Top Stories
Top Stories

You may not know them—yet—but these Asian actresses are among the best paid

Forbes: There's still a gender pay gap in Hollywood

If the names Fan Bingbing and Deepika Padukone don't ring a bell, they should, because the Asian stars featured in the latest ranking of the world's best-paid actresses.

Chinese starlet Fan took fifth place on the Forbes' The World's Highest-Paid Actresses 2016 list, based on her earnings from June 2015 to June 2016, down from fourth spot last year. Her $17 million 2016 paycheck came from roles in local Chinese films such as "Skiptrace" and "Lady of the Dynasty."

"Last year was the first time we actually looked outside of just the U.S., so last year Fan Bingbing was the only foreign actress to make the list. This year she's joined by Charlize Theron and Deepika Padukone," said Natalie Robehmed, a staff writer at Forbes, told CNBC's "Squawk Box. "

Fan Bingbing at the 68th annual Cannes Film Festival on May 13, 2015 in Cannes, France.
Pascal Le Segretain | Getty Images

Born in Qingdao, China, Fan rose to fame in Asia at just 17, when she played a supporting role in the popular Mandarin-language television series "My Fair Princess."

After starring in several Chinese movies and topping Forbes' China celebrity rankings, Fan broke into the global mainstream media in 2014 when she starred in "X-Men: Days of Future Past" as the mutant Blink.

She has also caught the attention of red-carpet watchers with her regal and elaborate haute couture gowns at several Cannes Film Festivals and Met Galas. The 35-year-old has also been the celebrity brand ambassador for Louis Vuitton, Chopard, Loreal and Cartier.

Fan was reportedly the first Asian celebrity to wear a custom-made Louis Vuitton gown, back in 2013, according to several reports.

Adding to her list of accomplishments, she is also a singer, television producer and philanthropist.

Deepika Padukone performs at the 15th International Indian Film Academy (IIFA) Awards in Tampa, Florida, April 26, 2014.
Jewel Samad | AFP | Getty Images

Newcomer Deepika Padukone joined the ranks in tenth spot, after earning $10 million in the year to June. While Padukone might be a stranger to U.S. audiences, that will likely change.

"She will be making her Hollywood debut next year so U.S. audiences may get familiar with her soon," Robehmed said, referring to the upcoming film "xXx: Return of Xander Cage."

The Bollywood actress and model received her big break starring in the 2007 blockbuster "Om Shanti Om" and romantic comedy "Piku," for which she won several awards.

While Padukone earned less than her Hollywood contemporaries for her acting roles, she earned her millions by cutting lucrative brand endorsement deals with local brands such as Indian domestic airline Vistara and jewelry brand Tanishq, Forbes reported.

Another key takeaway from the Forbes' list was the glaring gender pay gap between the actors and actresses.

"This year, the world's highest-paid actor Dwayne Johnson earned $64 million, $18 million more than Jennifer Lawrence [who was the highest-paid actress]," Robehmed told CNBC.

"There's still a very significant pay gap, even for women who are at the very top of their fields," she added.

-- Follow CNBC International on and Facebook.