The early to mid-2000s was a time characterized by Paris Hilton’s scandals, low-rise jeans, and of course Twilight. The vampire-werewolf franchise captured the hearts of teenage girls everywhere after its first movie was released in 2008, to both critical acclaim and, well, criticism. The movie followed the story of a teenaged Bella Swan who just moved to a new town and is instantly mesmerized by a mysterious teen boy named Edward at her school, who just so happens to be a vampire. After the two fall in love, a whole lot of drama ensues that includes a love triangle with a werewolf, a Roman cult of vampires, and so much more.
To date, the franchise has grossed over $3.3 billion dollars and includes five movies, all of which were based on the books by Stephanie Meyer. The first movie, Twilight, came out in 2008, the second installment New Moon was released in 2009, and Eclipse was released in 2010. The fourth book was made into two separate movies, with Breaking Dawn Part 1 released in 2011, and Part 2 released shortly after in 2012.
Many of the stars of Twilight have gone on to do incredible things with their career, and its clear the franchise only helped launch them into stardom. However, the same can’t be said for all the actors who played a role in the franchise. Check out these 16 main cast members to see whether they made it big or fizzled out once Twilight stopped filming. Which celeb’s career are you most surprised about?
16Made It Big: Kristen Proved All Her Haters Wrong
Kristen Stewart got mixed reviews for her portrayal of Bella Swan in the Twilight franchise, with many fans criticizing her flat affect and emotionless demure. Yet despite the haters, K-Stew has gone on to maintain a very steady career in Hollywood, and it doesn’t look like she’s slowing down yet.
After starring in the first Twilight film, Kristen practically became a household name overnight and was easily able to snag other lead roles.
Some of her most notable roles include Adventureland (2009), Welcome to the Rileys (2010), The Runaways (2010), Snow White and the Huntsman (2012), On the Road (2012), Still Alive (2014), and Personal Shopper (2016). The celeb has also landed several high-profile sponsorships and endorsements, including signing on to be the “face” of both Chanel and Balenciaga.
In addition to her career, Kristen’s personal life has also been a wild ride since kissing the vampire franchise goodbye. Kristen and her Twilight co-star Robert Pattinson had a highly public romance during and after production of the franchise, much to Twi-hards delights. But that all came to an end in 2012 when paparazzi photos revealed she’d been having an affair with her married Snow White and the Huntsman director Rupert Sanders. She and Rob broke up shortly after that. Since then, Kristen’s romantic preference has come under questions, as she has been primarily romantically linked to women after her split from Rob. The actress has indirectly confirmed the fact she loves men and women.
15Fizzled Out: Taylor Needs More Than Just Muscles
Everyone thought that Taylor Lautner was going to be the break-out star of the Twilight franchise. As soon as he was cast in the role of Jacob Black, fans immediately went crazy for his good looks and incredibly buff body. There were tons of Twi-hards who desperately wanted Bella to choose Jacob instead of Edward (even though that would have been going against the books). In 2010, he ranked second on Glamour’s “Top 50 Sexiest Men of 2010,” and was also declared the highest-paid teen actor of that year.
But, unfortunately for Taylor, his wave of popularity proved not to last.
After wrapping up the franchise, the actor had a difficult time landing roles- and the parts he did score did nothing to help his dwindling star power.
He originally was supposed to star in a film called Northern Lights and another one based on Max Steel, but he was forced to back out from both due to scheduling conflicts. He went on to star in 2011’s Abduction alongside Lily Collins. But Taylor’s performance was met with harsh critics who alleged his acting talent wasn’t up to part and he too often relied on his good looks to bring in the audience.
Come 2014, Taylor tried to revive his career by starring in the BBC Three comedy series Cuckoo, and he held the role for two years. In 2016, it was confirmed he would be joining the cast of Scream Queens, but unfortunately, the show was canceled not long after. As it stands, it appears that Taylor is still looking for his next breakthrough role.
14Made It Big: Hollywood Has Always Been Team Edward
Robert Pattinson, who played lead character Edward Cullen, is probably one of the most successful actors to come out of the Twilight franchise. In the years following the last movie, Rob worked hard to distance himself from the vampire, teenage-centric role, and move on to more mature roles. While many teens fail when it comes to transitioning their career from teen flicks to Hollywood blockbusters, Rob has been able to do some seamlessly and flawlessly.
