In Hollywood, like any industry, rivalries have always existed. With each generation of new film stars, a fresh crop of faces emerge. Although stars capture the attention of adoring fans, they also become instant tabloid fodder, whether warranted or not. It’s in this crucial stage that stars establish their brand and chart the course of their careers. In most cases, one significant role is enough to guarantee both financial and employment security.
With The Hunger Games picking up where The Twilight Saga left off in terms of cinematic popularity, we now have a new rivalry of young female actresses with Jennifer Lawrence and Kristen Stewart, two very different stars that have one large factor in common: the female lead in the most popular movie in the world. Both The Twilight Saga and The Hunger Games, the biggest novel-to-film-franchises since Harry Potter and Lord of the Rings, have turned Stewart and Lawrence into mega-stars.
So, what comparisons can be made between Jennifer Lawrence and Kristen Stewart as stars in The Hunger Games and The Twilight Saga?
Well, one could say that both females carry the weight of the franchises more than the men. It’s not a feminist argument, but the male characters in both films are deeply tied to the females. Lawrence is the heroine of The Hunger Games while Stewart was the centerpiece of drama, conflict and romance in The Twilight Saga.
Although Lawrence stepped into her young adult franchise on the momentum of an Oscar nomination for her role in Winter’s Bone, Kristen Stewart had a lot more acting experience behind her by the time she landed Twilight. It’s somewhat of an apples and oranges argument, but it’s interesting to look at where each actress was at prior to their huge roles. It certainly raises the question of what exactly an Oscar nomination does for a young actress. Does an Oscar nomination make up for experience?
Tough as nails, Lawrence is now seen as a positive role model as Katniss Everdeen in The Hunger Games while Kristen Stewart has seen her fair share of controversy as Bella Swan in The Twilight Saga. It’s not Stewart’s fault that the character was extremely complex when it came to independence from her relationships with Edward (Robert Pattinson) and Jacob (Taylor Lautner). But since both actresses are now household names largely due to their characters, it’s hard to say which one will be able to separate themselves more as time goes by and they step into different roles.
Is it fair that Kristen Stewart and Jennifer Lawrence will be judged on their characters more than their acting abilities because of their association with such huge film franchises? No, but youth is still on their side. They have decades ahead of them to find diverse roles as they grow as actresses. Whether rivals or eventual kindred spirits, Jennifer Lawrence and Kristen Stewart will continue to evolve and find further success in the future as unique professionals.
With two more novels still to be filmed in The Hunger Games franchise, we’re just beginning to see what Jennifer Lawrence is capable of as an actress. And with The Twilight Saga about to wrap for good after Breaking Dawn Part 2, Lawrence may be able to look at the evolution of Kristen Stewart as inspiration for the future beyond The Hunger Games.
Who knows how it will all play out. What do you guys think?