I really do like my girl Jennifer Lawrence, but it’s super weird to me that so much of tumblr holds her up as the personification of this site and then boo hisses Kristen Stewart who has just a good a claim on that title. They’re both about the same amount of awkward, they’ve both said problematic shit, they both have equal difficulty dressing themselves sometimes (because if people are gonna diss Kristen’s fashion, shit, I saw the dior pantsuit Jennifer wore to the Silver Linings’ premier, and it was the first time that I’ve ever literally whispered “oh sweetie no” at my laptop screen). Kristen Stewart’s getting shat on for being injured while Jennifer Lawrence falling gets a standing ovation, and I just. Don’t. Get it. Like at all.
I’m not saying that if you like one you have to like the other, but it seems to me that Jennifer’s basically the socially acceptable form of awkward that involves a lot of smiling and genuine enjoyment of what is happening and is really just quirky while Kristen’s the other kind of awkward, the actually awkward kind of awkward where it’s uncomfortable and weird and off-putting because she’s so keenly aware of how much everyone is going to judge her, and it just seems like a website full of awkward motherfuckers like us should be overflowing with sympathy for her.
I happen to really like Jennifer Lawrence and dislike Kristen Stewart. Why? Performance. At the end of the day, both of these women are actresses, and I think Jennifer Lawrence has an incredible natural talent for acting. When I see her on screen, I believe in the character she is portraying. Her characters have range and depth and they are *not* Jennifer Lawrence.
On the other hand, when I see Kristen Stewart on screen, all I can manage to see is Kristen Stewart. She doesn’t seem to have a lot of chemistry with her co-actors; there’s no sense that her character has an emotional reaction to any of them. It might come across in the script, but it doesn’t come across in her body language or expression. Her performances are largely unmemorable to me. She’s in one of my favorite movies, Fierce People, and I wish she had become a larger presence in it, but she really just feels like an afterthought. If she can channel her awkwardness and personality into playing characters who are like herself, she might be more successful, but I don’t think she is leading lady material. Alternatively, maybe if she did TV, she could stick with the same group of people for long enough to develop and portray the kind of chemistry that I like seeing from an actor.
I think one of the reasons that tumblr (and other media) favors Jennifer Lawrence over Kristen Stewart is that it is clear, to me at least, that Jennifer is largely having a good time and Kristen isn’t. Jennifer shines on camera; she is awkward, but she revels in it. On the other hand, I don’t think that fame agrees with Kristen. I don’t think that she enjoys, or is willing to play, the game that celebrities are strongly encouraged to play. She is not garrulous or ebullient. Neither does she cultivate an air of mystery. She is not a bold rebel or a sensitive artistic rallying point. She is that girl who stands at the back and doesn’t say as much as she is thinking. And I honestly don’t know how she got to be as famous as she is, or why she wanted it in the first place. I wonder if she enjoys her fame. Because the reason the media shits all over her, in my opinion, is that we don’t like watching people be uncomfortable. We don’t like watching people achieve the thing we dream of (stardom) and not appear to enjoy it. It makes us doubt our dreams, doubt the golden boulevards of Hollywood, doubt that if we do what the beauty mags tell us we’ll become famous and popular too.
I would hate the fame that comes with being a movie star. I sympathize with Kristen Stewart. I am not going to judge her on her clothes, her private life, or the manner in which she does interviews. But I am going to judge her choice in film roles, and I am going to judge her acting, because these are things she does professionally and publicly. I think she has made some poor career choices, and I don’t think she’s that interesting to watch. I hope that changes. I would love to see her grow as an actress. I just don’t think she’s gotten there yet.
These are my opinions and you don’t have to agree with them!