Since his breakout role in Twilight, Rob had no problem booking other roles. In 2009, he played Salvador Dali in the film Little Ashes. He also had main roles in films like Remember Me (2010), Water for Elephants opposite Reese Witherspoon (2011), Cosmopolis (2012), The Rover (2014) The Lost City of Z (2017), and Good Time (2017). Like his former co-star and ex-girlfriend Kristen Stewart, he’s also landed several sponsorships with influential brands. In 2013, he became the face of Dior Homme fragrances, and in 2016 he became the ambassador of their menswear collection.
Rob is also heavily involved in anti-people trafficking endeavors and is a supporter of several non-profit companies that work to bring awareness to and fight trafficking. Clearly Edward Cullen- ahem, we mean Rob Pattinson- has been busy in the last few years.
13Fizzled Out: Good Looks Only Took Kellan So Far
Next to Taylor Lautner, Kellan Lutz was definitely the eye-candy of the Twilight franchise in which he played vampire Emmett Cullen. The years following the release of the first movie looked promising for Kellan, who had no trouble scoring other acting gigs. He had a brief stint as George Evans on the 90210 reboot. He also scored roles in flicks like A Nightmare on Elm Street (2010), Immortals (2011), and A Warrior’s Heart (2011) opposite his Twilight co-star Ashley Greene.
However, it appears the Kellan’s career has been slowly going downhill since the Twilight franchise came to an end.
The actor kept auditioning for roles but was unable to snag any leads. In 2010, it was rumored that he was under consideration for the lead role in ‘Conan the Barbarian’, but he eventually lost out to ‘Game of Thrones’ hunk Jason Momoa.
He was also allegedly a lead contender for the lead in Hansel and Gretel: Witch Hunters, though producers eventually went with Jeremy Renner.
The film roles that Kellan was able to score didn’t help salvage his dwindling career, either. His 2014 role in The Legend of Hercules ended up being a critical and commercial failure. He had a short stint on 30 Rock in 2012 before the show came to an end. In 2015, Kellan announced he’ll be starring in the film Money opposite of Jessie Williams, though nothing concrete has yet to be produced.
12Made It Big: Everyone Is Singing Anna Praises
Anna Kendrick has probably had the most surprising career post-Twilight. The actress was basically a no-name when she was cast in a small, supporting role in the franchise as Bella’s friend Jessica Stanley. But, by 2009, she was beginning to become a household name all on her own thanks to her role in Jason Reitman’s Up In The Air, opposite George Clooney. The role ended up scoring her an Academy Award nomination for Best Supporting Actress- something no other Twilight alum has done!
Anna’s career has only been up from there. She gained even more popularity after landing the lead role as Beca Mitchell in the Pitch Perfect franchise, which has since released three movies from 2012-2017. The actress has also had roles in 50/50 (2011), End of Watch (2012), Into the Woods (2014), Cake opposite Jennifer Aniston (2015), The Accountant opposite Ben Affleck, Mike and Dave Need Wedding Dates (2016), the animated kids-film Trolls (2016), and Table 19 (2017). Anna went on to publish her own memoir, Scrappy Little Nobody, in 2016 to fans’ delight.
Then again, no one should be surprised Anna has made it this big! The celeb has been dabbling in acting since childhood. At only age 13, she landed her first prominent role in the Broadway musical High Society, for which she later earned a Tony nomination for. This girl has been going places since her youth!
11Fizzled Out: Jackson Shouldn’t Choose Controversial Characters
Jackson Rathbone first gained notoriety for playing the mysterious Jasper Hale in the Twilight franchise, but his career hasn’t had the same success since. Aside from his role in the vampire movies, Jackson has been very limited in his on-screen performances. In 2009, he had a short stint as a dark character on Criminal Minds and also played the role of Jeremy in S. Darko. He played the role of Sokka in 2010’s The Last Airbender, which was based on the cartoon of the same name.
However, Jackson received backlash for the role, since he was a Caucasian actor playing an Inuit character.
