First published on Nerve.com on November 18, 2011. Read the original here.
Promising acting careers can be derailed by many things — sex scandals, drug habits, bad hair — but the most insidious cause is choosing the wrong franchise. What looks like a dream gig, with the kind of job security few actors can hope for, can quickly go south if the movies aren’t good. As the fourth Twilight film tears up the box office and the reputations of several SAG members, we’re taking a look at five actors whose futures were maligned by franchises.
1. Kristen Stewart
“Ms. Stewart is good enough to help you overlook just what a stock character the smart-alecky, sensitive-underneath-it-all Sarah really is.” — A. O. Scott, reviewing Panic Room
The inspiration for this list, Kristen Stewart was given a blessing and a curse that few others (maybe the Harry Potter kids) could understand. The lumbering, unstoppable behemoth that is The Twilight Saga may have made her famous, ubiquitous, and so rich she could do that Scrooge McDuck pool-full-of-gold thing, but it has also permanently connected her to one Bella Swan. And that’s too bad, really. Because whatever you think of Stewart now — I, for one, like her — back then, she was talented and attracted to some interesting work, like David Fincher’s thriller Panic Room and Into the Wild. She was tough and shy, smart but too cool to make a big thing out of it.
In a different universe, Kristen Stewart a) is the undisputed fantasy of every indie guy in the land and b) would laugh at the idea of getting a C-section, on-screen, via a guy’s mouth. But for at least the foreseeable future, Stewart is quite literally stuck in the Twilight zone, where no role she takes (see the upcoming Snow White and the Huntsman) will be seen on its own. Things will be “so much like her role in Twilight!” or “so different from her role in Twilight!” but they will never just be. If Stewart does manage to pull herself away from the gravity of this franchise, it will be a pretty damn impressive trick. Continue reading