from the laughs to the tears and terror can be a struggle. Perhaps not necessarily for the comedians themselves but for the audience, struggling to see and accept their favorite comic in a more serious role. But there's success to be had if an actor manages to make the risky transition. Take comedian Mo'Nique , who won an Oscar for her dramatic role in “Precious”, as an abusive mother of an inner-city teen. Or stand-up comedian Patton Oswalt, who received critical acclaim for his role in the dramatic indie film “Big Fan” - portraying the biggest fan for the New York Giants who, when assaulted by a team member, struggles to cope and accept the event.
So indeed, some of comedy’s big names have made a flawless transition to drama. Of course, others may not have been so lucky, but who are the richest comedians that have made the dramatic turn? Among the biggest earners there are some familiar names who made a splash in the dramatic arena; our top list features some fantastic actors and some ace movie recommendations, so it might be time to reactivate that Netflix account.
10 Marlon Wayans - $15 Million
9 Owen Wilson - $40 Million
8 Whoopi Goldberg - $45 Million
7 Robin Williams - $50 Million
6 Will Ferrell - $85 Million
5 Steve Martin - $110 Million
4 Bill Murray - $120 Million
3 Ben Stiller - $120 Million
2 Jim Carrey - $150 Million
1 Adam Sandler - $300 Million
In 2002's dark comedy 'Punch Drunk Love', Sandler played a more adult and darker role; this film wasn't led by Sandler's production company, and was Sandler's first venture into drama. He also acted in a more serious role in the film 'Spanglish', and Happy Madison productions tried the dramatic route with subsidiary Madison 23 producing 'Reign Over Me' and 'Funny People'. None of these films really made a splash critically or financially, suggesting that some comedians should stick with what they're good at. After all, comedy has certainly been kind to Sandler's $300 million strong bank account!
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