How Female Actresses' Paychecks Compare To Actors'

By Kaitlin Reilly

Most of us won't make what Hollywood's top stars make in a year across our entire lifetimes, so it's only natural for us all to ogle a little bit at their annual salaries. (I mean, I bet these stars don't even flinch when told that guacamole is a dollar extra.) However, your real shock might come from seeing the salaries of the guys of Hollywood — and there's an unfortunate reason why. Forbes just released the list of the world's highest paid actresses of 2015, just weeks after publishing a list of the highest paid actors. Though all the people on this list are bringing home the metaphorical bacon, there's a disturbing difference in just how much bacon the men are bringing in compared to their female peers. The gender gap is alive and well, even in Hollywood and even in 2015.

I'm not surprised about this, but I am disappointed — especially when you see just how different the numbers are. We're not talking minor percentages: the top paid actress makes less than half of what the top paid actor makes in Hollywood, and that trend continues for pretty much every ranking on the list.

The salaries on this list include money earned by each star from June of 2014 to June of 2015 — not that you would believe that from the crazy differences in salaries between the men and the women on these lists. Below is an outlined comparison between the top five male earners and the top five female earners that shows just how outrageous the discrepancies in their salaries are. Be prepared to feel frustrated.

5. Adam Sandler ($41 Million)...

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Yes, Sandler is still making bank — this year his salary mainly came from the adventure comedy Pixels. Though he's number five on the highest paid actor list, he makes $6.5 million dollars more than the woman in the number two spot on the actress list.

... Vs. Jennifer Aniston ($16.5 Million)

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Meanwhile, Aniston's salary this year would put her at number 27 on the actor list, just in front of her ex-husband Brad Pitt, who raked in $16 million.

4. Bradley Cooper ($41.5 Million)...


Cooper is everywhere in Hollywood these days, both as a leading man and as a producer, so it makes sense that his paycheck would be huge. "Huge," however, is unfortunately how you would describe Cooper's paycheck when compared to the women on this list.

...Vs. Bingbing Fan ($21 Million)


International star Fan, who primarily makes films in China but also appeared as Blink in X-Men: Days Of Futures Past in 2014, earned just shy of half of what Cooper makes.

3. Vin Diesel ($47 Million)...

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According to Forbes, Diesel rakes in the largest singular paycheck for Furious 7, which grossed $1.5 billion total. Not one of the (few) women in Furious 7 cracked the top 10 list for highest paid actresses.

...Vs. Melissa McCarthy ($23 Million)

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McCarthy starred in blockbuster comedies Tammy and Spy in 2014, in addition to her hit sitcom Mike & Molly — yet she made just over half of what Diesel made over the course of one year.

2. Jackie Chan ($50 Million)...


Chan may have the second highest salary for 2015, but he actually only starred in one film during the time period: Dragon Blade. According to Forbes, the "Jackie Chan brand," which includes lots of merchandise, is what made him most of his cash this year.

...Vs. Scarlett Johansson ($35.5 Million)

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Johansson made $14.5 million less than Chan this year (which, FYI, is nearly Aniston's entire salary) and starred in box office-busting films like The Avengers: Age Of Ultron and Lucy.

1. Robert Downey Jr. ($80 Million)...

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The number one spot on the actresses list looks like chump change compared to Downey Jr.'s, who raked in more money than his Avengers co-star Johansson, McCarthy, and Fan combined.

...Vs. Jennifer Lawrence ($52 Million)

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There's no denying that Lawrence received a big, fat paycheck this year — she's perhaps the most sought-after actress on the planet, and she's currently wrapping one of the biggest franchises in Hollywood with the final Hunger Games film. Yet, her total salary this year is only about 75 percent of Downey Jr.'s, who also is the star of a major franchise. If Katniss Everdeen were played by a dude, would he have surpassed Downey Jr. on this list? Sadly, there's plenty of evidence to suggest that, at the very least, that actor would make considerably more than $52 million.

The gender wage gap is alive and well in Hollywood, and the fact that these actresses make so much less than their male peers is only the tip of the iceberg. And, like this is happening in Hollywood, it's happening everywhere — huge salaries just make the discrepancies all the easier to see.