Before she was cast as Bella Swan and became one of the most over-exposed (and wealthiest) young stars on the planet, Stewart was a child prodigy whose considerable acting chops and brave choices left little doubt that we were watching a movie star in the making.
From her breakthrough role as Jodi Foster's tomboy daughter in David Fincher's Panic Room, to her coming-of-age turn as a hippie seductress in Sean Penn's Into The Wild, Stewart was raising eyebrows from the get-go. It's no wonder she's been so eager to shed her Twilight skin. With a slew of provocative roles on the horizon, the Los Angeles native is poised to move into the serious-actress phase of her career. But, before we turn the page, let's go back to the prologue and remember the formative roles that helped shape one of our most promising screen stars.
An 11-year-old KStew got a big break when she was picked to replace the originally cast Hayden Panettiere as Jodie Foster's precocious daughter in this white-knuckle thriller. Stewart plays scared like an old pro, but with a corn-rowed Jared Leto chasing you through a spooky house, who wouldn't?
Cold Creek Manor
Stewart once again plays petrified to great effect in this poorly received thriller, which also starred heavyweights like Dennis Quaid, Sharon Stone, and Christopher Plummer. Despite all that star power, it was Stewart who was singled out for her performance with a Young Artist Award nomination for Best Supporting Young Actress.
Catch That Kid
This is one KStew would probably like to forget. The hackneyed Spy Kids knockoff was likely something her agent convinced her to do to make her more marketable. And, surprise, surprise: It worked. While the film was panned by critics and went largely ignored at the box office, it did help land Stewart her biggest role to date...
Zathura: A Space Adventure
Here, a 15-year-old KStew was still seen as too young to tackle roles of any real complexity, but that didn't stop her from making the most of her time on screen in Jon Favreau's refreshing take on what could have been a generic exercise in kid-lit sci-fi schlock.
Into The Wild
What happens when Sean Penn casts you as the alluring commune-dwelling love interest opposite bona fide movie star Emile Hirsch's wilderness wanderer, and you totally knock it out of the park? You become one of the most sought-after young actresses in the business, that's what.