Welcome to OffBeat, the rumor-free celebrity blog dedicated to the careers of those celebrities who rarely make headlines. Here, we embrace the independent film, the overlooked gem, and the significant performances that go unnoticed.

We pride ourselves on being straight news and opinion. You won't find gossip here. No who's-dating-who; no paparazzi photos. We're here to discuss the actors and their work. No spin, no lies.

Wednesday, June 8, 2011

Should Kristen Stewart kiss serious acting goodbye?

The Safety of Objects. The Cake-Eaters. Undertow. Fierce People.

Recognize these film titles? These four and several other films represent Kristen Stewart’s early, pre-Twilight career. And honestly, her performances in these films are unmatched by 90 percent of actors and actresses her age.

Stewart held her own with renowned performers like Dermot Mulroney, Glenn Close, and Patricia Clarkson. She took on a variety of roles that demanded her to become emotionally naked.

Now, it’s almost as if that impressive beginning of a career has been swept away. Why? The Twilight saga.

I tried to be objective when Twilight was originally released back in 2008. I attempted to read the book (and didn’t get very far) and gave the movie a real, honest chance. It didn’t impress me. It wasn’t terrible as far as blockbusters went, but as a Kristen Stewart fan, I was disappointed.

Stewart’s work as Bella Swan represents what are arguably the worst performances of her career. She seems out of her element – lost in the sea of false emotions and obscene writing. That spark that was present in Into the Wild and even the recent Runaways film is absent in the vampire epic. Stewart doesn’t seem present. She appears to be simply reciting lines from a page and, in that way, she mimics her cold co-star Robert Pattinson (who has also churned out some good performances – see Water for Elephants and Remember Me for examples).

Kristen Stewart doesn’t seem like your typical Hilary Duff-esque preteen star. When she’s at her best, she’s starring in independent films. She’s gritty, raw. In Twilight, none of that seems to exist.

So that begs the question: which route will Stewart choose? Can she swiftly balance the independent world while still thriving in the blockbuster one? Will she be forced to choose – cut and dry – what type of roles she takes on? Will she be typecast in this helpless heroine role that represents her most popular role to date?

It is this writer’s opinion that Stewart should take the piles of money she makes from the Twilight saga and run. She needs to re-discover her independent film roots. That’s not to say she’s completely lost them. I recently had the pleasure of viewing Welcome to the Rileys, which co-stars James Gandolfini and Melissa Leo. I thoroughly enjoyed the film, in which Stewart plays a vulgarity-spewing young stripper. Once more, the young actress wowed me with her consistent delivery.

I’m interested in Stewart’s upcoming portrayal of Marylou in the adaptation of Jack Kerouac’s On the Road, but nothing more in her upcoming filmography impresses me. I fear that Stewart will take the Kirsten Dunst route and end up portraying a cheerleader or the girlfriend to a superhero in poorly directed, horrendously written summer blockbusters.

What do you think? Are Kristen Stewart’s established acting chops enough to keep her career afloat? Will she take the mainstream road? And better yet, is the mainstream road good for her? Give me your opinions! Also, what do you think Stewart's best role/movie to date is?

Dailies: Emma Stone's success, Jesse Eisenberg's new film

Emma Stone’s ELLE Cover

Young actress Emma Stone has been grabbing headlines left and right since her breakthrough performances in 2009’s Zombieland and 2010’s Easy A put the 22-year-old on the map. Stone boasts an impressive resume which includes more than five upcoming releases. Her upcoming performance in The Help, set to be released in August, is already generating buzz.

Stone landed the cover story on July’s issue of ELLE, a popular women’s magazine. In her interview, Stone admits to sucking her thumb until age 11 and admits her distaste for Hollywood’s focus on perfection in certain movie roles. This actress would rather look believable than like a runway model.

I like to look like a person. It drives me crazy when you see women in movies playing teachers, and they have biceps. It totally takes me out of the movie. I start thinking, Wow, that actress playing this part really looks great!”

Stone realizes how lucky she’s been with her success over the past few years.

I’ll kick my ass later on if I don’t enjoy it right now. But it does make you realize that so much of the joy of it is the journey. The struggle is such a lovely part of it.”

Read the rest of the interview at ELLE’s website.

Mark Wahlberg: Fighter sequel?

Hollywood tough guy Mark Wahlberg admitted intentions of doing a sequel to The Fighter, last year’s surprised hit. The film, which scored the cast two Oscars, revolved around boxer Micky Ward’s early years in the ring.

Wahlberg made this announcement in accepting the Spike TV Award for ‘Guy Movie of the Year.”

We’re not going to do Fighter 4, 5, 6, 7, and 8, but we’re going to do 2,” Wahlberg said.

Lisa Kudrow to host Webby Awards

Look out for some biting humor on Facebook June 13th. And no, I’m not talking about your friend’s statuses.

Funnywoman and former Friend Lisa Kudrow is set to host the Webby Awards, which will air live on Facebook next Monday. Entertainment Weekly posted an exclusive promo and, if this clip is any indication, it seems like a riot.

Kudrow’s Web Therapy show will begin playing on Showtime in the near future.

Check out EW’s clip and log in to Facebook June 13th for more Kudrow humor.

Jesse Eisenberg: Magician?

The Social Network and Adventureland star Jesse Eisenberg is said to be in talks of landing a role in Louis Leterrier (Clash of the Titans) new film Now You See Me, a film about magician bank robbers.

Eisenberg is currently only in negotiations for the lead role. Other rumored actors for the film include Jake Gyllenhaal and French actress Melanie Laurent.