As I have previously stated, I’m still a tween at heart. I saw Twilight three times in theaters, saw High School Musical 3 on opening weekend, and I own both a Zac Efron calendar and a Twilight poster. I won’t pretend to be an expert, but I think I can weigh in on the High School Musical vs. Twilight debate better than the average reporter.
The debate, although initially heated, had subsided slightly. That is until rumors surfaced that Vanessa Hudgens was putting her name in for the bitter but misunderstood werewolf Leah Clearwater. Hudgen’s reps claim that this rumor has no merit, but still, the debate was sparked again. Twilight fans offended High School Musical fans by their outrage at such a potential casting decisions. High School Musical fans, in turn, upset the Twilight fans when they expressed joy that Vanessa wouldn’t be taking such a small part in, what they considered, a less important franchise. Would Vanessa have outshone Kristen Stewart? Was the project beneath her? Let’s try to put all loyalties aside and figure out who truly is the better leading lady: Kristen Stewart or Vanessa Hudgens?
To figure out which girl makes the better leading lady, I compiled a list of questions to determine which young woman is better teen queen material.
When did she first hit mainstream?
Kristen: 2002, in the mystery thriller Panic Room where she played Jodi Foster’s daughter. She earned her first bit of critical acclaim in 2007 when she co-starred in Into The Wild.
Vanessa: 2003, in the Catherine Hardwick film Thirteen. Hudgens played the wayward Tracy’s ex-best friend in the movie about a teen’s introduction to sex, drugs and money.
When did she gain teen idol status?
Kristen: For Twilight fans, July of 2008 at Comic Con. For the rest of the world, November of 2008 with the release of Twilight and the subsequent pandemonium.
Vanessa: January of 2006 with the airing of the original High School Musical. Every teenage girl wanted to be Gabriella Montez, the smart loner turned superstar. Not to mention she had a hot boyfriend.
Does she have any special talents?
Kristen: She can sing. She performed two songs for the Into the Wild soundtrack, “Angel from Montgomery” and “Tracy’s Song.” She even co wrote “Tracy’s Song”. Evidently, she plays a bit of guitar too, which will come in handy when she plays Joan Jett in the upcoming biopic The Runaways.
Vanessa: She can sing and she can dance. Experience in musical theatre, Hudgens has a passion for musical that equals her passion for acting. She already has two albums under her belt at the age of 20.
How is she in interviews?
Kristen: Awkward. She doesn’t like to play into the gossip and gets uncomfortable with questions really easily. Stewart actually claims she has no sense of humor. Although, she does seem more at ease whenever she has Robert Pattinson interviewing with her.
Vanessa: Pleasant as a pea. She’s friendly and giggly and knows how to work an interview. Of course, she’s had plenty of practice with all the High School Musical press she has to do.
Is she attractive?
Kristen: She doesn’t try to be, but is. Her hair is rarely done up, as she likes to brush it back out of her face all the time.
Vanessa: Definitely. She made many “best dressed” lists for the Golden Globes and knows how to work a glamour shot.
Biggest thing holding her back?
Kristen: Two things: her horrible interview skills and the fact that the paparazzi caught her smoking pot in broad daylight. It’s one thing to get caught lighting up while driving around in your SUV (oh, plenty of celebs have done it) but it’s another to step out onto a stoop in the middle of Los Angeles in broad daylight. Well, they never said pot makes you smart.
Vanessa: Nude photos. Seriously, never take nude photos of yourself and send them to your boyfriend. “Vanessa Hudgens nude” is still one of the most searched “Vanessa Hudgens” terms and it’s been almost two years since the initial scandal. I feel bad for the girl but the desire to pose nude in the first place shows some personal desperation and her younger self, at least, was feeding into some very unhealthy gender roles.
Is she single?
Kristen: No, she’s been dating Michael Angarano, who played Elliot on Will & Grace, for over four years now. The recent rumors about the Twilight love triangle are intriguing but have not proven to be true. Robert Pattinson is obsessed with Kristen Stewart, Kristen doesn’t care because she has a little problem called a long-term boyfriend, and Nikki Reed is crazy jealous because she’s in love with Rob. If Kristen actually started dating Robert, she could start a crazy phenomenon (see below).
Vanessa: No. Zac Efron is her beau of the moment. And by the moment, I mean they’ve been together for over two years. Although she’s only 20, she already has a couple name: Zanessa. If that doesn’t scream tied down, I don’t know what does. This, however, doesn’t seem to bug any of his fans. They are as obsessed with Gabriella and Troy as they are obsessed with Vanessa and Zac.
After comparing Vanessa Hudgens and Kristen Stewart, I’m not convinced either makes a great teen idol. The one thing that pushes the scale is charisma. Although Stewart’s shy girl attitude works wonders for her role as Bella Swan, it’s not great for teen stardom. Although I think it’s ridiculous to say Hudgens would have overshadowed Stewart if she joined the Twilight cast, I can see where the accusations come from. Vanessa Hudgens knows how to work the press to her advantage and she’s generally just more personable. Fans can imagine being her friend. I have a hard time imagining just having a conversation with Kristen Stewart. But no matter what her interview style, Kristen Stewart nailed the essence of Bella Swan and she will forever be the embodied voice of every sixteen-year-old girl (a titled previously owned by Angela Chase of My So-Called Life). Vanessa’s Gabrielle will just have to be their dream.
Who do you think would make the better teen idol? Sound off in the comments below.
Also check out: Robert Pattinson Vs. Zac Efron: Who’s the Better Teen Heartthrob?
-Kim Wetter, BuddyTV Staff Columnist
(Images Courtesy of WENN)