Since then, Jackson’s acting credits have been even more limited. In 2010, he made an appearance in an episode of No Ordinary Family. That same year, he was cast in the action web series Aim High, which later premiere on Facebook in 2011. Also in 2011, the actor scored the role of lawyer Bobby Kelly in Live at the Foxes Den. As of 2014, Jackson was a recurring cast member in Pali Road.
Aside from his career, Jackson has been keeping busy in his personal life. It turns out the celeb owns his own production company, PatchoMo Entertainment, as well as a record company called Happy Jack Records. The star married his longtime girlfriend Sheila Hafsadi in 2013, and the couple have two kids: 6-year old son Monroe, and 2-year old daughter Presley.
10Made It Big: Dakota Has Always Been A Star
Dakota Fanning was already a big name before she starred in the later movies in the Twilight saga. As an internationally renowned child actress, Dakota starred in flicks like I Am Sam (2001), Taken (2002), Sweet Home Alabama (2002), Uptown Girls (2004), The Cat in the Hat (2004), War of the Worlds (2005), Hide and Seek (2005), Hounddog (2007), The Secret Life of Bees (2008) and many more.
It’s no surprise that her career certainly didn’t slow down after she took on the role of Jane Volturi in the Twilight franchise. Around the same time, Dakota also kept up with other projects, including roles in the films The Runaways opposite Kristen Stewart (2010), Now Is God (2012), Night Moves (2013), Very Good Girls (2013), and Effie Gray (2014). More recently, she’s starred in films including Brimstone (2016), The Bell Jar (2016), and Ocean’s 8 (2018). The actress also has a recurring role on the period drama TV series The Alienist.
Although the celeb has slowed down the number of movies she’s making per year (probably to give herself a much-needed break), it’s clear that Dakota is more in demand than ever. We have a feeling her career is only going to flourish from here on out… not like it isn’t already.
9Fizzled Out: Jamie Can’t Seem To Find His Footing
When Jamie Campbell Bower signed on to play Caius Volturi in the Twilight franchise, many fans though the hunky actor was going to give Robert Pattinson a run for his money. Though many fans loved his vampire character, the same can’t be said about the other roles he’s signed on to after wrapping up the franchise… which, is probably why is career seems to have fizzled out.
Around the time that he signed on to play Caius in Twilight, London-born Jamie was working as a model for Select Model Management. He also scored roles in the films RocknRolla, Winter in Wartime, and the 2009 remake of the series The Prisoner. Jamie even scored the role of the younger Gelbert Grindelwald (the wizard defeated by Dumbledore) in 2010’s Harry Potter and the Death Hallows – Part I.
By 2010, Jamie was struggling to land consistent, successful roles.
He had a brief role as King Arthur in the short-lived TV series Camelot. In 2012, he appeared in the “Never Let Me Go” music video for Florence + The Machine, and scored a 2013campaign with Burberry. Jamie appeared as Jace Wayland in 2012’s The Moral Instruments: City of Bones, and then went on to star in the West End musical Bend It Like Beckham in 2015. As of 2017, Jamie has had a recurring role on the TNT series Will.
8Made It Big: Nikki Snagged Herself A Vampire
Nikki Reed had been dabbling in acting for several years when it was announced she signed on to play the role of Rosalie Hale in the Twilight movies. Since then, the actress has seemingly found a consistent supply of acting gigs, which have only added to her star power.
In 2010, Nikki opted to do a movie with her Twilight co-star Kristen Stewart titled K-11 and was also directed by Kristen’s mom. But less than a year later, the celeb stated she was no longer part of the project, but gave no further explanation. Also in 2010, Nikki joined the cast of Catch 44 opposite Bruce Willis and Forest Whitaker and signed on to star in Downers Grove with Hayden Panettiere. Since then, the star has acted in films like Empire State (2013), Pawn (2013), In Your Eyes (2014), Murder of a Cat (2014), Jack Goes Home (2016), and Sunday Horse (2016).
Nikki has also gained notoriety due to her personal life. Fans everywhere were elated when the celeb began dating Vampire Diaries star Ian Somerhalder, and they were even more excited when the onscreen vampires married in 2015, marking a real-life Vampire Diaries– Twilight crossover. The couple welcomed their first child, daughter Bodhi, in 2017.
7Fizzled Out: Peter Was Too Choosy With His Roles
Peter Facinelli was already well known by the time he signed on to play Dr. Carlisle Cullen in Twilight, having solidified a successful acting career in the ‘90s.
