Jennifer Lawrence Is the Highest-Paid Actress in the World, Still Earns Less Than the Highest-Paid Actor
For the second year in a row, Jennifer Lawrence tops the list of the highest-paid actresses in Hollywood, while the impressively prolific Dwayne Johnson has unseated Robert Downey Jr. as the highest-paid actor. Unfortunately, the highest-paid actors still earn millions more than their female counterparts, proving that Hollywood’s gender disparity problem still needs some fixing.
Forbes’ annual lists of the highest-paid actors and actresses in the world feature few surprises. Jennifer Lawrence tops the actress list for the second year in a row with $46 million, followed by Melissa McCarthy with $33 million and Scarlett Johansson with $25 million. Cate Blanchett, Kristen Wiig and Kristen Stewart all “narrowly missed” the $10 million cut-off:
1. Jennifer Lawrence: $46 million
2. Melissa McCarthy: $33 million
3. Scarlett Johansson: $25 million
4. Jennifer Aniston: $21 million
5. Fan Bingbing: $17 million
6. Charlize Theron: $16.5 million
7. Amy Adams: $13.5 million
8. Julia Roberts: $12 million
9. Mila Kunis: $11 million
10. Deepika Padukone: $10 million
As for the men, Dwayne Johnson tops the list with $64 million, effectively displacing Robert Downey Jr., who held the number one spot for three years in a row. The Marvel star was knocked all the way down to ninth place, while Jackie Chan and Matt Damon placed second and third, respectively. Chan continues to be a huge draw in China, which boasts the second largest international film market. Damon has his role in last year’s The Martian to thank for the higher ranking (higher than his BFF, Ben Affleck!), though it’s strange to see him overtake Tom Cruise:
1. Dwayne Johnson: $64 million
2. Jackie Chan: $61 million
3. Matt Damon: $55 million
4. Tom Cruise: $53 million
5. Johnny Depp: $48 million
6. Ben Affleck: $43 million
7. Vin Diesel: $35 million
8. Shah Rukh Khan: $33 million
9. Robert Downey Jr.: $33 million
10. Akshay Kumar: $31 million
These lists are fun to look at, sure, but they also highlight the film industry’s ongoing gender problems. Lawrence is the highest-paid actress, but she still earns $18 million less than Johnson, even though they have similarly productive film schedules and hold equal status as A-list headliners.
McCarthy, who produces and stars in consistently lucrative comedies, commands $33 million — the same amount as the three actors at the bottom of the list of top-earning men. Johansson makes $25 million, which is less than half of what Matt Damon makes, despite the fact that Johansson starred in more major films in the past year than Damon.
Further down the list, Harrison Ford ranks 20th with $15 million, which is still more than almost half of his female counterparts. Amy Adams ranks seventh with $13.5 million, for instance, while Julia Roberts, who comes closest to matching Ford’s Hollywood veteran status, makes $12 million.
The lists also highlight a troubling age disparity: The majority of the top-earning men are over 40, compared to about half of their female counterparts, who, as Forbes notes, typically supplement their income with brand endorsements. Jennifer Aniston, for instance, has deals with several companies, including Aveeno and SmartWater, which account for a large portion of her annual salary. Melissa McCarthy recently launched a clothing line, and Mila Kunis (who hasn’t been as prolific as some of the other women on the list) has a deal with Jim Beam.
And sure, these women are still earning millions of dollars more than the average U.S. citizen will see in their lifetime, but these lists are representative of a larger gender pay disparity problem. These annual rankings allow us to see that even the most famous and beloved women (yes, even Jennifer Lawrence) are still valued less than their male counterparts despite working just as hard and holding equal status.