Darren Calabrese / Invision/AP 1 / 9
Darren Calabrese / Invision/AP 1 / 9

By Melissa Hunter

Naomi Watts often doesn't get the kind of cred that she deserves. She does everything from gritty, heavy indies to quirky genre flicks to major blockbusters, and maybe that combination is what got her to the top of Forbes' "Best Actresses for the Buck" list.

This is a departure from their Highest Paid Actresses list which is topped by Angelina and Jen Aniston. (Right next to each other! ZOMG!) This list actually shows how the overall profit of their movies largely outweighs their personal paychecks. Other ladies in the top spots? Some of my personal faves, including Rachel McAdams, Jennifer Connelly and Natalie Portman.

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So why is Naomi the studio's ultimate bargain deal? Might have something to do with the following attributes (pay attention, aspiring Forbes-listers):

1) She chooses the right projects

Not every project that gives you an inflated paycheck is worth the money. In fact, that often might be a red flag for the studio trying to pad an atrocious script with big names. I call it the "View from the Top" effect.

2) She's never rocked a diva 'tude

You know those reports about starlets dedicating rooms in their mansions to wigs? Or demanding free swag? Or dictating that photographers only shoot their good side? Well, nary a report like that exists about sweet Naomi. So when it comes to a whopping paycheck, she's OK with accepting a couple million less than the average diva.

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3) She's talented

OK, I know this is a stretch, but talent may have actually helped her career. Call me crazy, but from being tragically devastated in "21 Grams" to being convincingly freaked the eff out in "The Ring," she takes her craft seriously. And it pays off. Maybe this whole "trained actor" notion will gain steam.

4) She's got a chill indie relationship

If you're living a life of high-profile glitz, glamour, pre-nups, and affairs, chances are you'll need to star in a few slapped together superhero movies or rom com bombs to keep yourself occupied. Naomi's relationship with fellow credible actor Liev Schreiber seems drama free, which allows her to channel all that leftover drama into her roles

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5) She hit the big time late

When you have a quote of a couple mil before your 16th birthday, it's tough to keep up with your own success. But Naomi was 33 when she landed her breakout roles in "Mulholland Drive" and "The Ring." That's why she doesn't take these opportunities for granted and might even *gasp!* be thankful for what she has.

While topping this list will presumably cause her quote to skyrocket and shoot all my theories to hell, so what? She deserves it.

Basically, what we're saying here is: Naomi Watts is awesome.