Christopher Grace hated being called “Chris” by his classmates, so he changed his name to Topher, and it has stuck even in his adulthood. As a child, he enjoyed acting thus got a taste of the stage at Royle Elementary and proceeded to be actively involved in plays in Middlesex School, Fay School, and Brewster Academy. Although he never planned on being an actor and did not get any formal training, Topher Grace’s net worth of $14 million has been achieved through acting alone. He might increase his wealth with the various roles he continues to land, but first, let’s review how he managed to amass the $14 million.
Landing a job without professional experience
When you hear someone talk about stars aligning in your favor, it could be Topher Grace recounting how starring in one school play paved the way for him to become an actor. According to Vanity Fair, he was cast in school musicals including “Joseph and the Amazing Technicolored Dreamcoat.” Moreover, he juggled acting with studies and directing a movie in which he cast his classmates. However, a career in acting was the farthest from his mind when he played the lead role of Pseudolus in “A Funny Thing Happened on the Way To The Forum.” As always, he gave it his best and parents to one of Topher’s classmates, noticed the skills. Therefore, the couple who were charged with set designing the high school’s play promised to contact Topher Grace.
Unknown to Topher, the set designers, Bonnie and Terry Turner happened to be Hollywood producers as well. After being impressed by Topher’s performance in his senior year of high school, they contacted him when he was a freshman at the University of Southern California. Bonnie called Topher and encouraged him to try his luck by auditioning for a lead role in an upcoming production. By then, all Topher had going for him was the experience in acting school plays, so he did not have an acting portfolio, although he was asked to carry a resume and a picture. Still, that did not stop him from attending the audition; the actor brought a picture he had taken with his friends at Six Flags in place of a professional headshot. Despite the apparent lack of professionalism, Bonnie and Terry gave him a chance, and he wound up as the lead of “That 70’s Show.” Consequently, Topher dropped out of college to start his acting career.
Making his mark in the film and television industry
It was a great decision, and Topher starred in the sitcom for seven seasons before leaving to pursue a career in film acting. However, his time at the “That 70’s Show” was not enjoyable as News.Com.Au published. Topher being the lead had him feeling a bit arrogant thus did not get along with the rest of the cast members. Therefore, even as the male cast hung out, Topher would not accompany them. He also allegedly did not like that he was no longer the main cast because the rest gained fame. It is no wonder that when he returned to film the finale, he was not interested in a reunion; all he did was shoot his scenes and leave. However, Topher dismissed that rumor by saying he was close to his former castmembers and he regrets being unable to make it to the 25 years in Fox celebration.
Whether it was arrogance or not, Topher knew he was destined for a career in the film industry after starring in “Traffic” in 2000 because he won a Young Hollywood Award for Breakthrough Performance. By the time “That 70’s Show” was on its deathbed in 2006 having been plagued by a few woes including Topher’s departure, Topher had an established film career with a few movies under his belt: “Pinnochio,” “Mona Lisa Smile,” “Win a Date with Tad Hamilton” and “Synergy.” He has also been lucky to play alongside the Hollywood legends. In “The Wedding,” he was cast as the son of “Diane Keaton and Robert de Niro, while Katherine Heigl was his sister. All the same, despite having a film and television career, Topher still missed being on stage hence made his off-Broadway debut with “Lonely, I’m not” in 2012. It was quite a nerve-wracking experience since he was used to having a few takes but being on stage meant getting it right the first time or being creative with his lines.
Making money from his career
Topher Grace reportedly was paid $250,000 to $300,000 for each episode of “That 70’s Show” which amounts to a considerable sum. He was in the series for seven seasons, each with 25 episodes except for seasons two and four that comprised 26 and 27 episodes respectively. On average, that means the actor was taking home $6.25 million to $7.5 million per season. He, therefore, did not hide the fact that he had enough money from the show to stop studio filming, as reported by IndieWire. Topher decided to start working with auteurs, and even though he was warned that the paycheck would reduce significantly, he did not mind as long as he did what he loved.
While that may seem like an uninformed decision, it was a calculated risk on his part. “That 70’s Show” is on syndication in cable meaning he is still making money from it even if he exited more than a decade ago. Actors benefit from shows that are syndicated, rerun, streamed online or released in DVD through residual payments. The sitcom was not only remade, but it also was released in DVD by 20th Century Home Entertainment. Although it is not clear how much Topher makes from such residuals, we can assume that it was enough to allow him to retire from television acting. After all, actors like Jennifer Aniston and Courtney Cox reportedly make at least $20 million from “Friends” each year since Warner Bros receives $1 billion annually from the show. Jerry Seinfeld, on the other hand, pockets $400 million from each syndication cycle of “Seinfeld.”