Jennifer Lawrence & Kristen Stewart’s Career Timelines Explain Why One Is Loved & One Is Vilified
To many, comparing fantasy biffle J. Law to perpetual grimacer K. Stew is blasphemy. One is celebrated and platonically lusted after for doing the same things that the other has become a cultural punching bag for. However, we dared to draw the parallels, and found that Jennifer Lawrence and Kristen Stewart are shockingly similar. The two actress actually have a lot in common. They both have fun abbreviated nicknames, British boyfriends, the mouths of sailors, and hyper-awkward demeanors which are all endearing traits in their own right.
So what has led to one being so admired while the other is vilified? Perhaps if we take a look at their career trajectories and the characters who made them famous, we can see just why these two have sparked such different reactions from the public. Let’s break down the creative endeavors of these actresses year by year to get a bit of insight into the great J. Law/K. Stew dichotomy.
1999 - 2004
At the tender age of nine years old, K. Stew was already working her way into the showbiz world with work as an extra. In 2002, she had her first bona fide role in a feature film opposite Jodie Foster in Panic Room. She simply didn’t have the luxury of a normal adolescence because she spent her formative years on a movie set.
What about J. Law at the time? She was still a goofy Kentucky teen. Here she is in 2004 at 14 years old hamming it up with her middle school girl group. A normal, awkward middle school existence is nothing to waste because when Lawrence got her start, she was nearly a fully formed human.
2005 - 2007
These years saw a surge in projects for Stewart. In ’07 alone, she was in five films. Yeesh! By 18, she was already an industry professional.
Just ‘cause you’re late to the party doesn’t mean you won’t have a good time. 2006 brought Lawrence the first gig in her career at the mascot in an episode of Monk. We can see her spark from the beginning.
This was the year of reckoning for Miss K. Stew. She landed the role of Bella Swan in Twilight which would lead to her be the subject of a billion eye rolls. Whatever. She was sneering all the way to the bank.
Lawrence was well into her tenure as a castmember of The Bill Engvall Show, which lasted until 2009. Maybe cutting her acting teeth on a TV comedy lent to her aura of likeability?
More movies for Kristen Stewart! She starred opposite Jesse Eisenberg in Adventureland as the too-cool-for-everything love interest. Then came New Moon, the second of the Twilight Series. These roles saw Stewart as apathetic and sullen, and in the latter, also dependent on a sparkly dude.
Meanwhile, Lawrence was still hanging out on her TV show, being a comedy star and not getting lost in the hype of Hollywood.
In 2010, Stewart took on the role of Joan Jett in The Runaways. This was obviously great casting, but it seemed to come off as an attempt to escape the pigeonhole of Bella Swan. Not to mention, this choice seemed to add to her aura of practiced aloofness.
Finally, Lawrence gets her first starring role in a feature film! Her performance as Ree Dolly in Winter’s Bone was an absolute coup. The character was a fierce heroine grappling with the pressures of tending to her siblings, keeping a roof over her head, and solving the mystery of who killed her dad. It would be hard not to root for her.
2011 - 2012
Stewart lands roles for Snow White and the Huntsman, On The Road, and finally wraps up The Twilight Saga with Breaking Dawn: Part 2. In On the Road, she gives off the same vibe of perpetual ennui that has become her signature style.
This is when Lawrence landed her role as Katniss Everdeen in The Hunger Games. While both actresses have phenomenon literary series adaptations under their belts, Lawrence’s heroine continues her pattern of starring as characters that are more independent than Stewart’s most notable role as Bella. Lawrence also played the unhinged ingénue Tiff in Silver Linings Playbook. While there was definitely some male gaze stuff happening in this character, there is no pretense of apathy like Stewart’s characters. She’s straight up crazy, and the public adored her for it. An Oscar doesn’t lie.
2013 - 2014
Stewart’s gigs wound down a bit after The Twilight Saga wrapped. She picked up a couple of indie roles here and there, but no crazy blockbusters. After all, she's been acting for 15 years. She needs a bit of a break.
By 2014, Lawrence’s career had blown up like a Molotov cocktail. She reprised her darkly comedic madness as Rosalyn in American Hustle. Also, she solidified her status as the refreshingly candid queen of Hollywood.
To wrap it up, what differences do we see here? Well, Stewart got her start far before Lawrence as a professional child actor. However, career length doesn’t necessarily indicate critical success. Lawrence has been nominated for three Academy Awards and won once. Stewart, despite her tenure as an actress in film, has received none.
Stewart has gotten a reputation for taking her self too seriously, and whether or not it's true, it does affect the way she's perceived on screen. However, Lawrence tends to appear more relaxed and not self-monitoring. As for the characters they play in particular, Lawrence’s heroines are typically more self-sufficient, while Stewart's need protection.
Ultimately, the two are both talented actors, but with careers that, while they have some similarities, have led them to different places. Outside of their careers, J. Law and K. Stew are totally different human beings and aren’t the roles they play, so it's important to separate their characters from their public personas.
And, yes, that means you can go ahead and put both of them on your fantasy b-day party list.