Whether you loved them or hated them, the Twilight movies were a full blown cultural phenomenon from the late 2000s into the early 2010s.
The movies were based on the bestselling novels by Stephanie Meyer and chronicled the turbulent romance between the human girl Bella Swan and the vampire heartthrob boy Edward Cullen. They are pretty much solely responsible for the modern teen supernatural romance genre that exists today.
The Twilight Saga, along with the Harry Potter movies, firmly established the trend of young adult fantasy big screen adaptations. The Hunger Games, Divergent, and Mortal Instruments all have Twilight and Harry Potter to thank.
The actors who had the chance to join the Twilight movies became some of the biggest superstars of the time.
Because of their break through parts, many of them continued their careers into the A-List of Hollywood with more critical acclaim and more diverse roles.
However, others have not been so fortunate. While their parts may have been central or fan favorites in the Twilight movies themselves, the actors have had little or no subsequent notoriety.
Vampires may be immortal but not all Hollywood careers get that privilege.
Get out your old yearbooks, Forks alumni, because here are the 8 Twilight Stars Who Became A-Listers (And 8 Who Faded).
16 A-LISTER: KRISTEN STEWART
Many fans and critics expected that Kristen Stewart’s long running role of Bella Swan would lead her to be type cast for the rest of her career.
Fortunately she went on to greater success and her more recent roles have been more varied.
Even before Twilight, Kristen Stewart had played a few serious roles. In 2004’s Speak, Stewart played a victim of assault as she entered high school.
Since Twilight, Stewart has given several critically acclaimed performances in movies like Camp X-Ray, where she played a prison guard at Guantanamo Bay.
She also played opposite Julianne Moore in Still Alice, where she portrayed the daughter of a linguistics professor diagnosed with Alzheimer’s disease.
Most recently Stewart played Bridget Sullivan in Lizzie, a dramatic retelling of the infamous Borden family murders of 1892.
15 FLOPPED: TAYLOR LAUTNER
So much for Team Jacob. The frequently shirtless Taylor Lautner played Jacob Black in the Twilight movies.
He had become fast friends with Bella in her first year in the town of Forks, but he obviously had romantic feelings for her.
By the end of the series, Jacob loses his bid to win Bella’s love permanently, but imprints onto Edward and Bella’s hybrid daughter Renesmee, binding them for life.
Taylor Lautner’s acting career after Twilight has been sparse.
He had an action movie role in 2015’s Tracers where he played a New York City bike messenger who runs from the Chinese Mafia using parkour. He also had two recurring roles on TV in 2016. On Cuckoo, he played Dale and on Scream Queens, he played Dr. Cassidy Cascade.
14 A-LISTER: ROBERT PATTINSON
Robert Pattinson has been through a lot of transformations in his acting career. When he first appeared as Edward Cullen in the Twilight movies, fans liked to joke that Cedric Diggory had been reincarnated as a vampire after he was destroyed by Voldemort in Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire.
While he was playing the sparkling, old-fashioned vampire hunk, Pattinson was also landing plenty of other “more serious” roles.
In 2010 he played a troubled young man in Remember Me. In 2011, he played in another romantic duo opposite Reese Witherspoon in the movie adaptation of Sara Guren’s novel Water for Elephants.
After Breaking Dawn Part 2, Pattinson starred in a contemporary western action drama called The Rover in 2014. He gained further critical acclaim for his role in 2017’s Good Time as a bank robber.
13 FLOPPED: JAMIE CAMPBELL BOWER
Jamie Campbell Bower appeared in several big screen adaptations that made him famous for a stint. His first major role in 2007 was Anthony Hope in Tim Burton’s adaptation of the macabre Sondheim play Sweeney Todd.
Bower first appeared in The Twilight Saga: New Moon in 2009 as Caius Volturi, one of the villainous aristocratic coven of the series. In 2010, Bower also played a younger Gellert Grindelwald in Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows Part 1.
Despite appearing in the two biggest fantasy movie series of the day, Bower’s acting career didn’t go very far from there.
He continued his young adult literary adaptation streak with the role of Jace in 2013’s Mortal Instruments: City of Bones based on the novel by Cassandra Clare.
His only major role since was Christopher Marlowe on the short-lived 2017 TV series based on the life of William Shakespeare simply titled Will.
12 A-LISTER: DAKOTA FANNING
Dakota Fanning’s acting career began long before she starred in the Twilight movies. At age eight, she became the youngest actress ever nominated for a Screen Actor’s Guild Award for her performance in 2001’s I Am Sam.
