Here's a little lesson for any of those young actors out there afraid of getting typecast by joining a big franchise movie: Don't be a dummy. Take it from Kristen Stewart, star of the "Twilight" series, who rose from obscurity just a few years ago to the top of the Forbes magazine list of the highest-paid actresses in Hollywood.
As the vamps and werewolves series rounds its final dark corner, Stewart, 22, has become the kind of box-office draw that merits big bucks, which explains why she earned $34.5 million between May 2011 and May 2012. That cash came from both her "Twilight" role as Bella Swan (which earned her $12.5 million for each of the final two episodes plus a share of the profits), as well as a fat paycheck for "Snow White and the Huntsman."
Stewart is the youngest woman on the list by 16 years, coming in just ahead of romantic comedy veteran Cameron Diaz, 39, who raked in $34 million, mostly thanks to her profit-sharing deal on the $216 million-grossing role in "Bad Teacher," as well as fees for "What to Expect When You're Expecting" and "The Green Hornet."
Even though her most recent movie, "Extremely Loud & Incredibly Close" wasn't a big hit, Oscar-winner Sandra Bullock still took in $25 million over the past year, followed by "Maleficent" top-liner Angelina Jolie, who pulled in big cash ($20 million) thanks to residuals and endorsements in a year when she didn't even star in a big studio movie.
It's no surprise Charlize Theron was in the top five with $18 million, since she racked up big buzz with roles in "Young Adult," "Snow White and the Huntsman" and "Prometheus," as well as for her gig as the face of Dior. The rest of the top 10: Julia Roberts ($16 million), Sarah Jessica Parker ($15 million), Meryl Streep ($12 million), Kristen Wiig ($12 million) and Jennifer Aniston ($11 million).
Forbes calculated the actresses' hauls by considering upfront pay, profit participation, residuals, endorsements and advertising work after talking to managers, agents, lawyers and other Hollywood experts.