Aug 17, 2017
Emma Stone Is 2017's Highest-Paid Actress
The Oscar winner succeeds her good friend Jennifer Lawrence for the title of Hollywood's top-earning female performer.
As if that Academy Award this past February were not enough of a crowning achievement for Emma Stone, the La La Land actress has just been named the highest-paid actress of the year, according to Forbes.
On Wednesday, Forbes estimated that Stone, just 28, banked $26 million pre-tax between June 2016 and June 2017, thanks mostly to her pay for La La Land, the reportedly $30 million movie-musical that has grossed over $445 million worldwide to date. (The milestone is a far cry from Stone's on-screen barista days, and real-life days working at a bakery for dogs—the latter of which Stone told Vanity Fair about for her 2011 cover story.)
How, exactly, did Stone earn so much from such a modestly budgeted movie? This past July, Vanity Fair spoke to several Hollywood insiders who broke down the complex economics of modern-era movie making. They explained how such a sizable annual paycheck is still possible . . . if actors and filmmakers share risk with studios by accepting a smaller front-end fee in exchange for a back-end percentage deal.
"There's still a lot of money to be made, but only when the movie works," the insider clarified, pointing out how Stone's peer Sandra Bullock was said to have made nearly $70 million off of Gravity alone, thanks to a back-end deal which had the actress profiting handily when the film topped $600 million worldwide.
Stone succeeds her Oscar-winning pal Jennifer Lawrence for the Forbes title. Last year, the magazine estimated that Lawrence earned a staggering $46 million pre-tax, thanks in part to Hunger Games profits and her paycheck for Passengers. Lawrence is listed third on this year's list, with an estimated pre-tax take-home of $24 million, comprised from her up-front fees for Red Sparrow and Mother! in addition to her Dior contract.
Late last year, Stone confessed that there was a moment when she thought there might not be room for her in Hollywood, after seeing Lawrence's success.
"She may not even know this," Stone wrote Vanity Fair in an e-mail, "but there was definitely a time early on when I was like OH HEY MY EGO IS GOING NUTS SHE'S SO GREAT AND VIBRANT AND TALENTED I'M SCREWED I'LL NEVER WORK AGAIN GOODBYE YELLOW BRICK ROAD.' Then I chilled the fuck out—and remembered we're completely different and there is room for everyone, even if it's an industry that doesn't really seem to support that idea up front." She went on: "We both really do love each other and care about each other as people, beyond being actors. I support her completely when it comes to work and I feel the same from her, but I know we'd be friends even if we didn't do the same job."
This year, Jennifer Aniston separated Stone and Lawrence on the list, with a reported $25.5 million in pre-tax income, thanks to her lucrative sponsorships with Emirates airlines, Smartwater, and Aveeno.
by JULIE MILLER