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Perhaps the only media types who enjoy speculation more than entertainment writers are sports journalists. They're constantly trying to out-predict their colleagues on which team will win the World Series, where Dwight Howard will be traded, which rookies will become all-stars, etc.
A popular format to grade teams and players on where they are and where they are headed is the Power Rankings. Grantland borrowed this device to recap "Mad Men" episodes, positioning the characters each week in order of how well they handled themselves in the episode.
I'm going to borrow the concept from Grantland and apply it the young stars of "The Twilight Saga." We're still months away from the final installment, "Breaking Dawn – Part 2," but we already have a sense of where the actors stand and what their careers should look like when they move on from vampires.
Below I've ranked eight celebrities who owe their stardom to 2008's "Twilight" by how powerful they currently sit in Hollywood. I omitted the older actors since we already have a good sense of what their legacy will be. I've also provided a "Floor" and "Ceiling" for each name as a comparison to the careers theirs may resemble if they miss their potential or reach it.
1. Kristen Stewart
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Floor: Elisabeth Shue
Ceiling: Nicole Kidman
Until recently, you could have argued that Robert Pattinson should be in the top spot, but his girlfriend has proven she can carry a blockbuster ("Snow White and the Huntsman") on her own while his projects ("Bel Ami" and "Cosmopolis") have floundered. K.Stew's critics claim she's just a pretty face with limited acting range, but she does take bold roles. Many had the same criticisms early in Kidman's career, but she was daring with her roles and now has a Best Actress Oscar as well as two more nominations.
2. Robert Pattinson
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Floor: Christian Slater
Ceiling: Johnny Depp
My younger readers may balk at a Christian Slater comparison, but in the early '90s his poster hung on young girls' walls – right next to Kurt Cobain and Luke Perry. Slater never broke out of his teen heartthrob stage as Johnny Depp did after "21 Jump Street." Pattinson should keep looking for unique roles as Depp has and not settle for easy schlock as Slater did.
3. Anna Kendrick
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Floor: Helen Hunt
Ceiling: Straight Jodie Foster with comedy chops
AK-47 has taken her relatively small role in the "Twilight" franchise and spun it into the Power Ranking's third spot. After an Academy Award-worthy performance in "Up in the Air," Kendrick has become the go-to cute girl-next-door type with serious acting chops. Like Helen Hunt, she's proven her worth in both drama and comedy. While Hunt has fallen off the earth, it's easy to imagine Kendrick having a long career like Jodie Foster, albeit she's a more affable version.
4. Taylor Lautner
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Floor: Richard Grieco
Ceiling: Mario Lopez
Lautner got his opportunity to star in his own action movie, just like former teen star Richard Grieco did in "If Looks Could Kill." "Abduction" did about as well as Grieco's movie, which the world has since forgotten about ever existing. Lautner's fate may be similar unless he admits to himself that he's not a great actor and his strength is being the likable guy with dimples and an uncertain ethnic background. Mario Lopez has turned that into a career, after all.
5. Kellan Lutz
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Floor: Ian Ziering
Ceiling: Brotastic Mickey Rourke
I'm going to be honest. I don't know if Kellan Lutz can act his way out of a paper bag or not. He hasn't taken roles that push him too far emotionally. That may be smart, waiting until he sharpens his acting chops before taking any chances. Once he does, he may just turn into a beefy Mickey Rourke without the bad plastic surgery. Or he may follow in the forgotten steps of Ian Ziering, the fourth banana jock from "Beverly Hills 90210."
6. Ashley Greene
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Floor: Jennifer Beals
Ceiling: Demi Moore
I place Greene below Lutz in Power Rankings because she doesn't have many interesting project lined up for her post-"Twilight" career. Greene seemed to have more heat a year ago, but I'm starting to think producers are realizing there may not be much to her. She's another pretty face who can act, but her emotional well may be shallow.
7. Nikki Reed
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Floor: Ally Sheedy
Ceiling: Michelle Rodriguez
Nikki Reed had boundless potential in 2003, when she co-wrote and starred in Catharine Hardwicke's disturbingly familiar indie, "Thirteen." However, she hasn't done much with it besides becoming "that bitchy Cullen girl." I compare her to Ally Sheedy, as she was one of the most interesting young stars of the Brat Pack and then faded away. The projects she has lined up seem like action-dramas that the likes of Michelle Rodriguez would take. I can see her making a solid career as a tough-girl like Rodriguez.
8. Jackson Rathbone
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Floor: New Kids on the Block member you don't remember
Ceiling: Brad Pitt
Rathbone is the biggest enigma of the cast. In person, he's arguably the most charismatic of them all. You'd think that would translate into more screen time on more projects. Maybe he hasn't been given any memorable roles outside of "Twilight" because he's busy with his band, 100 Monkeys? If he dedicates himself to acting over anything else, I could see him eclipsing everyone else on this list.