After a phenomenon like “The Twilight Saga,” what do you do for an encore? Even as she continues to appear in big-budget films like the controversial “Snow White and the Huntsman,” Kristen Stewart hasn’t forgotten about her indie roots (“Into the Wild,” “The Runaways”), where she’s proven that she can do more than just whine, sulk and brood.
Her “small” but substantial films include Walter Salles’ “On The Road,” the screen adaptation of Jack Kerouac’s defining 1957 novel about the Beat Generation, the group of post-World War II writers who inspired a cultural phenomenon that celebrated nonconformity and spontaneous creativity. They were also known for “rejecting conventional standards, experimenting with drugs, alternative sexuality and Eastern religion, and rejecting materialism.”
In the film, Stewart plays a character inspired by LuAnne Henderson, and co-stars with Sam Riley (as Kerouac), Tom Sturridge (Allen Ginsberg), Garrett Hedlund (Neal Cassady), Viggo Mortensen (William S. Burroughs), Amy Adams (Joan Vollmer), Kirsten Dunst (Carolyn Cassady), Steve Buscemi and Terrence Howard.
The actress gets to lighten up in Glenn Ficarra and John Requa’s “Focus,” about a con artist who takes a young ward under his wing (Stewart) but ends up falling in love with her, and “The Big Shoe,” where she plays muse to Jim Sturgess’ shoemaker character.
Taylor Lautner’s big-screen prospects are less stellar—he plays a frat boy in the sequel to the Adam Sandler-Salma Hayek starrer, “Grown Ups,” and a New York bike messenger who uses his skills in parkour to protect himself against the gangsters chasing him in “Tracers.” Not very challenging roles, if you ask us—unless his nonfiction project with Gus Van Sant pushes through.
The busiest of the lot is Robert Pattinson, who goes from one exciting project after another: Set in the Australian outback in the near future after a global financial collapse, David Michod’s gritty “The Rover” is about vengeful Eric (Guy Pearce), who enlists the help of Rey (Pattinson) to track down the gang that stole his last possession.
In Werner Herzog’s ambitious Gertrude Bell biopic, “Queen of the Desert,” the British actor is cast as Col. T.E. Lawrence aka Lawrence of Arabia. Bell was an English writer, traveler, political officer, archaeologist and spy who was “influential to the United Kingdom’s imperial policy-making. Along with Lawrence, she helped establish the Hashemite dynasties in Jordan and Iraq.”
Pattinson will have a lot of thespic meat to chew on in “Hold On To Me,” a true-to-life thriller about femme fatale Nancy (Carey Mulligan), who kidnaps the town’s richest man, Jimmy (Pattinson)—the ex-boyfriend she left behind to pursue a modeling career in New York!