Leading Indian actress Deepika Padukone has made her debut among the world’s top 10 highest paid actresses with earnings of USD 10 million dollars in a list alongside Hollywood heavyweights Oscar-winner Jennifer Lawrence, Julia Roberts and “Friends” star Jennifer Anniston.
Padukone, 30, is the only Indian actress and the sole newcomer in Forbes’ 2016 list of the ‘World’s Highest-Paid Actresses’, coming in on the 10th spot. Forbes said Padukone has “scored box office gold” in Bollywood movies such as “Bajirao Mastani” and “Piku”.
While she earns less than her Hollywood counterparts for roles, Padukone “compensates with over a dozen lucrative endorsements”, which “have helped her hedge against a deep pay gap in Bollywood”.
The list shows her with earnings of USD 10 million. Forbes said the Bangalore-bred Padukone, who made her Bollywood film debut in 2007 with Shahrukh Khan-starrer “Om Shanti Om”, has “since starred in several films that have crossed the USD 150 million or 100 crore mark a barometer for box office success in India”.
Padukone “has also become something of a style icon” launching her own label for an Indian online shopping site. Making her Hollywood debut along “Fast and Furious” star Vin Diesel, she will be seen in 2017 in “xXx: Return of Xander Cage”.
Noting the gender pay gap in the Indian movie industry, “a discrepancy not uncommon in Hollywood” also, Forbes said though a top Indian male star might earn close to USD 5 million a movie, prominent Indian actresses rarely clear USD 1 million a film.
For the second year in a row, Oscar-winning “Hunger Games” actress Lawrence topped the list of the world’s highest-paid actresses, notching USD 46 million. “Ghostbusters” starrer Melissa McCarthy is ranked second with earnings of USD 33 million.
The list includes “The Horse Whisperer”-starrer Scarlett Johansson on the third spot, Anniston on the 4th place followed by Chinese actress Fan Bingbing (5), Oscar-nominee Amy Adams (7) and “Pretty Woman”-starrer Roberts (8).
Forbes added that in an industry where a pay gap with male actors still exists, 90 per cent of the world’s highest-paid actresses supplement their on-screen earnings with endorsements.
Together, the world’s 10 highest-paid actresses tallied a combined USD 205 million between June 2015 and 2016, before fees and taxes.
“Though these select actresses earn more than most could dream of, their movie money is but a fraction of what many of their male counterparts pocket. While top actresses can negotiate eight figure upfront fees plus a cut of profits for leading parts in big budget movies, there are simply fewer of those roles available for women,” Forbes said.
It also noted that for women, the movie business is “notoriously ageist” but with “box office clout”, some of the highest-paid actresses have manoeuvred themselves into positions of economic power.