I’ve been writing for Redbox since 2008, and one of my favorite memories of my time here happened that same year. It was when my review of the first Twilight film was featured in the company’s weekly email blast, and so many people were trying to read and comment on it that it took down our web servers! Classic. That about sums up the intensity of the Twilight fandom back in those days.
At the time, no one would’ve thought that both Kristen Stewart and Robert Pattinson could’ve ever shed their Bella and Edward personas. But fast-forward 12 years, and it’s clear their common strategy of focusing on a mix of offbeat indies and bigger-budget dramas has paid off.
For example, many Twilight fans might not have been aware that Stewart had already earned raves in several films before Stephenie Meyer’s novels were even published. While she’s been “in the biz” for over 20 years, her big break came playing Jodie Foster’s daughter in 2002’s Panic Room. Other notable roles from her childhood include Catch That Kid and Zathura. And then in 2007 she was a standout among the cast of Into the Wild — right before Twilight hit the next year.
I’ll admit to having a soft spot in my heart for the Twilight films , even though Kristen Stewart grated on my nerves a bit at the time. Right or wrong, I had loved those novels, and I thought Stewart and Pattinson were perfectly cast. In retrospect, I feel bad about how much pressure the stars were under and how it affected their personal lives once the franchise became a global phenomenon.
Thankfully for Stewart, she also starred in movies that were drastically different from Twilight that came out during the supernatural franchise’s run, and I think that helped her be able to remind Hollywood that she had more to offer. Indies like Adventureland and biopics like The Runaways (where she played Joan Jett) helped win critics over again.
In 2012 — the same year that Breaking Dawn – Part 2 premiered and the Twilight saga drew to a close — she starred in the indie Welcome to the Rileys and the blockbuster Snow White and the Huntsman (as Snow White!). Two years later, two of my favorite films of Stewart’s hit theaters: Still Alice, about a woman (Julianne Moore) with early-onset Alzheimer’s disease, and Clouds of Sils Maria, a French drama for which Stewart became the only American actress to ever have won a prestigious César Award for Best Supporting Actress.
Since re-proving her acting cred, Stewart has ventured back into more mainstream films, including reuniting with her Adventureland costar Jesse Eisenberg in the action-comedy American Ultra, glamming it up in Charlie’s Angels and holding her own in the sci-f thriller Underwater.
Underwater just hit the Box and Redbox on Demand, and in it Stewart plays a mechanical engineer on a doomed research and drilling team that’s working from the bottom of the Mariana Trench and discover they are … not alone down there. What better movie to watch while we’re all stuck in a confined space just like these characters, am I right?
Up next for Stewart is a much lighter movie — a rom-com called Happiest Season alongside Mackenzie Davis. If all goes according to plan, it should be out in November. One thing’s for sure about Stewart’s future: she’s sure to keep us all guessing as to what she’ll do next!