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Only three years ago, Blake Lively was just That Blonde Girl from The Sisterhood Of The Traveling Pants, and America Ferrera was just the Token Dorky Sidekick. Alexis Bledel and Amber Tamblyn, on the other hand, were bonafide TV stars. My, how things have changed. With the film's sequel debuting next month, we take a look at how each of the leading ladies has done career-wise since the original racked up nearly $40MM at the box office in 2005. While there’s a bit of bad news for the original's biggest stars, there’s an alternate way of looking at this role reversal: any actress’ status as the perennial “buddy” can obviously change with one little show that could.Blake Lively/Bridget: With only one credit behind her before the first Pants, 1998’s Sandman, Lively got her big break as Bridget the jock. Even though no one knew who she was at the time, she built her buzz by appearing in a few cheesy movies like the Justin Long vehicle Accepted. But now, thanks to Gossip Girl and its sultry appeal (ratings be damned!), Lively is arguably the boldest name on the sequel’s marquee. America Ferrera/Carmen: Cast as the not-so-pretty one who most magically fit into the same jans all four girls kept handing off, America is obviously the biggest success story when it comes to acting cred (an Emmy), ratings (Ugly Betty), and general public appeal (we don’t even want to think about counting how many magazine covers with the hed “America The Beautiful!” she’s appeared on in the last two years). Amber Tamblyn/Tibby: Having blown away TV critics as the lead in Joan of Arcadia the same year Pants came out (and racking up Golden Globe and Emmy noms along the way), Tamblyn was a shiny bright new fixture on the circuit. But the only notable film Tamblyn has appeared in since? The Grudge 2. Oops. The only reason we can think of for Amber’s dimming star? Michelle Trachtenberg. Sort of the more telegenic, tabloid-friendly version of Tamblyn, with all sorts of Pete Wentz/Ashlee Simpson sloppiness to keep the kids entertained. Alexis Bledel/Lena: Pants came out at the height of Gilmore Girls’ gooey success, just before new writers took over and turned the show into an even faster-paced linguistic mess of confusion. And Bledel was the biggest draw among all four, cast as the “pretty” one with the heftiest romantic plotline and most cinematic backdrop (finding love in Greece). But the only upcoming flick on Bledel’s radar at the moment — aside from Pants 2 — is a comedy with Michael Keaton (which would've been a great gig in the late 80s, but today? Not so much). And the last time we saw her out and about was at the 2006 fashion shows alongside then-boyfriend Milo Ventimiglia — while Milo’s struck gold in Heroes, Alexis has yet to find a similarly cozy rebound gig. [Photo credits: Getty]