She also became known for her roles in Man on Fire (2004), War of the Worlds (2005), Charlotte’s Web (2006), and Coraline (2009).
Dakota Fanning debuted as Jane Volturi in The Twilight Saga: New Moon in 2010. Jane had the unique and fearsome power to inflict pain in her victims with a single word or thought.
Since The Twilight Saga, Dakota’s career has continued with more dramatic and critically acclaimed roles.
She starred as the titular character in the biographic film Effie Gray. Currently she stars in the TV series The Alienist and is set to appear in the action comedy Ocean’s 8.
11 FLOPPED: NIKKI REED
Nikki Reed gained notoriety as a young actress when she starred opposite Evan Rachel Wood in the dark teen drama Thirteen (2003).
It was doubly impressive since Reed also helped write the script for the movie. After that she played several parts, including the recurring role of Sadie Campbell on The O.C.
Reed joined the cast of Twilight as Rosalie Hale, one of the adopted vampire children of Carlisle and Esme Cullen.
Throughout the movies, Rosalie fought vigorously to protect her coven, especially her husband Emmett.
Nikki Reed had plenty of notable roles that coincided with her run in the Twilight movies, including in Catch. 44 and Pawn, but her career didn't rise as high as many fans expected.
One of her only notable roles since then has been the recurring part of Betsy Ross on the TV series Sleepy Hollow in 2015 and 2016.
10 A-LISTER: JUSTIN CHON
Justin Chon first became famous as an actor thanks to the Disney Channel movie Wendy Wu: Homecoming Warrior in 2006.
In 2008, he joined the cast of Twilight as the "the overly-helpful, geeky, chess club type," Eric Yorkie, one of Bella’s classmates at Forks High School. Chon played Eric throughout all the high school melodrama side plots of the movie series.
Since The Twilight Saga wrapped, Chon has continued his career in several different disciplines.
In 2014, he had a starring role in Revenge of the Green Dragons, a recent history New York crime drama executive produced by Martin Scorsese.
Chon also directed movies of his own. Gook was a 2017 film about two Korean-American brothers during the 1992 Los Angeles Riots, which Chon starred in, wrote, and directed.
9 FLOPPED: XAVIER SAMUEL
Xavier Samuel started his acting career in the Australian movie industry. His most famous role was Brent in the 2009 horror thriller The Loved Ones, opposite co-star Robin McLeavy.
He was pleasantly surprised by his casting as Riley Biers in The Twilight Saga: Eclipse in 2010, as it was his first internationally famous role.
Riley Biers was the first newborn vampire created by Victoria as part of her vendetta of vengeance against Bella Swan and the Cullens. He led the newborn vampire army to Bella but was ultimately destroyed.
After the Twilight movies, Samuel did land a few other significant parts, but none as famous as Riley Biers.
In 2016, he starred in Love and Friendship along with Kate Beckinsale, Chloë Sevigny, and Stephen Fry. He plays one of the suitors to Beckinsale’s flirtatious widow, Lady Susan Vernon.
8 A-LISTER: RAMI MALEK
Rami Malek had several recurring roles on television before he became famous on the big screen. He guest starred on Gilmore Girls, and appeared on The War at Home, 24, and The Pacific.
He also voice acted the part of Tahno in The Legend of Korra animated series.
Malek only joined the cast of Twilight in time for Breaking Dawn: Part 2, but his character of Benjamin made an earthshattering impact-- literally.
During the battle between the Volturi and the Cullens, Benjamin smashed his fist into the ground hard enough to create a fissure that swallowed many major characters.
Malek also starred in the Night at the Museum movies before and after Breaking Dawn: Part 2. Since 2015 he has played Elliot Anderson in the futuristic information dystopia TV series Mr. Robot.
7 FLOPPED: NED BELLAMY
Ned Bellamy is one of those actors who has appeared in numerous popular shows but mostly in bit parts. He began his career in the late '70s and early '80s with parts in shows like, The Waltons, M*A*SH*, The Dukes of Hazard, The Twilight Zone, and the original 21 Jump Street TV series in 1987.
In the '90s and 2000s, Bellamy appeared in Murder, She Wrote, Seinfeld, CSI: Miami, The Closer, ER, and Law and Order: Special Victims Unit.
In Twilight, Bellamy played the unlucky friend of Bella’s father Waylon Forge. He was caught off guard by James, Laurent, and Victoria. They fed on him to the point of killing him and stole his clothes to boot.
Since that gruesome plot device, Bellamy has kept appearing in more contemporary shows including Under the Dome, Treme, Criminal Minds, and Gotham.
