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Twi-Stars: Where Do They Go From Here?

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Nov 18, 2011 | 12:50pm EST

Since becoming teen heartthrobs and overnight A-listers with The Twilight Saga, Kristen Stewart, Robert Pattinson and Taylor Lautner have had the same problem: a lack of success with their film projects outside of Summit Entertainment’s blockbuster vampire franchise. It’s not for a lack of trying; each has been busy asserting themselves to find the best path to take their careers in. The results range from middling to disastrous (I’m looking at you, The Runaways, Abduction and Remember Me).

Now, as the first part of the final chapter in the storybook film series hits theaters, the question must be asked: where do they go from here? It’s pretty obvious that the roles they’ve chosen to take in between Twilight installments haven’t worked to their advantage, so I’ve got a few professional suggestions for each.

Taylor LautnerTaylor Lautner

From the moment he first exposed his abs to the masses in New Moon, Lautner sealed his fate as a token action star of his generation. With an agreeable personality, a winning smile and muscles to spare, he’s got all the tools needed to carry a big-budget blockbuster or a franchise of his own. And if you’ve been following his activity in Tinsel Town like I have, you know that’s just what he intends to do.

Where he’s headed: Summer movie madness. Lautner’s biceps seem to have a magnetic quality, one that attracts the kind of script that calls for lots of CGI, stunts and special effects. He’s taken his star power and physical prowess to the bank since 2009, signing on for a series of action flicks that haven’t yet gotten a green light including Universal’s Hasbro adaptation Stretch Armstrong, Fox’s young-adult fantasy film Incarceron and an untitled actioner to be produced by Michael Bay. The only movie he’s actually released outside of The Twilight Saga was Lionsgate’s fall offering Abduction, which fizzled out at around $28 million.

What he should do: Comedy, because the above statement is only half true: Lautner had a small role in Garry Marshall’s sleeper hit Valentine’s Day early in 2010, and I think that he should expand on that minor appearance and take up the lucrative business of rom-coms. He’s already got a rabid fan-base of young females (the most reliable consumers of the genre) and the good looks to share the screen with some of Hollywood’s leading ladies. While he waits for a start date on one of those expensive tent poles, he might as well squeeze in a harmless chick flick to mix things up a bit.

Kristen StewartKristen Stewart

In spite of the naysayers, I strongly believe that Kristen Stewart is the brightest star of the three Twilight kids. She’s easily the most accomplished, and sports the most extensive resume, which includes work with top-tier talent like Jodie Foster, David Fincher, Jon Favreau, Barry Levinson, James Gandolfini and others. But being the most sought after actress under 25 comes with a lot of pressure, and she’ll need to walk a fine line to between movie star and prestigious performer if she wants to achieve the level of notoriety that I think she’s seeking.

Where she’s headed: The Academy Awards, because she already is walking that fine line. Even though she’s secured box office dominance next year with two surefire blockbusters (Breaking Dawn Part 2, Snow White and the Huntsman), she’s also making sure to keep award-worthy films on her plate. 2012 will see Walter Salles long-gestating On the Road adaptation, in which she plays the iconic Marylou, finally hit theaters, and that role fits nicely into her indie catalog that already includes Undertow and The Yellow Handkerchief. And apart from Snow White, what’s on the horizon looks more and more like prize-winning material, including a film with oft-Oscar nominated Julianne Moore and a G.I. Jane-like role in a film to be directed by James Woods.

What she should do: Exactly what she already is doing. Balance is key in Hollywood; just look at Arnold Schwarzenegger. Not a particularly talented guy, but he bounced back and forth between comedy and action and had one of the most profitable careers in film history for 20 years. If Stewart can switch from high-caliber roles in movies like On the Road to all-out blockbusters like Snow White and Akira (which she’s rumored to be joining), there’s no stopping her.

Robert PattinsonRobert Pattinson

Call me crazy, but I equate Pattinson’s role in the Twilight series to that of Leonardo DiCaprio’s in Titanic. Both are severely romantic parts with little to no appeal to males and neither allow(ed) their actors to fully display their range. However, Leo went on to better, if not always bigger, things and I expect the same from RPattz.

Where he’s headed: Art-house aristocracy, because when he’s not glimmering as Edward Cullen he’s flexing his thespian muscles under the tutelage of filmmakers like Emmy-nominated Allen Coulter and the legendary David Cronenberg, while honing his craft alongside Oscar winners Reese Witherspoon, Christoph Waltz. It seems as though the bigger the Twilight Saga gets, the smaller the side-project the 25-year old actor takes on, but that may not be the wisest choice.

What he should do: An action movie or two, and why not? All the kids are doing it, and nothing gets you more exposure these days than a $200 million tent pole. I’m not saying he should take notes from Lautner; as previously stated, balance is the key. But as of now it’s been all heavy drama for Pattinson, and those kinds of movies are being made less and less in this day and age. From what I understand he’s been offered leads in a few action flicks over the last year or so, and it’d be in his best interest to take one in the near future.

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