Four of the top five “best value” Hollywood actors are women, according to a new Forbes magazine report which will fuel the debate over gender pay disparity in the world’s best known film industry.
Mila Kunis, Scarlett Johansson, Gwyneth Paltrow and Emma Stone make the top five “best actors for the buck” 2015 list, while Jennifer Lawrence – recently ranked the highest-paid female actor by Forbes – lands in eighth place.
The best-value actor of all, according to Forbes, is Captain America star Chris Evans, who earned $181.80 for every $1 spent on recruiting him, thanks to the box office success of Marvel superhero epics such as Avengers: Age of Ultron and Captain America: The Winter Soldier. Ted and Oz the Great and Powerful star Kunis comes in second, with a return of $87.30 for every $1 spent on her wages, despite the box-office failure of the Wachowskis’ sprawling space fantasy Jupiter Ascending earlier this year.
Johansson places third on the list – impressive, given that some reports suggest the actor earned $20m for Avengers: Age of Ultron – having earned back $84.90 for every $1. Her other recent movies include the Luc Besson sci-fi fantasy Lucy, which made $463-million globally on a production budget of just $40-million.
Paltrow and Stone round out the top five, with the former worth $82.90 for every $1 spent on her, and the latter worth $54. Stone topped the list in 2014, but has slipped down the list following the box-office and critical failure of Cameron Crowe’s controversial romantic comedy Aloha.
Gender pay disparity in Hollywood has been a hot topic ever since last year’s leaked Sony emails detailed how Lawrence, then an A-lister and Oscar winner, was paid less than her male co-stars for the film American Hustle. In February, Patricia Arquette called for “wage equality once and for all” in her Oscar acceptance speech; since then, stars including Meryl Streep, Cate Blanchett, Emma Thompson and Charlize Theron have also spoken out. In October, Lawrence added her own voice to the chorus lobbying for action, penning a stinging rebuke to Hollywood for Lena Dunham’s Lenny Letter website.
Further down the Forbes list, Marvel regular Chris Hemsworth, who plays Thor, lands in sixth place, while Fast and Furious alumni Vin Diesel and Dwayne Johnson land in seventh and 10th places, respectively.
The list is put together by noting each actor’s three most recent movies prior to June 2015, after removing minor independent films, animated fare and small or cameo roles.
Topping Forbes’s “worst value” list are Johnny Depp, Denzel Washington, Will Ferrell, Liam Neeson, Will Smith, Christian Bale, Channing Tatum, Brad Pitt, Ben Affleck and Tom Cruise. No women there. – © Guardian News & Media Ltd
2015 Women actors are ‘best value’,