We associate celebrities with red carpets, magazine covers, the movies, TV shows and music they make) and, of course, the enviably glamorous lives they document on Instagram. Holidays ripped straight from the pages of Departures. Living rooms the size of your apartment. Understated jewellery whose relentless sparkle is the only indication it costs more than your car. A life seemingly carried out with ease, thanks to first class accommodations, live-in help, and seemingly no financial worries at all.
But being a celebrity comes with hidden costs. If Margot Robbie had known about those costs, for example, she might’ve hesitated before accepting her role as Harley Quinn in Suicide Squad, which catapulted her into the official A List. In an interview with The Hollywood Reporter, Robbie revealed the tremendous cost of the security detail necessary to protect her from the influx of death threats and dangers she now faces as a public figure. “I just wish someone had explained a lot of those things to me early on. I wouldn’t have resented the position I found myself in because I would’ve known what I was getting myself into,” Robbie said.
It’s the job of a celebrity money manager to walk celebrities through these hidden costs, and also keep high net-worth individuals from descending into spending sprees like Nicolas Cage. Cage notoriously blew his $150 million net worth on items including, but not limited to: two castles, the haunted LaLaurie Mansion in New Orleans (plus 14 more residences), a deserted island in the Bahamas, a nine-foot burial tomb, a dinosaur skull, the Lamborghini of the late Shah of Iran, and a pet octopus and a pair of albino cobras. Cage also donated much of his fortune to charity.
Obviously, Cage is one extreme case. But he and Robbie both speak to the intersection of money and celebrity. The influx of sudden wealth can be as destabilising as it is pleasant. These celebrities all got real about the role of money in their lives — and the actual cost of keeping up with the Kardashians, so to speak.