6 A-LISTER: CHRISTIAN SERRATOS
Christian Serratos appeared in several family TV series as a young actress. Her guest characters on Zoey 101 and 7th Heaven were unnamed, but she did play the named character of Alexa for one episode of Hannah Montana.
She finally got a main series role on Ned’s Declassified School Survival Guide with Suzie Crabgrass.
Serratos joined the cast of Twilight in 2008 as Angela Weber, one of Bella Swan’s classmates. She turns out to be a pretty good friend to Bella all throughout high school.
After the Twilight movies, Serratos gained even more fame for her TV roles.
She appeared in the 2011 pilot for American Horror Story. Also in 2011, she had a recurring role of Raven on The Secret Life of the American Teenager.
Most famous of all, she has starred as Rosita Espsinosa in The Walking Dead since season 5 after being introduced in season 4.
5 FLOPPED: KELLAN LUTZ
Kellan Lutz started his acting career several years before getting his big break with the Twilight movies.
He appeared on several episodes of The Comeback between 2005 and 2014. Lutz also had recurring parts on the TV mini-series Generation Kill and on 90210.
In the Twilight movies, Lutz played Emmett Cullen. Emmett was adopted by Carlisle and Esme and married Rosalie Hale, who affectionately called him “Monkey Man.”
Aside from The Twilight Saga, Lutz was considered for the part of Conan in 2011’s Conan the Barbarian, but ultimately lost out to Jason Mamoa. Lutz also didn’t clench the part that went to Jeremy Renner in Hansel and Gretel: Witch Hunters.
Lutz did star in The Expendables 3 and The Legend of Hurcules in 2014, but has not had any major roles since.
4 A-LISTER: MACKENZIE FOY
Born in November 2000, Mackenzie Foy began a career in modelling as early as 2004. Her acting career really took off when she was cast as the daughter of Bella and Edward in The Twilight Saga: Breaking Dawn Part 1.
Renesmee Cullen was a hybrid human vampire who rapidly aged from an infant to a young girl over the course of the movies.
Foy starred in several high profile roles after the Twilight movies.
In 2013, she played Cindy Perron in the horror hit The Conjuring. The year after, she co-starred in Christopher Nolan’s Interstellar, alongside Matthew McConaughey. She played the younger version of Murphy Cooper while the adult version of her character was played by Jessica Chastain.
Foy is set to star in 2018’s The Nutcracker and the Four Realms.
3 FLOPPED: BOOBOO STEWART
Booboo Stewart appeared in short movies and commercials in his early career and he had a few guest parts on TV shows including ER, Dante’s Cove, and Everybody Hates Chris.
In 2010, he joined the cast of The Twilight Saga: Eclipse in the part of Seth Clearwater. Seth was one of the most loyal and kind members of the wolf packs we see in the movies.
Although his later roles may be familiar to geeky or literary fans, they have not been especially famous.
In X-men: Days of Future Past, he played the mutant Warpath, who had greatly enhanced human capabilities and fought against the sentinels. Stewart also has a recurring role in the Disney channel original movie Descendants and Descendants 2. He plays Jay, the son of Jafar.
2 A-LISTER: ANNA KENDRICK
Anna Kendrick has made a career out of playing out various aspects and experiences of high school and college. Her first big roles before Twilight were the nerdy Fritzi Wagner in 2003’s Camp and the ambitious Ginny Ryerson in 2007’s Rocket Science.
In 2008, she was cast as Jessica Stanley in Twilight. Though Jessica is self-centered and somewhat shallow throughout the series, she stays friendly with Bella from her first day all the way up through her wedding to Edward.
Kendrick’s success has only grown. She is an actress, writer, and singer.She played the main character in the Pitch Perfect trilogy of comedies about a collegiate group of female acapella performers.
In 2016, she published a memoir about her life and career titled Scrappy Little Nobody.
1 FLOPPED: ASHLEY GREENE
Ashley Greene had appeared in just a handful of TV roles by 2008, including a recurring role in the TV series Desire.
Landing the part of Alice Cullen in the Twilight movie made her famous overnight. Alice became the most sisterly to Bella of all the Cullen siblings.
Her gift of foresight served her and the Cullens well throughout the movies-- especially when she used her powers to project a calamitous battle into the mind of Aro Volturi, which mostly convinced him to stand down.
None of Greene’s subsequent roles have been as widely recognized as Alice Cullen.
She and Twilight costar Kellan Lutz shared the screen elsewhere in 2011’s A Warrior’s Heart. She has also had a recurring part on the TV show Rogue in 2016 and 2017.
Which other Twilight actors have you seen or not seen since the series concluded? Let us know in the comments!
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