Kristen Stewart Tops Forbes' Highest-Paid Actress List
Posted 06.20.12 by Chris
It pays to be a vampire, or at least the lead actress in a very successful vampire franchise. Earning an astounding $34.5M between May 2011 and May 2012, Kristen Stewart is the highest-paid actress in Hollywood, according to Forbes. Thanks to her role as Bella Swan in the Twilight franchise, Stewart outearned Hollywood heavyweights like Cameron Diaz, Sandra Bullock, and Julia Roberts.
And because she starred in another tentpole project, Snow White and the Huntsman, Stewart also outearned her Twilight co-stars, Robert Pattinson and Taylor Lautner. Stewart's big paycheck is due to the fact that after several Twilight installments, Stewart became irreplaceable as Bella Swan.
Like other up-and-comers, Stewart didn't earn much for the first two Twilight movies but once the series became one of Hollywood's biggest franchises, Stewart's paychecks got a lot bigger. Initially, Stewart and the rest of the Twilight cast were only committed to four movies (the same number of books in Stephenie Meyer's series). So when Summit decided to split Breaking Dawn into two movies, that opened the window for Stewart, Pattinson, and Lautner to renegotiate for much bigger paychecks (the same thing happened for the Harry Potter stars when Warner Bros. split Deathly Hallows into two movies).
Contrast that to Twilight's successor — The Hunger Games. Though The Hunger Games just crossed the $400M mark, star Jennifer Lawrence made just $1M to play Katniss Everdeen. Though Lawrence will earn more for the planned sequels its unlikely she'll earn anywhere near Stewart's $12.5M paycheck for the last two Twilight movies due to the fact that Lawrence is already committed to the three sequels Lionsgate have planned.
Forbes also notes that Stewart, 22, is by far the youngest woman on the list, by a whole 16 years. The next youngest on the list is Kristen Wiig, who is 38. It will be interesting to see if Stewart has the momentum to stay on the list after Twilight concludes later this year.
Here's the full list of the top 10:
1. Kristen Stewart, $34.5 million
2. Cameron Diaz, $34 million
3. Sandra Bullock, $25 million
4. Angelina Jolie, $20 million
5. Charlize Theron, $18 million
6. Julia Roberts, $16 million
7. Sarah Jessica Parker, $15 million
8. Meryl Streep, $12 million
9. Kristen Wiig, $12 million
10. Jennifer Aniston, $11 million