Dialogue: Taylor Lautner, on Flexing His Muscles (Literally), Love Triangles, Going Bowling, and Signing Fans...Arms?

Dialogue: Taylor Lautner, on Flexing His Muscles (Literally), Love Triangles, Going Bowling, and Signing Fans...Arms?

Jul 02, 2010

Taylor Lautner may be in the midst of his Eclipse moment, but there’s no shadow settling over his own astronomical ascent. After breaking out as Twilight’s lovelorn lycanthrope, the 18-year-old actor’s Hollywood résumé is bulking up as quickly as he did for his role as Jacob Black. “This franchise has been such an incredible platform,” says Lautner. “I’ve had the time of my life the last two years and I’m just so thankful to be in this position now. I’m having fun making movies; I’ve met a lot of cool new people and had the opportunity to work with a lot of talented people. ‘Amazing’ is the best word for it.”

On the pluses and minuses of performing largely shirtless: “Occasionally you really want some ice cream, for sure. You’ll cheat a time or two. When it comes closer to film or when you have a magazine photo shoot then you really just have to stay strong and cut it out. It’s just as hard to maintain [the muscle] as it was to put it on in the first place. Trust me, it was really hard putting it on, and it was just as hard keeping it. If I’m really busy and can’t get into the gym or don’t have time to eat, it takes ten times the amount of time to put it back on.”

On the moment in the film when Edward calls Jacob out on his trademark lack of upper-bodywear: “When I read that for the first time, I couldn’t wait for Rob [Pattinson] to deliver that! It was funny. It was quite obvious when they pull up in the middle of the street – even in the position I’m in. I’m leaning back up against the car with my hands behind me. It looks like I’m waiting, flexing, for her to come up. Those are the awkward scenes, when everybody is fully clothed, it’s raining and I’m just the only person there waiting and kind of posing for them.”

On getting a little payback when Jacob gets to tell Edward “I am hotter than you”: “Keeping a straight face was the tough thing. I was like ‘This is going to be so hard to deliver, and especially with a straight face!’ I was looking Rob in the eyes and he’s starring at me with that Edward look…I was really excited to work with him for Eclipse quite a bit. Usually I have to hate him in the scenes and it’s difficult – he’s such a funny, nice guy. Literally we’re yelling and screaming at each other and he’s slapping my shoulder and I’m shoving him off me and we’re screaming and spitting in each other’s faces, and then as soon as they call cut we bust out laughing.”

On the important bond he shares with co-stars Pattinson and Kristen Stewart: “It means everything. I can’t imagine filming this franchise if the whole cast weren’t so close. It would be a nightmare. Rob and Kristen and myself are really close. Even when we’re not doing anything but just hanging out on the weekends, it’s great. They’re incredible people and very talented. We will definitely maintain a friendship for a very long time past the franchise.” On off-screen love triangles: “I’ve never been in a love triangle. I would not want to be in that situation. It’s not fun. I’d have to say no – like, seriously.”

On handling the 24/7 attention: “There’re a million more pros than cons, for sure. Obviously the privacy thing—it’s not normal to wake up and have 12 paparazzi cars waiting outside to follow you to Starbuck’s in the morning…. It’s a matter of choosing where you go, when you go: a mall—probably not; a movie theater—probably not. I have my hangouts, like good low-key restaurants. Sometimes you’re like ‘I don’t care! I want to go bowling!’ and you do it. Then you go home and you think ‘I’m not going bowling for awhile.’”

On making his mark, literally, on the fans: “I was just in Australia like a week ago or so, and we’re at this big fan event – there were 4,000 fans and I was walking down the line. They like to hold out their hand or arm for you to sign. This one arm I went by had a massive tattoo: the wolf pack tattoo – a real one, and it was pretty cool. She was like, ‘Can you sign it?’ and I was like, ‘Sure.’ So I signed right underneath it, and the next day somebody told me that the girl got my signature tattooed right underneath the wolf pack tattoo. I didn’t know whether or not to say ‘That’s cool,’ or feel bad that I signed her arm.”

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