Nov 17, 2012 / 12:00 pm
Kristen Stewart, Robert Pattinson and Taylor Lautner have walked their last "Twilight" red carpet with the arrival this weekend of the series finale "The Twilight Saga: Breaking Dawn Part 2." Now, they must step into careers of their own using the superstardom the multi-billion-dollar franchise has provided them.
Making that transition from a beloved film series with a fervent fan base can be tricky. Do you stick to the same kinds of roles that people came to love you for and maintain the safety of familiarity? Or do you veer drastically in the other direction to prove to the world that you have range and that you're so much more than just a mopey teenage girl or a hunky set of abs?
"Harry Potter" star Daniel Radcliffe, for example, has successfully made choices that showcase his versatility, from appearing on stage naked in a Broadway production of "Equus" to the gothic horror film "The Woman in Black." His "Harry Potter" co-star, Emma Watson, played a damaged party girl this year in "The Perks of Being a Wallflower," a character who couldn't have been more different from the fastidious Hermione Granger.
The three core "Twilight" stars have all struck while the iron was hot, making a variety of films in between the five "Twilight Saga" installments about high schooler Bella Swan and the vampire and werewolf who competed for her affections.
Stewart was the best known of the "Twilight" trio before being cast as Bella. She'd played Jodie Foster's daughter in the 2002 thriller "Panic Room" and a commune singer who befriends Emile Hirsch's character in Sean Penn's Oscar-nominated "Into the Wild" (2007).
Her choices between the "Twilight" movies have run the gamut, from playing a young Joan Jett in the 2010 biopic "The Runaways" to a fairy-tale warrior princess in this summer's "Snow White and the Huntsman." Next month, she'll appear in "On the Road," based on the iconic Jack Kerouac novel.
Pattinson has made some of the most daring and impressive choices of the three of them. Before being cast as the swoony vampire Edward Cullen, the lanky British actor appeared in another blockbuster franchise as Hogwarts student Cedric Diggory in 2005's "Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire." In 2009, he played Salvador Dali in the barely seen "Little Ashes," and last year he starred opposite Reese Witherspoon in the circus romance "Water for Elephants".
Then there's Lautner, who was just 15 when he auditioned for the role of the sensitive, muscular werewolf Jacob Black. He'd appeared in a few films by then, including playing the title character of Sharkboy in 2005's "The Adventures of Sharkboy and Lavagirl in 3-D." In between the "Twilight" films, he stuck to lighter fare. He was part of the ensemble cast of 2010's "Valentine's Day" in a romantic subplot opposite Taylor Swift.
But Lautner's leading-man debut was last year's "Abduction," a title that naturally inspired plenty of puns about his famously toned frame. The thriller from director John Singleton found Lautner playing a high-school student who gets caught up in a web of intrigue.
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