Here Are Our 10 Favorite Kristen Stewart Performances in Honor of Her 26th Birthday

Happy 26th Birthday Kristen Stewart!

Today we celebrate the birth of a valley girl who has been in the film industry since the tender age of nine. 17 years and 40 movies later, Stewart has remained as humble, as real, and as gracious as ever. Famously known for playing Bella Swan in The Twilight Saga, the androgynous beauty has stuck to her roots, continuously sticking to her beloved indie flicks and never letting fame phase her. Although the 26 year-old has received negative critique for her portrayal of Bella, she has also been praised for roles in which she strives in. Stewart has more to her belt than just an angsty teen. She excelled at playing a runaway stripper, a Guantanamo Bay guard, an actresses’s assistant, a rape victim, and the list goes on.

In her personal life, she is known for being an animal lover, a great cook, a poet, and a musician. Stewart can also add ambassador to the long list of things she’s good at. The Twilight actress has been the face of several fashion high-end brands including Chanel and Balenciaga. The list of all of her best qualities can go on forever, but nothing beats the passion she has for film making, so in honor of her love for films, below is a list of our favorite K Stew performances over the years!

Mallory in Welcome to the Rileys

Starring alongside James Gandolfini and Melissa Leo, Stewart plays a runaway teen who works as a stripper and prostitute to survive. Stewart makes viewers feel compassion towards her character through all the range, strength, dark humor, and vulnerability she brings. Although she’s acting next to two powerhouses, Stewart is the scene stealer in almost every scene she’s in, if not all.

Valentine in Clouds of Sils Maria

This specific performance garnered Stewart a lot of attention from viewers and critics alike. As an assisting to an angry, aging actress, played by Juliette Binoche, Stewart is the voice of reason in this film, and it is with the naturalism that she brings to this role that helped her win the French equivalent to an Oscar, a Cesar Award, the first American actress ever to win won. Stewart also won several critic awards this award season, including a National Society of Film Critics Award. Many critics agree that she was snubbed for this years Oscars after all the acclaim that earned for this role.

Marylou in On the Road

Stewart played the iconic and free-spirited Marylou from Jack Kerouac’s famous classic novel. Stewart shined as this wild and eccentric character, even going nude in several scenes.

Cole in Camp X-Ray

Kristen Stewart Camp X-Ray
CREDIT: Sundance Institute

Stewart brought her A-game as a soldier assigned to guard cells in Guantanamo Bay, and as a result has a political awakening. There was a toughness that felt raw, but when it came down to the emotional scenes, it was so much more heart-breaking to see her bring down all those walls.

Joan Jett in The Runaways

Even the real Joan Jett agrees that Stewart mastered playing her younger self. Playing a real person must have not been easy, but seeing Stewart portray Jett to the bone felt deja-vu like, and all the while poetic.

Melinda Sordino in Speak

Twilight wasn’t the first book to screen adaptation Stewart starred in. Speak is a beloved book to many, and although Stewart has very few lines in the film, it is the silent pain she expresses as a rape victim that resonates with anyone who sees this film.

Sarah Altman in Panic Room

Kristen Stewart Panic Room
CREDIT: Columbia Pictures Industries

For Stewart’s first feature film, she stands her own playing the daughter of the great Jodie Foster. Although she’s come a long way since, anyone who pays attention to this performance knows that Stewart was destined for greatness.

Phoebe Larson in American Ultra

Although this film didn’t do so well in the box office, it was Stewart’s most fun to watch. For many who thought the green-eyed beauty was just playing another hero’s girlfriend, think again. There’s so much versatility she brings to the role. From the light-hearted humor, to the tenderness, and badass toughness she plays out, Stewart is definitely a scene stealer throughout the entire film.

Lisa in Zathura

Despite this being a kid’s film, it’s impossible not to love Stewart in this role. As the egotistic, clueless older sister, Stewart serves best for the comedic tone of this film. For all those who poke fun at Stewart’s “expressionless” face, this film guarantees that not to be the case.

Em Lewin in Adventureland

This film is probably the film that’s most like Stewart’s real self, and it’s because of it that it’s so easy to love her in it. Her performance alongside Jessie Eisenberg and Ryan Reynolds is so natural that it’s so hard to distinguish whether Stewart is really acting or not.

Stewart hasn’t stopped keeping busy, she is set to shoot two films this year, and has another five being released this year. Two of these films are heading to this year’s Cannes Film Festival, Woody Allen’s Cafe Society, and Personal Shopper, which reunites her with directer Olivier Assayas. She’s also starring in Drake Doremus’s Equals, starring alongside Nicholas Hoult, which is heading to this year’s Tribeca Film Festival, you can see the trailer to below if you haven’t yet. There’s Also Ang Lee’s Billy Lynn’s Long Halftime Walk, co-starring Vin Diesel, Garrett Hedlund, Steve Martin, and Chris Tucker.

In celebration of Kristen Stewart’s 26th birthday, check out our Gallery of her 26 best photoshoots!