After the success of the Twilight films, Kristen Stewart and Robert Pattinson have both built a terrific body of work – we take a look.
To say that the Twilight series was huge would be quite the understatement. Across five films it grossed north of $3.3 billion at the box office, and remains a special series to a sizeable number of movie goers. Not only that, but the saga also launched the careers of Robert Pattinson and Kristen Stewart, who have turned out to have two of the most interesting acting filmographies of the past decade.
Of course, the pair had stared in movies before Twilight. Pattinson put in a great performance in the Harry Potter series’ The Goblet of Fire, and Stewart had a role in Jon Favreau’s underrated Zathura among others. But it was the success of Twilight that gave the wings of their careers flight.
After the conclusion of the fifth film in the franchise, Breaking Dawn Part 2, the pair were firm worldwide stars. Both actors would have presumably had the pick of the lot when it came to the roles that they were to take on next. It would have been entirely understandable if they picked the next blockbuster to land on their desk and carried on surfing that high.
But they both chose different paths.
If you’re reading this and still think of the pair as ‘those two from the vampire movies’, then hopefully with this piece I can point you in the direction of some stellar performances, and some good films to boot.
After Twilight, Kristen Stewart immediately took on roles in Camp X-Ray and Clouds Of Sil Maria (pictured) the latter of which won her best supporting actress at the Cesar Awards. But the first film that put Stewart firmly on my radar as one to watch was 2014’s Still Alice. The film stars Julianne Moore as a professor who at the age of 50 receives a shock Alzheimer’s disease diagnosis. Stewart plays Moore’s daughter, an actor trying to catch her break while her mother would prefer she put her time to more practical endeavours (in her eyes), such as college.
It’s a powerful, important film, and though it can be a hard watch at times it’s handled with the level of care you’d hope for, one that that never pushes it over to outright distressing. Though Stewart doesn’t get a lot of screen time in this one, I would still point you towards it as early proof that she really has presence. The fact it’s also a wonderful film is a bonus.
Robert Pattinson, for many years, decided on roles that often had much smaller budgets than the blockbusters of the year, and didn’t have as wide of release. The first being David Michod’s The Rover, an Australian dystopia in which he worked alongside Guy Pierce.
In the years that followed, he chose similar off-the-wall, anti-franchise projects like Life, The Childhood Of A Leader and The Lost City Of Z. With each film he was honing his craft and moving further away from the large shadow cast over him by Twilight.
The film that really made me go, wow was 2017 thriller Good Time (pictured above), where Pattinson plays a criminal aiming to get his brother out of prison. The movie is directed by the Safdie Brothers, and those of you familiar with their work will know that their films take you on a ride, and boy does this grab you. It doesn’t let get for its 101 minute runtime.
Pattinson gives a truly unrecognisable performance, showing off the full capacity of his range. It’s proper edge of the seat stuff too from the moment it begins, and is led by a powerful, layered portrayal from Pattinson.
A little titbit that I think shows how dedicated he his as an actor is that instead of pulling out a by-the-numbers New York accent, he researched a specific tone of Queens to add to the realness of the character.
Stewart and Pattinson both continued to make interesting choices for the next few years.
Stewart for instance starred in Seberg, a biopic based on the life of Jane Seberg, and while the film is muddled at times Stewart is the definite standout.
Pattinson popped up opposite Willem Defoe in The Lighthouse, a black and white double-hander with astonishing cinematography. It’s a film that may leave you confused, with a baffling ending I couldn’t even begin to describe here, but worth it for the ride the two leads take you on. Sometimes it not about understanding, it’s just about feeling, right?
More recently, the pair have both made the move back to more mainstream cinema after years away.
Pattinson has made a big splash back into the mainstream, showing up in several Netflix original films and most notably in Christopher Nolan epic Tenet. He oozes swagger in this role and helping bring back the word ‘blimey’ into the consciousness.
Stewart on the other hand was one of the leads of the recent Charlie’s Angels reboot, and though that film wasn’t the greatest received it certainly has its fans and shows that the actor is up for all types of roles.
She is also one of the stars of last year’s Happiest Season (pictured above) alongside Mackenzie Davis, described by those involved as ‘a gay Christmas movie.’ It’s a wonderful film, and Kristen is brilliant in it. And though there are some typical rom-com conventions that become questionable in the lens of the first major queer holiday film – plus the fact Stewart arguably has more chemistry with a support character played by the always great Aubrey Plaza (make those two leads in a film together now please and thanks) – it’s an important film in the continued fight for representation. Luckily for us just happens to be a good watch as well.
Going forward, Robert Pattinson is next set to star as Bruce Wayne in Matt Reeves’ upcoming The Batman, which is garnering a lot of excitement. It recently wrapped filming in London.
What these moves back into the mainstream show is that both Pattinson and Stewart are now up for roles that interest them, regardless of the profile, which can only be good news for us film fans.
Hopefully there’s at least one film of that lot you’re willing to give a try to if you haven’t before. I’d also suggest that maybe, just maybe, you might want to go back and give Twilight another try after all these years. Stranger things have happened.
And if anything is for certain it’s that despite the masses attempting to suck the blood from them early on, if Kristen Stewart and Robert Pattinson keep making the same bold, interesting choices as they have been for the past decade, then their careers will have a very long life indeed. Here’s hoping.
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