The actor has admitted that he almost didn’t audition for a role in the vampire franchise because he didn’t think it would bode well with the rest of his acting repertoire.
“I almost didn’t read for Twilight. My agent said, ‘Do you want to do a vampire movie?’” he once explained in an interview with PR. “And I was like, ‘No.’ I was totally thinking blood and guts and bats in caves, like some kind of horror movie. They literally talked me into reading the book and I actually enjoyed the book a lot.”
However, it turns out that his role in Twilight was one of the last big blockbuster roles he would score, up until now that is. Since the franchise wrapped up, Peter has had limited acting gigs, including roles in The Damned (2013), Freezer (2014), and the Wilde Wedding (2017). He’s also had numerous TV roles, including recurring roles on Nurse Jackie, Glee, and Supergirl, though nothing has matched the celeb status he once used to have. Peter has also been busy founding his own production company Facinelli films, which released its first feature Loosies in 2011. He went on to write and produce the 2011 Hallmark channel film Accidentally In Love through his company that starred his then-wife Jennie Garth.
6Made It Big: We’re Green With Envy At Ashley’s Career
Ashley Greene’s role as Alice Cullen in the Twilight movies put her on the map as a budding actress to watch out for. She won numerous awards and received various nominations for her portrayal of the psychic vampire, including winning six Teen Choice Award and two Scream Award nominations.
The talented actress has had no issues finding movie roles following first being cast in the vampire role in 2008. She’s starred in movies such as Shrink (2009), Skateland (2010), A warrior’s Heart (2011), LOL opposite Miley Cyrus (2012), The Apparition (2012), Wish I Was Here (2013), CBGB (2013), Urge (2016), Max & Me (2016), and Accident Man (2018). Her stint in Twilight also put her on the map as a Hollywood bombshell, which resulted in her posing for Sports Illustrated in 2010 in addition to various modeling opportunities.
The star has only spoken fondly about her time starring in the teen-oriented franchise, describing it has her breakthrough role. In an interview with Vanity Fair, Ashley once said, “Twilight is not just a job. We have these die-hard fans who care about us in this incredible way.” She has also said, “What Twilight gave me was years to consider how I wanted to work otherwise.”
5Fizzled Out: Booboo Is Just Another Taylor Lautner
When Booboo Stewart signed on to play Seth Clearwater in the later Twilight movies, everyone thought he was a Taylor Lautner 2.0. Twi-hards (aka. angsty female tends) couldn’t get over his rock solid abs and shaggy hairstyle. But, unfortunately, his once-promising movie career has seemingly died just like Taylor’s did once the franchise came to an end.
Since wrapping up Twilight, Booboo has struggled to pick his career off the ground, and it seems like the vampire franchise may have been his most well-known role to date.
The actor has had several film and TV roles in the past few years. In 2012, he played a young teen with Asperger’s syndrome in White Frog. He also went on to star in the short film Running Deer (2013), Space Warriors (2013) opposite Danny Clover and Dermot Mulroney, and later in X-Men: Days of Future Past (2014) as Warpath.
As of recently, Booboo is best known for his work in Disney Channel’s The Descendants franchise. He starred in the first made-for-TV movie in 2015 as Jay, the son of Jafar, and then reprised the role again in its 2017 sequel. So-called fans have pointed out that it seems like taking a step back to go from a franchise like Twilight to the Descendants, but Booboo seems to be loving his life regardless!
4Made It Big: Cam Now Works With All The Celebs
Cam Gigandet was already pretty established in Hollywood when he signed on to play James in the Twilight franchise. He’d had recurring roles on popular TV shows like The OC and The Young and the Restless, just to name a few. And, luckily for him, his career has seemingly gone upwards since leaving the vampire movies behind.
By 2009, Cam was scoring roles left and right thanks to the popularity that Twilight had brought him- and working with some pretty huge names in the industry. In 2009, he starred in the horror movies The Unborn and The Roommate, opposite Leighton Meester and Minka Kelly. Also that year, he starred as Corporal Gallo in the sci-fi movie Pandorum. 2010 then proved to be a HUGE year for Cam. He gained even more fame when she scored a part in Easy A, which featured A-list celebs like Emma Stone, Zac Efron, and John Travolta. That same year, his movie Burlesque also hit theatres, in which he starred opposite Cher and Christina Aguilera.
