If She Were to Return to Acting, Meghan Markle Could Make a Ton of Money Per Film, Industry Expert Says

Plus, the executive producer of ‘Suits’ weighs in on a revival, and if Meghan would join in or not.

Meghan Markle in a gold gown speaking behind a podium
(Image credit: Getty)

Though she recently signed with powerhouse talent agency William Morris Endeavor (WME), the agency has said that Meghan Markle will not be making a return in front of the camera and will not resume her career as an actress. “Acting will not be an area of focus,” Variety reports. (Meghan was a longtime actress before marrying into the royal family in 2018, most notably starring as Rachel Zane on the series Suits.)

It’s too bad Meghan isn’t returning to her roots, as she could make a killing financially if she does: The Mirror reports that the Duchess of Sussex could command a cool $5 million per film if she chose to pursue her former career. (Word over the summer has been that Meghan is being tapped to play the lead role in the sequel to The Bodyguard, but nothing is official.) 

Meghan Markle smiling at the camera in a white off the shoulder top

(Image credit: Getty)

Though she might not make $20 million off the bat per movie, film score composer and actress Nicole Russin-McFarland told The Mirror “Could she get $1 to 2 million? Easily with her fame,” she said. “Could she achieve $5 million? Perhaps, because it would be negotiating with the curiosity factor.” Russin-McFarland—currently working on a Peter Pan screenplay—said Meghan’s loyal fans would turn out, as would (unfortunately), her detractors, both intent to prove their respective points. There will no doubt be “curiosity over wanting to know what she is like as a serious actress again,” Russin-McFarland said.

Meghan Markle in a purple dress

(Image credit: Getty)

Meghan “can absolutely have an A-list acting career,” Russin-McFarland said, and that the duchess would have to “prove people wrong by hitting the books, going back to acting workshops, private acting lessons, writing her own amazing screenplays solo—no ghostwriters—doing her own production elements, say, maybe having a vast knowledge of some area,” she said, adding that Meghan will “make it big and prove herself as an acting talent and businesswoman.”

Prince Harry and Meghan Markle at a black tie gala

(Image credit: Getty)

The show that Meghan starred in, Suits, is having a huge resurgence right now on streaming services, despite ending four years ago, leading many fans to hope a reboot is in the works (after all, it seems everything is getting rebooted these days). Per Us Weekly, the show’s executive producer Gene Klein said a revival of the hit series wouldn’t surprise him: “I’ve mentioned to [creator] Aaron [Korsh] that I keep, in this era of reboots and reunions and all this other stuff, that I’m expecting a call at some point,” he told TVLine. “But I’m not aware of any serious conversations. It’s just one of those things where, in this day and age, you wouldn’t be surprised if somebody called you someday.”

Would Meghan reprise her role, though? Probably not, he admitted. “I would assume that’s just not possible,” Klein said. Meghan left the show in November 2017 after getting engaged to Prince Harry, telling the BBC at the time “I don’t see it as giving anything up. I just see it as a change. It’s a new chapter, right? I’ve ticked this box, and I feel very proud of the work I’ve done there, and now it’s time to work with [Harry] as a team.”

Meghan Markle in a white dress under an umbrella

(Image credit: Getty)

Harry, in his memoir Spare, revealed that he hated watching Meghan’s love scenes. “It would take electric shock therapy to get those images out of my head,” he wrote. And, while Harry may not have enjoyed watching his beloved’s role as Rachel Zane, his brother and sister-in-law did. Also in Spare, Harry shared that William and Catherine were “religious” viewers of the legal drama and joked that he “had to worry about them hounding her [Meghan] for an autograph.”

Suits has been available on Peacock for a while, but since hitting Netflix in June, viewership numbers have been through the roof, Us Weekly reports. For the week of June 29, the show amassed a combined 3.1 billion minutes of viewing on both Peacock and Netflix, marking a Nielsen streaming chart record for an acquired title. 

Meghan Markle on a visit to South Africa

(Image credit: Getty)

“I was surprised,” Klein said of the show’s streaming success. “I’m very proud of the show. I, obviously, had a sense when I found out it was coming to Netflix [that] it would probably get another burst of viewing and that kind of thing, but I did not think this would happen. People are sticking with it. It’s lovely.”

Rachel Burchfield
Senior Celebrity and Royals Editor

Rachel Burchfield is a writer, editor, and podcaster whose primary interests are fashion and beauty, society and culture, and, most especially, the British Royal Family and other royal families around the world. She serves as Marie Claire’s Senior Celebrity and Royals Editor and has also contributed to publications like Allure, Cosmopolitan, Elle, Glamour, Harper’s Bazaar, InStyle, People, Vanity Fair, Vogue, and W, among others. Before taking on her current role with Marie Claire, Rachel served as its Weekend Editor and later Royals Editor. She is the cohost of Podcast Royal, a show that was named a top five royal podcast by The New York Times. A voracious reader and lover of books, Rachel also hosts I’d Rather Be Reading, which spotlights the best current nonfiction books hitting the market and interviews the authors of them. Rachel frequently appears as a media commentator, and she or her work has appeared on outlets like NBC’s Today Show, ABC’s Good Morning America, CNN, and more.