From Angelina Jolie to Helen Mirren and more
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Oscar winning movie: "Girl, Interrupted" (2000)
Paycheck movie: "Lara Croft, Tomb Raider" (2001)
Lowdown: Jolie had starred in studio films before and Disney made her a prominent part of the "Gone in 60 Seconds" marketing campaign in conjunction with her newfound notoriety for "Girl" (she'd already shot "Gone"), but playing Lara Croft was the biggest payday of her career post-Oscar. The first film was actually the largest opening at the time for a female lead ($47.7 million) and was expected to start a long-running franchise. Unfortunately, the sequel was creatively more of a mess than the first film and that ended that. It was a paycheck choice, however, that helped turn Jolie into an international superstar.
- Gregory Ellwood