Top actresses are among the highest paid people in the entire world. But, sadly the gender pay gap exists even in Hollywood, and they are paid much less than their male counterparts. Despite the difference in pay, I still wouldn’t mind exchanging paychecks with one of them for just one year. I mean $40 million would be a nice pot of cash to have in your secret, tax-free, savings account in Panama – they all have them why shouldn’t we!
But I digress. To show you the massive amount of money these women are earning we have created a list of the top 10 highest paid actresses in the world in 2017 using information from Forbes. Please remember that a lot of this information is not 100% because most celebrities don’t publish their net worth or earnings.
The only Indian entry on the list is the most highly paid actress in Bollywood who has recently started appearing in Hollywood movies like ‘xXx: Return of Xander Cage’ with Vin Diesel. Not a one trick pony she began her career as a fashion model, before being given her first role in India. She is also the daughter of an acclaimed badminton star and had originally planned on pursuing a career as a professional badminton player.
Despite earning a lot of money from acting the majority of her money probably comes from her numerous endorsements. For example, she is the face of lux in India.
Earnings: $10 million
Moving from the Ukraine to the U.S. at age 7, and becoming a star on ‘that 70’s show’ at only age 15, Kunis is an incredibly talented young actress. Although many of her co-stars failed to move successfully to the big screen she has had a very successful movie career.
Also the voice of depressed teenager ‘Meg’ in the hit cartoon ‘Family Guy’, she has starred in many hit movies such as ‘Black Swan’, ‘Bad Moms’ and ‘Ted’. Mila even married her onscreen boyfriend from ‘that 70’s show’ ‘Ashton Kutcher’ who is a very successful and highly paid actor in his own right.
But, like most stars she also makes a lot of money from advertising products like Gemfields Jewellery and Jim Beam whiskey.
Earnings: $11 million
8. Julia Roberts
Yep, everyone’s favourite actress, who seems to have been around forever, is still beautiful and making millions. Since playing the lead role of a prostitute in ‘Pretty Woman’ in 1990, Julia hasn’t stopped being one of the most sought-after and best-paid actresses in the world. In 2016 she was paid $3 million for just 4 days of work in the movie ‘Mothers Day’ which was a bit of a disaster and only made $13 million at the box office. I know what you’re thinking, if we could all make $3 million dollars in 4 days we could retire on Thursday – well maybe next Thursday just to be extra safe!
Of course, she also earns a lot of money from endorsements and advertisements most notably for cosmetic brands such as Lancome!
Earnings: $13 million
7. Amy Adams
The amazingly beautiful Miss Adams is 42, and you would never guess it. The 5 time Oscar Nominee and 2 time Golden Globe winner is still being cast in great roles both for her beauty and talent - she’s getting paid well for it too. But, it hasn’t been an easy road for her.
Even after an excellent performance in Steven Spielberg's ‘Catch me if You Can’ in 2002 she went through many periods of unemployment. It wasn’t until playing the leading role of Giselle in ‘Enchanted’ in 2006 that her career took off and she got roles in movies like ‘American Hustle’ and played Lois Lane in the most recent Superman movies.
Like any star, she supplements her income by appearing in adverts for brands such as MaxMara. We wouldn’t want her to go hungry.
Earnings: $13.5 million
6. Charlize Theron
What is there not to like about Charlize. The talented, beautiful, 41-year-old South African actress started her career as a model when she was 16 and appeared in her first major film, ‘the Devils Advocate’, in 1997. She has not actually appeared on the list since 2013, but after earning a reported $10 million for her role in Snow White sequel, ‘The Huntsman: Winter’s War’, she has quite rightly made it back into the top 10. The money she makes from endorsements for brands like Dior J'Adore perfume help beef up her wages as well.
Earnings: $16.5 million
5. Fan Bingbing
Not a familiar face to Western viewers, she is the most highly paid and famous actress in China. But she has recently started making appearances in Hollywood movies. For example she played the role of x-man Blink in 2014’s ‘Days of Future Past’ . Part of her high income comes from the fact that she is also successful a singer, producer and model advertising prominent brands like L’Oreal.
Earnings: $17 million
4. Jennifer Aniston
Everyone’s favourite girl from the smash hit 90’s TV show ‘Friends’ is still stunning and talented and raking in the rewards. Making a seamless transition from TV to the big screen she is in huge demand for comedy movies; starring in hit movies such as ‘Horrible Bosses’, ‘Office Christmas Party’, ‘Good Girl’ and ‘Marley and Me’. Due to her never fading good looks she also made a lot of money representing brands like Smartwater and Aveeno.
Earnings: $21 million
3. Scarlett Johansson
Even though her first major roles were as a frumpy disillusioned teenager in movies like ‘Ghost World’ Johansson is in amazing shape and the woman of many men’s dreams. She now has an extremely successful career primarily in comic book movies most notably as the Black Widow in the Avenger movies. Her large paycheck this year might be due in part to the fact that she was paid a reported $17.5 million for starring in the critically panned manga comic movie ‘Ghost in the Shell’ as well as her numerous endorsements including Dolce and Gabbana.
Earnings $25 million
2. Melissa McCarthy
The loud and proud about pretty much everything she does Ms McCarthy also earns a huge amount of money. Despite the movie being panned by critics, she was reportedly paid over $10 million dollars for her role in the recent all-female remake of Ghostbusters. But that is not her only source of income. For example, she also has her own clothing line for women of all sizes.
Earnings: $33 million
1. Jennifer Lawrence
Ever since the first Hunger Games movie came out in 2012, Jennifer Lawrence hasn’t stopped making the top of the list. And with major roles in the X-Men franchise, ‘Passengers’ and ‘Joy’, the 26-year-old beauty doesn’t look like she is going to stop making serious money anytime soon.
Earnings: $46 million
Who is your favourite actress? Let us know in the comments section below…
This article was originaly published in March 2015.