This is kind of a tough one isn’t it? For some people at least it might be, but thinking that opinion wouldn’t play a huge factor in this argument would be pretty naive since when one looks at it both actors have had their ups and downs since their Twilight days. Let’s just agree at this point that they’re likely doing a lot better than anyone from the series and call it good, yeah? No? Well okay then, a lot of people might be willing to state that Pattinson has the upper hand at this point since his career has been moving steadily upward while Stewart’s has been moving, but not necessarily upward at the same trajectory. Steve Rose of The Guardian has more to say on this point. Some might even go so far as to blame the patriarchy for this but to be serious it’s best to turn a deaf ear to that kind of noise at the moment since the idea that they’re both finding the same opportunities is a pretty easy fact to check. Since their angst-driven days on the Twilight set both actors have had plenty of chances at greatness, and at the moment it’s fair to say that Pattinson probably has a much better chance of outdoing Stewart when it comes to how many fans he’s likely to win over with his upcoming stint as Batman, if we finally get to see it that is. There are still other examples however that kind of lean this argument in Pattinson’s favor since despite the fact that both are well-known, Robert has really been on fire lately and has had a few more surefire hits than Stewart.
A lot of what Stewart has been doing has been going under the radar, with movies such as Charlie’s Angels and Underwater being the most visible lately, which isn’t necessarily a good thing. Being involved in movies that aren’t all that well-known isn’t a big drag on an actor’s reputation to be certain since it could be that these are hidden gems that could be able to bolster her reputation and really help Kristen to make a push for greatness once again later on. But at the current moment the two big stones around her neck are Elizabeth Banks’ failed attempt at a Charlie’s Angels reboot and Underwater, which enticing enough to watch but tried to hit the gas too late in the movie to really make a difference. If you haven’t seen the movie the whole gist of it is that an underwater mining company drilled deep enough into the ocean floor that they woke something that had been long dormant and had come to see what all the commotion was, thereby crippling the station and forcing the crew to make their way to safety as the thing, which was revealed to be a monstrous, sort of Kaiju-type creature, attempted to block their escape. It wasn’t too horrible, but again, it built up too much suspense only to deliver a payoff that was less than what people might have expected.
Pattinson on the other hand has been on a roll since a couple of his movies have hit Netflix and been noticed by more than a few people, while his collaboration with Willem Dafoe in The Lighthouse was given quite a bit of notice. The story itself is fairly low-key, but the madness involved is simply too much for some people and yet so enticing for others that it wasn’t too hard to just slip into it and let it take you along for the ride. Any story about a man on the run from his past is rather enticing since it invites a sense of controversy that one can’t help but be interested in for at least a fleeting moment that might allow for another, and another, and another. After that however the story does have to continually pick up and offer more than just passing excitement to really hook the viewer, and depending on how one viewed The Lighthouse it did just that in a very macabre sort of way. The isolation aspect of the movie was haunting enough that it gripped quite a few people without any intention of letting go, and managed to deliver a tale that was maddening in its imagery but still simple enough to be followed.
Of course people are still waiting for Tenet and The Batman as well, and are hoping that Pattinson will be able to show just as much genius there as he has been thus far. He’s had his ups and downs to be certain, as had Stewart, but to think that either one of them is bound to slip into obscurity after a few slips isn’t realistic. It’s true that Pattinson is definitely excelling in the public eye right now, but it’s fair to say that Stewart isn’t really hurting when it comes to her career.