Khaby Lame became the most-followed creator on TikTok this year. Now he’s almost ready to enter the next phase of his career, but he needs to perfect his English first.
The Italian star, who has used wordless TikToks to turn himself from a factory worker into a Boss, has his eye on Hollywood. He told Fortune that his “dream” is to win an Oscar — even though he is on track to make about $10 million this year from TikTok and other ventures.
Lame’s desire to make it in Tinseltown is compelling him to improve his English. He practices the language by watching the kids’ show Daniel Tiger for three hours daily. “My dream is that one day we’ll win an Oscar,” he told Fortune.
Subscribe to get the latest creator news
The “we” in that quote is Lame and Alessandro Riggio, his manager. They are flatmates in an apartment in Milan, but they could definitely afford to live alone if they wanted. Riggio said that his client makes $400,000 for each sponsored post and is on track to make $10 million this year. An “agency source” cited by Fortune estimated the Lame’s per-post take at about $350,000.
Perhaps some people would be content with those rates, but Lame is already moving on to even bigger plans. He teamed up with Riggio to launch a creative agency called Iron Corporation, and he has popped up on the international film festival circuit. He also became an Italian citizen last month.
Assuming he can get his English up to par, a career in Hollywood would make sense for him. After all, his silent TikToks have required him to hone his physical acting skills.
@khaby.lame Ficou muito simples 🤲🏿😁 (It was easy!) 🤲🏿😁 #learnfromkhaby #learnontiktok @TikTok @tiktok creators ♬ original sound – Khabane lame
At this point, Lame knows enough English to make his priorities clear. No matter which medium he gravitates to, he is going to value the smiles he generates and the people he works with. “I like making people laugh,” he told Fortune. “I love my family. I love my company.”