In recent years, Cam has slowed down from the hustle and bustle of Hollywood (probably to focus on his family of 3 young kids!), though he’s still made appearances in many reputable films. In 2011, he had parts in the films Trespass and Priest. He’s also acted in Turbo (2013), Red Sky (2014), Broken Vows (2016), and The Shadow Effect (2017), just to name a few.
3Fizzled Out: Mackenzie Is Still Just A Youngster
Every Twi-hard was curious as to who would be cast to play Edward and Bella’s daughter, Renesme Cullen. Then-9-year-old Mackenzie Foy was eventually cast in the highly coveted role, and many critics thought this would be the start of a long career in Hollywood. The child actress starred in the last two movies in the franchise, with them being released in 2011 and 2012 respectively. She won several Golden Raspberry awards for her portrayal of Renesme.
Since then, Mackenzie’s career certainly hasn’t died out, but it hasn’t gone to the same heights as fans predicted when she first joined the Twilight cast.
In 2013, she starred in the horror movie The Conjuring and the drama Wish You Well, and that same year she also starred in an episode of R.L. Stine’s The Haunting Hour. She also starred in a variety of notable films in the following years, including The Boxcar Children (2014), Interstellar (2014), The Little Prince (2015), and The Nutcracker and the Four Realms (2018).
Though Mackenzie is now 17 years old, she’s seemingly started to slow down her pace in Hollywood, often making a movie or two every few years. Up until now all of her performances have been well received, so if she does decide to pursue a full-time acting career, we bet luck will be on her side.
2Made It Big: Michael Was Big Even Before
Michael Sheen was already a huge name before getting cast as Aro in the Twilight franchise, so it’s really no surprise that his career has continued to flourish since the movies ended. In 2009, not only did he star in Twilight: New Moon, but he also had a major role in the fantasy film Underworld: Rise of the Lycans. His other post-Twilight movies include Tron: Legacy (2010), Tim Burton’s Alice in Wonderland (2010), Woody Allen’s Midnight in Paris (2011), Admission (2013) opposite Tina Fey, and Far From The Madding Crowd (2015) opposite Carey Mulligan.
In addition to the silver screen, Michael has also been heavily involved in the theatre world, both before and after Twilight. Following his role in the vampire flicks, Michael played the role of Hamlet at the Young Vic from 2011-2012. He’s also dabbled quite a bit in TV. In 2010, he had a guest appearance on the NBC comedy 30 Rock, and in 2013 he was nominated for a Golden Globe for his work on Showtime’s TV drama Masters of Sex, which he was a part of from 2013-2016.
Aside from his work in Hollywood, Michael is also known for his high profile relationship with model-actress Kate Beckinsale, who he shares a daughter with. Clearly, Michaels’ stellar celebrity status is going nowhere!
1Fizzled Out: You Know Elizabeth From TV
Elizabeth Reaser is one of those actresses’ whose face you’ll always remember, but whose name you’ll always forget. In 2009, the actress was cast as Edward Cullen’s vampire mother, Esme Cullen. Prior to landing the role, Elizabeth was best known for her recurring guest role on Grey’s Anatomy from 2007-2008, where she plays a (very, very crazy) patient with amnesia who wins the affection of Dr. Karev. The role landed her a Primetime Emmy Award nomination.
Unfortunately, Elizabeth’s career has never been the same since starring in Twilight.
The reprised her role in all five installments of the franchise, though her acting credits have been limited ever since.
The star has had various minor movie roles, including in flicks such as The Art of Getting By (2011), Young Adult (2011), Liberal Arts (2012), Bonnie and Clyde: Dead and Alive (2013), One and Two (2015), and Hello My Name Is Doris (2015). Most notably, she had a supporting role in the horror movie Ouija: Origin of Evil in 2016.
Aside from these roles, Elizabeth has dabbled a bit in television. She had a recurring part on The Good Wife from 2010-2012 and has since made appearances in Mad Men, Easy, Law & Order: True Crime, and the Haunting of Hill House. Unfortunately, none of these roles have come close to the popularity that her part in Twilight brought.