Meet your nominees for People's Choice Awards 'Favorite Movie Star Under 25,' presented by Moviefone: Zac Efron, Vanessa Hudgens, Robert Pattinson, Kristen Stewart and Emma Watson.
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We love them now, but will they continue to make smart choices? Luck and huge movie franchises only last so long, you know. We're holding out hope that these five favorites will have long, fruitful careers after the movies that launched them are a distant memory, and that offers to do, say, 'Dancing with the Stars,' are decades away.
To help them out, we've picked suitable role models for each of the five actors. Simply follow in their footsteps and you can't fail, kids!
ZAC EFRON, meet your role model: JAMES FRANCO
No, we didn't choose Franco because Efron's now sporting a similarly dandy mustache. There are other similarities. Efron, like Franco, is, is too pretty to be taken seriously at first glance. And it's hard to get respect when your first claim to fame is playing a high school student (Efron in the 'High School Musical' franchise and Franco on the little-watched TV series 'Freaks and Geeks').
But Efron has begun to transcend the tween ghetto by bowing out of the 'Footloose' remake and proving himself to be a likable leading man with '17 Again.' From here, he'd be wise to look at the eclectic path taken by Franco: a stoner comedy here, a turn opposite a bankable leading lady there and the occasional prestigious indie (e.g. 'Milk'). Based-on-a-true-story roles might be the way to go, as well: Franco earned a Golden Globe for his acclaimed turn as James Dean in a TV movie, and now he's poised for his first Oscar nomination as hiker Aron Ralston in '127 Hours.'
The good news is that Efron's best notices so far have come from his role in Richard Linklater's 2008 film 'Me and Orson Welles.' And Efron's next movie, 'The Lucky One,' in which he plays an Iraq war veteran, will push him even further out of his comfort zone and into more dramatic territory -- Franco would surely approve.
VANESSA HUDGENS, meet your role model: HALLE BERRY
Vanessa Hudgens, Oscar winner? If she follows the Halle Berry path to the awards podium, it could happen. We can totally see 'High School Musical' sweetheart Hudgens donning a superhero outfit at some stage in her career, a la Berry in the 'X-Men' films, or even playing a Bond girl (assuming the series is ever revived). Wait -- you say she's already filmed the femme action flick 'Sucker Punch' for Zack Snyder? Excellent.
And since Hudgens can also sing, she could get cred -- and some awards bling -- for playing a real-life musical or cinema legend, as Berry did in portraying Dorothy Dandridge for HBO. Add in a deglamourized dramatic role at the right time and Hudgens, like hotties Berry and Charlize Theron have already proven, could someday go for the gold. Or, at the very least, the highly lucrative topless scene.
ROBERT PATTINSON, meet your role model: LEONARDO DICAPRIO
Who better to give tips to 'Twilight' brooding hunk and 'Tiger Beat' cover boy Robert Pattinson than Leonardo DiCaprio, who weathered those tween-tastic seas already with a little film called 'Titanic'? DiCaprio has survived his post-heartthrob days admirably and now the most respected directors in the biz line up to work with him.
Sure, Leo had more of an impressive early resumé, including going toe-to-toe with Robert De Niro and a Best Supporting Actor Oscar nod. (But don't knock being killed off by Voldemort as a career builder.) Pattinson has already followed in DiCaprio's footsteps by tackling real-life roles, but maybe donning Salvador Dali's bizarre mustache in 'Little Ashes' wasn't the best idea. We know he's a serious lad, so skip those romantic comedies (as Leo wisely did) and go straight for the dramatic jugular.
See, we almost made it through this without a single vampire reference.
KRISTEN STEWART, meet your role model: KATE WINSLET
Kristen Stewart had a life before 'Twilight' -- you know, like playing Jodie Foster's daughter in 'Panic Room' -- just as Kate Winslet had worn a corset or two before 'Titanic.' Like her two-time costar DiCaprio, Winslet has done quite well after starring in the then-biggest movie of all time. She's alternated indies no one's ever seen ('Hideous Kinky') with indies everyone loves ('Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind'), and managed to keep a sense of dignity throughout, despite all those nude scenes. She remains one of the most-respected actresses working today, culminating in a well-earned Best Actress Oscar for her role in 'The Reader.'
While we can't quite picture super-serious Stewart in a romantic comedy, we would have said the same thing about Winslet before catching her in 'The Holiday.' And look, we found a photo of Kristen actually smiling. Anything is possible! Seriously, since Kristen's an avid surfer, why not a real surf flick that would reteam her with 'Twilight' (and 'Lords of Dogtown') director Catherine Hardwicke?
EMMA WATSON, meet your role model: KEIRA KNIGHTLEY
Why should Emma Watson emulate Keira Knightley? Besides maintaining a successful career after being launched by one of movideom's biggest franchises, Knightley is a great example of a trendy young actress who isn't making fluff.
We do advise the 'Harry Potter' star not to become razor-thin, of course, but we love that the budding fashion plate chopped off her hair as soon as the series wrapped, to prove that she is not just Hermione Granger. Like Knightley, we can picture her in period films or something more modern. And that waifish charm might wear better than outright sexiness. (We watched Emma grow up, so we're not prepared to call her "sexy" any time soon!) We like her post-Potter choice of 'My Week With Marilyn,' in which Michelle Williams plays Marilyn Monroe and advise her to consider some Jane Austen in her future.