Obviously we’re having this conversation because Stewart made a Poor Life Choice last year and got busted cheating with her director, Rupert Sanders. It’s not the affair itself that’s the problem—if people in the industry got upset every time someone made a dumbass personal decision there would no one left to do any work at all—but rather Stewart’s handling of the fallout has been something of an issue. To determine what’s going on with her career, I asked a talent manager, a casting director, and a studio boss to weigh in on the State of Kristen Stewart.
First and most importantly, she is absolutely still hire-able, and is still a considerable get. In terms of fame, the only peers who come close to her level of famousness are Emma Watson, Emma Stone, and Jennifer Lawrence. Stewart is tremendously famous, having attained the kind of fame that never really goes away (see also: Orlando Bloom). That is a valuable commodity, “instant advertising” the studio boss dubbed it. Announce Stewart is in your movie and watch the press release rocket through the interwebs, repeated on industry and gossip sites, and mainstream news outlets alike. She’s a lightning rod for attention and that’s a valuable commodity in a crowded marketplace.
So what’s the problem, then? Why has every project she’s announced since the scandal broke last summer fallen apart or, in the case of the Snow White sequel, been put off for at least a year (it’s set for a tentative 2015 release, which means it won’t film until next year—it’s conceivable that Stewart will go three years without stepping onto a set)? The problem, according to the casting director, is one of market share. What, precisely, are we hiring Stewart for? She can carry a studio tent pole, she can do character work in indies, she can be the girlfriend or the lead. That kind of diversity should equate to a variety of projects but that’s kind of the issue—it’s like standing in front of a buffet and not being able to choose an entrée. Stewart hasn’t cornered any one part of the market and is starting to find herself pushed out of all parts.
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