'Twilight' Countdown: Taylor Lautner takes your questions
Taylor Lautner, 16, who plays one third of the Bella-Edward-Jacob love triangle in “Twilight,” might just be the busiest of the movie's cast members.
Today he has several meetings and a few hours worth of interviews, and he’s still filming NBC's “My Own Worst Enemy.” Lucky for us, he took a timeout to talk about “Twilight,” women’s underwear and giving fan advice to costars Kristen Stewart and Robert Pattinson.
(One note: I tried to get in as many of your questions as possible, but I had limited time with Taylor today. The good news is that there will be at least two more opportunities for me to pry more information out of him, so keep your questions coming in the comments below.)
Talk to me about the sequels. Are you bulking up to play a werewolf? What’s the status?
They haven’t made any decisions whatsoever about sequels. I’m sure they’re going to wait for 'Twilight' to come out and see how it does before they make any decisions. It’s just a matter of waiting and seeing what Summit wants to do. But it would be fun. I try not to get my hopes up and even think about it.
Have you had any discussions with the director [Catherine Hardwicke] or anyone about it?
Not really. I tried to once, but she just didn’t even want to go there. Nobody wants to go there! It’s hard!
But there’s reason to hope, right? Because you’ve been in character as “older” Jacob before …
Yes, during the auditions. I originally met with Catherine and she wanted me to do a ‘chemistry read’ with Kristen Stewart. We did a few scenes from the first book, like the beach scene, and then we read some lines straight out of the books “New Moon” and “Eclipse.”
Which parts did you read?
I don’t remember the specific scenes, but I do know that the scenes I did showed a huge difference in Jacob’s character. He goes from happy-go-lucky and friendly in “Twilight” to when he’s more of a werewolf and more of an adult, all intense and grumpy. She wanted to see as much of me playing the different sides to Jacob as possible.
Excellent. So clearly, you’re ready to deal with the rabid “Twilight” fans for a while longer. You know, at Comic-Con you did seem the most at ease with the screams. Were you nervous at all?
We were all standing backstage waiting to go out and they told me ‘It’s going to be crazy. Once you get downstairs there’s going to be 6,500 fans.’ I kind of brushed it off and said ‘Yeah, OK, sure.’ But then “Twilight” came up on the screen, and everyone just started screaming. I’ve never seen anything like it before. We were all pretty nervous but once we got out there it was pretty fun –- at least for me. The fans are just very passionate and really excited for the movie to come out already. So am I!
I thought Robert, in particular, looked like he was going to pass out from fear. Did you give him any words of advice in dealing with fans?
(Laughs) Actually, both he and Kristen have come up to me and asked, ‘How do you not freak out? What do you do?’ And they’re all sweating (laughs again). I tell them, ‘I don’t know. I mean, this is fun!’ But they’re all disappointed, like ‘Oh, OK.’ They’re funny.
You really do have a good rapport with them. I read that you even dropped by one of the “Breaking Dawn” release parties. You really just wanted to drop by?
Yes. Fans are the driving force behind this thing, so it’s very important to me to respect that. I was in my hometown in Michigan and thought it would be fun to go to the “Breaking Dawn” release party. I was there until 2 a.m. hanging out, signing books. It was a good time! There were over 1,000 fans there and it was a nice surprise for them.
Have they ever gotten out of hand?
Well, one of the weirdest and scariest things that I’ve discovered is that there is underwear -- women’s underwear -- being sold on the Internet and it has 'Team Taylor' written on it. Women’s underwear is being sold with my name [not Jacob’s] imprinted on the front of it. One of my friends or family members e-mailed me the link and asked ‘What is this?’ I’m not quite sure.
The “Twilight” boys seem to be getting most of the attention so far in the media. Can you tell us more about what Kristen is like?
The only people that were there when I was on set were Kristen and Rob, and he wasn’t there too much. So it was basically just me and Kristen. She’s very easygoing. It takes her a little bit to warm up to people. She’s a little shy and reserved. Her and Rob both are. But she was very fun to be around.
Did you guys hang out while you were filming?
Yeah. Portland has the best food I’ve ever had. It was amazing. We’d finish at 5:30 p.m. and just go out to eat the best steak, or there were all kinds of crawfish restaurants. It was so delicious. Food took up a lot of the down time.
OK, a couple more, straight from your fans: They want to know if you still practice martial arts, and if you got to use any of your skills in the movie.
I gave up martial arts when I was 13. I realized acting is really what I want to do. I still try and keep up with it a little bit here and there. When I can, I’ll see if I try and kick off some rust and see what I still got in me. Nothing for 'Twilight' though. Jacob doesn’t have much action in ‘Twilight’ at all.
We’ve seen pics -- and video! -- of the werewolf pack online. Does this first movie include any of the elements from “New Moon”? The character of Sam isn’t really introduced until then …
They’re not in much of the movie. They’re in the beach scene. When I come up and say 'Hi' to Bella they’re there. But again, not much. They barely get introduced.
Do you have a real-life Bella?
I don’t have a one in particular, but have had a few important girls over the years.
-- Denise Martin