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Emma Watson ‘on track’ to become Hollywood’s best-paid actress after Beauty and the Beast

Evening Standard logo Evening Standard 23/3/2017 David Gardner

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Emma Watson is on track to become the highest paid actress in Hollywood after taking a pay cut to star in Beauty And The Beast — in return for a share of the profits.

The English star had a guaranteed salary of £2 million for the film, far lower than the fee Disney shelled out to Angelina Jolie for Maleficent.

But the gamble appears to have paid off for the 26-year-old actress, expected to get more than £12 million from a deal that entitles her to a slice of the film’s worldwide earnings.

Beauty And The Beast pulled in more than £280 million on its first weekend and is already set to earn the £600 million needed to trigger Watson’s windfall — and her final payday may be even higher.

It has sent the actress to the top of the Hollywood pecking order and she can name her price for her next project, according to experts.

“I think she has the world in the palm of her hand,” said Liza Anderson, celebrity publicist and founder of Anderson Group Public Relations.

“She is the biggest star in the world right now. She can star in anything. She could produce. She’s America’s sweetheart and a global sweetheart. There’s no better position to be in right now. I’m sure she has Hollywood banging at her door.

“She’s a perfect combination of outspoken and demure, and those are qualities both men and women love.”

Watson had even turned down the chance to star in La La Land — the hit musical that earned Emma Stone an Oscar — to stay in London and prepare for Beauty And The Beast.

The former child star made nearly £50 million as Hermione Granger in the Harry Potter series. Hollywood casting director Brett Benner said the success of Beauty And The Beast will widen Watson’s appeal.

He said: “This raises her star and it’s more than most actors would dream of making in a lifetime.”

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