Above: Donnie Yen with his wife and two children.
Donnie Yen (甄子丹) earned a whopping $263 million HKD last year, easily topping the list of highest-paid Hong Kong celebrities of 2012.
According to East Week Magazine, Donnie is paid a staggering $35 million HKD per film. Although Donnie’s only released film in 2012, All’s Well, Ends Well 2012 <八星抱喜>, underperformed at the Hong Kong box office, the 49-year-old actor had filmed three blockbusters, several mainland Chinese commercials, endorsements, and stage performances in 2012, which boosted his income to $200 million HKD.
For his monetary achievements, Donnie credited his wife Cecilia Wang (汪詩詩), who helped her husband manage his investments and budgets. “If you are scared of your wife, you become rich! I believe this!” exclaimed Donnie.
But a number is just a number, and Donnie does not find his nine-figure annual income to be that big of a deal. “In the terms of our flourishing society, an artist’s income isn’t that high. Often, artists have to throw in their entire lifetime to cultivate their career. You may earn nothing in the first several decades, and when you are doing well, others will only see your success. Take me for example. I had to struggle for many years to get to where I am today. If you compare my life’s work with professionals likes lawyers and doctors, my income is nothing.
“Cherish the present. Grasp at opportunities as soon as you can, but do enjoy the process!”
Donnie worked as a stuntman for films and dramas before hitting the big screen with his first major role, Drunken Tai Chi <笑太極>, in 1984. In his most difficult days, the action star had to invest in his own films, and had to live off of a few hundred dollars for several months.
“A moment of triumph does not represent a life of success; a moment of setback does not represent a life of failure. This is what I have learned from my past experiences.”
Donnie’s upcoming films in 2013 include The Monkey King 3D <大鬧天宮>, Special Identity <特殊身份>, The Iceman Cometh 3D <3D急凍奇俠>, and Ip man 3D <葉問3D>.
Source: East Week
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