Taylor Lautner: I Love Jacob
By: Lynn Barker
With Breaking Dawn-Part 2 closing the Twilight movie saga, the key actors are all looking back with mixed levels of nostalgia and a few regrets. Ever-friendly Taylor Lautner tells us about wolfing out, forever friendships and tossing that annoying wig!
Q: Do you see your strong friendship with Kristen Stewart and Rob Pattinson going far into the future?
- Taylor: Yeah. The biggest thing I'll take from this is those relationships. We're so close right now. They're some of my best friends and that won't go away at all. It will be more difficult because we don't have the excuse to spend months and months, day after day with each other, but our friendships will go on forever.
Q: What about the rest of the cast?
- Taylor: I find it so amazing that this cast meshed so well, and got along so well. We are so thankful for that. We have a blast every time we film these movies, every time we promote them, and I really think that's a miracle. It was an amazing experience, and those relationships are going to be the biggest thing that I'll take from it.
Q: Do you remember meeting Kristen and Rob for the first time? What was that like for you?
- Taylor: I remember meeting Kristen for sure. It's so weird, I don't even remember meeting Rob (he laughs). Maybe it's because I didn't even have any scenes with Rob in the first one. Kristen, it was kind of awkward for me because I was showing up midway through filming. I was only in two or three scenes in the first movie, and everybody kind of had relationships, and everybody knew each other and it was already this family environment, and I was barging in, so I was nervous.
I was also the youngest, and it probably was a little awkward when we first did meet each other. We were filming this scene on the beach, and the weather was insane, it was pouring rain and wind and I was wearing a nasty wig, and it was just very uncomfortable. But ever since then it's been great. (he laughs).
Q: Can you talk a little bit about the funny scene where you have to wolf out in front of Bella's father? Was that as funny to film as it was to watch?
- Taylor: Yeah, it actually was pretty funny in person. I love Billy Burke to death. He's one of the coolest people alive, so it was uncomfortable for me. It’s always uncomfortable when I have to take my shirt off because I'm always the only one doing it. The weather conditions we film in, everybody's bundled up in seven layers and I'm the only one in jean shorts. So it's awkward to begin with, but yeah, that was a new one. And I think the pants came off with that one too. But it was a funny, funny scene. I was so nervous to film it because it was written so hilarious, I just wanted it to come across that way. So I hope it does, but that was a blast to shoot.
Q: Speaking of that famous wig, what did you do with it after?
- Taylor: It's a regret I have. Every time an actor finishes a movie, you have a picture wrap and everybody claps for them, and it's this big thing. The last scene I filmed with the wig, I took it off and they picture wrapped my wig. They were like, 'Alright, that's a franchise wrap on Jacob's wig.' Everybody knew how much I hated that thing, so everybody was so happy for me. They asked me, 'Do you want it?' And I was like, 'No, get that away from me.' I told them that they could burn it. Now looking back on it, of course, I'm like, ’Damn, I should have kept that thing’. But I don’t have fond memories of that thing.
Q: In dealing with all of your scenes with Renesmee, can you talk about trying to find the line between being caring but not being too creepy?
- Taylor: Right. Yeah, it's a fine line and I was worried about it. We were very fortunate to have Stephenie Meyer, on set with us on these last two movies, and I definitely had quite a bit of conversations with her. There's really nobody better to ask about it than her. She basically told me, 'Stop overcomplicating it.' She's like, 'Just think here and now that's all you really have to focus on, and it's simple.' She said, 'It's a lifelong bond between two people and that's it. At this point the girl is 10 years old, so it's more of a protective thing, like a brother/sister. And that's really all it is.'
Q: Good advice.
- Taylor: I couldn't allow myself to think ahead and go beyond that, so that's kind of the zone I had to stay in and I think Bill, our director, did a tremendous job with it, because it is delicate. I think the fans are going to be happy with it. I think it came together well.
Q: Did you enjoy the scene in which Bella, angry about your connection to Renesmee, kicks your butt?
- Taylor: That scene is probably my favorite in the movie. That was a fun scene to shoot. And to see Kristen like that was incredible. That scene's just hysterical and it's a completely different side of Jacob that we've never seen before. It's the first time we see Bella like that. The visual of Kristen chucking me around (is hilarious). She had a lot of fun with it. I did as well. In the book it was so awesome and I'm really happy with the way it turned out. It's great.
Q: If you could go back to just before you started shooting the first movie, and give yourself any piece of advice, what would it be and why?
- Taylor: I'd probably just say, 'Soak up each and every moment,' because it's lasted so long, it's been four or five years, but at the same time it seems like it was just beginning yesterday. It flew by and so many things have happened since then. I feel like I did do a decent job at this. I knew at the time it was going to go by so fast. So just to soak up each and every moment and enjoy it. That would probably be the biggest thing.
Q: What have you learned from this experience and what have you learned from playing Jacob?
- Taylor: I've learned a lot in the sense that I've grown up a ton, because I did start this when I was 15-year-old, [so] that's kind of just bound to happen. But it also is kind of an accelerated rate. I love the fact that we had different directors for each movie, except for these last two. That was amazing to play the same character but be directed in a different way every time, and have different input. It's kind of an actor's dream, because of that. Also, when you do a normal film you play the character for three months and then you say goodbye to him. And then you watch the movie and you're like, 'Oh yeah, I wish I could have done that differently. I wish I could have added this to it.' And with this, you've got four more movies to play with. It was an amazing experience.
And from Jacob, I don't know, I love Jacob. I really respect him in so many different ways. He has so many qualities to him that I would love to bring with me. His loyalty, his persistence, he's going to be a tough character to say goodbye to, for sure.
Q: Do you ever think what your life would be like if you hadn’t continued in the role after the first movie?
- Taylor: I guess I have but not really. During the whole time, I couldn’t let my mind go there. I was so focused for that year period. I just had my eye on one goal and there were a lot of things I had to do in order to get there. I had a lot of support from the fans, from Chris Weitz and from Kristen Stewart, that I owe a lot to. It required a lot. But I think back to every day in that gym, every burger patty shoved down my throat, every protein shake, all that stuff. It was worth it.
Q: In these last two films, you’ve played heavy drama and also, in this one, some comedy. What was it like bouncing back and forth while filming?
- Taylor: It was tough. I knew that filming the movies together was going to be challenging because some days we woke up and the first scene we filmed that day was from Breaking Dawn, Part 1 and then you had lunch, and had to change clothes, and then film a scene from Breaking Dawn, Part 2. The Jacob character never stops changing throughout this whole franchise. He takes huge leaps. It was a completely different Jacob in “Part 2.” I just had to really had to focus. Keeping the book on hand was really helpful. And once again, having Stephenie on set was really helpful as well. I love playing this new side of Jacob in this last one. He finally knows who he is and where he belongs and he has a lot of stress taken off his shoulders. It was nice to play that more comedic side of him, and see him smile every once in a while. It was fun.
Q: What’s next for you?
- Taylor: I love challenging myself and doing different things and exploring different areas that I haven’t been to or gone to before. That’s what I love about acting. That’s what I love about film. Some of the actors I love most have gone from this to this, and they’ve challenged themselves throughout their entire career. That’s my goal and I’m really excited about a few things that I will be starting soon. I’m excited because I’m reteaming with the producers of “Twilight,” who I love and who I have an amazing relationship with on an awesome script that I’m excited about. It’s different for me. It’s very serious and dramatic. (He could be talking about Tracers in which he plays a bike messenger running from the Mafia. Twilight saga producer Wyck Godfrey co-produces) I’m excited to do something like that now. But I love all aspects of film and all genres, so that’s my goal.