South Indian films are becoming globally popular. With the recent success of movies like RRR, Kantara, Pushpa, and many more, you may wonder what’s the secret. And, no one can deny that one of the key aspects of the success of South films is because of their talented actors. Even though they say talent is priceless, here are the top 10 South Indian actors and how much they charge for a movie.
Uppalapati Suryanarayana Prabhas Raju, better known as Prabhas, works in Hindi and Telugu films. Prabhas is one of the most talented and finest actors of this generation and also one of the highest-paid actors in South Indian cinema.
He is best known for playing Baahubali in the blockbuster film Baahubali, which is one of India’s biggest hits of all time. Based on his income and popularity, Prabhas has appeared on Forbes India’s Celebrity 100 list three times since 2015. As per reports, he charged Rs. 100 crores for Radheshyam and Rs. 150 crores for his upcoming movie Adipurush.
2. Joseph Vijay
Joseph Vijay Chandrasekhar is a Tamil actor and singer who works in Tamil and Telugu films. His talent and brilliance are adored by many and he has a huge fan base. He has received numerous awards, including a South Indian International Cinema Award.
There is no doubt that Vijay is one of India’s highest-paid actors. He is best known for his performance in the 2023 action thriller Varisu, which became one of Tamil cinema’s most successful films, grossing Rs. 90 crores on its opening day. Vijay was paid INR 150 crores when the overall budget for the movie Varisu was reportedly INR 200 crores.
Shivaji Rao Gaikwad, better known as everyone’s favorite Rajinikanth, is one of the most famous and successful actors in Indian cinema. He is renowned as India’s Thalaiva and has a huge fan base in South India. For a movie, Rajinikanth makes around INR 100-150 crores, which includes profits that the film makes.
4. Ajith Kumar
Ajith Kumar is a famous name in Tamil cinema. He is one of the finest actors as well as a race car driver. He is one of the very few Indians to compete in Formula championships and international racing. He gained praise for his role in the movie Varalaru, in which he played three different roles. He was also featured in the Forbes India Celebrity 100 list three times. As per some sources, he charges between the range of Rs. 60 Crores to Rs. 48 crores.
5. Ram Charan
Ram Charan is an Indian actor, producer, and successful entrepreneur who works in Telugu cinema. He is one of the highest-paid Telugu film actors and has won three Filmfare Awards and two Nandi Awards. He was listed on Forbes India’s Celebrity 100 list in 2013. He recently gained popularity with his box office smash RRR, which won an Oscar and broke multiple Indian cinema box office records by grossing between INR 1,200 and 1,258 Crores globally. As per sources, he charged, Rs 45 Crore for RRR. As per Indiatimes, Ram Charan charged Rs. 100 Crores each for his upcoming movie RC 15 and RC 16.
6. Mahesh Babu
Mahesh Babu is an Indian actor, producer, media personality, and humanitarian who primarily works in Telugu cinema. He has also won multiple honors for his debut role, but his most well-known film is Pokiri. Pokiri made over INR 260 crores at the box office and held the distinction of being the highest-grossing Telugu movie in 2006. As per sources, Mahesh Babu charges in the range of Rs. 35-45 Crores for every film and a share in the profits.
Venkatesh Prabhu Kasthuri Raja, better known as Dhanush, is an Indian actor, producer, director, and playback singer who works in Hindi-Tamil cinema. He has been featured on the Forbes India Celebrity 100 list six times. His songs “Rowdy Baby” and “Why this Kolaveri di” were among the most popular Indian songs of all time. As per reports, for his pan-Indian film with Sekhar Kammula, Dhanush charged ₹50 Crores for this movie.
8. Jr NTR
Nandamuri Taraka Rama Rao Jr., popularly known as Jr NTR or Tarak, is a Telugu actor. He is one of the highest-paid actors in Telugu films and has won many awards, including 4 CineMAA Awards, 2 state Nandi Awards, and 2 Filmfare Awards. He has been listed on Forbes India’s Celebrity 100 list since 2012. He most recently rose to fame with the worldwide box office phenomenon RRR, which earned an Oscar and shattered numerous box office records for Indian cinema. As per reports, he charged ₹45 Crores for RRR.
9. Kamal Haasan
Kamal Haasan is an Indian actor, director, screenwriter, playback singer, television host, and politician who works in Tamil cinema. In 1984, he won the Kalaimamani Prize. In 1990, he received the Padma Shri. In 2014, he received the Padma Bhushan.
He is best known for every role he plays, but his film Nayakan, which played in theatres for more than 175 days, was both a box office and critical success. He was awarded the National Film Award for Best Actor for his role in Nayakan. Kamal Haasan reportedly charges between 20 and 30 crores for each movie.
Kennedy John Victor, popularly known as Vikram, is an Indian actor who works in Hindi-Telugu Films but has also appeared in Malayalam, Telugu, and Hindi movies. With accolades including seven Filmfare Awards South, a National Film Award, and a Tamil Nadu State Film Award, he is one of the most honored actors in the Tamil film industry.
The romantic thriller I (2015) and the monumental historical drama Ponniyin Selvan: Part 1 were Vikram’s highest-earning motion pictures. He earns between Rs. 10 and 12 crore every movie, ranking among the highest-paid actors in the south Indian cinema business.