The Twilight Saga: New Moon could be the film that pushes Taylor Lautner out of Robert Pattinson‘s shadow and into the spotlight as the new franchise heartthrob. This weekend fans will get to see him in a different light when he goes from mild mannered Jacob to a raging werewolf. We recently spoke to Lautner about the drastic physical transformation he underwent for the film, as well as the developing love triangle between his character and Kristen Stewart‘s Bella. But most importantly, we had to ask him the age old question, who would win in a fight Jacob or Edward?
Check out our interview below…
Did you ever feel like you were in danger of not reprising your role in this movie? And did you use steroids to gain those 30 pounds?
Taylor Lautner: Definitely no on your second question. Honestly, I knew where my character went in New Moon and that’s all I tried to stay focused on. I couldn’t control things outside. I couldn’t control the media, but I could control what I was doing to portray Jacob Black correctly, so that’s what I stayed focused on the whole entire time.
Did that start with going to the gym and gaining the whole 30 pounds?
TL: Absolutely. Jacob transforms a lot in New Moon. Not only physically, but mentally and emotionally as well. It was a matter of going to the gym and eating the right foods, but also reading and studying the book and my character over and over and over again so I could have his character down as well. He changes in many, many different ways.
Can you talk about those changes?
TL: Well when he transforms — basically my job was to continue what I started in Twilight, which was this extremely happy, friendly, outgoing guy who was best friends with Bella. I had to continue that for the first half of the film, but as soon as I transform I snap and I become a completely different person. I’m dealing with my issues and it’s really hard for me.
Could you be a little more specific? What did you do? What did you eat? Can you give us a bit of a run down?
TL: Oh boy, you’re putting pressure on me now. I was in the gym about five days a week because it’s important to get your recovery time and not overworking yourself because if you’re overworking yourself — I was trying to put on weight and if I was in the gym too much, I would be burning the calories I’m trying to take in. The most important thing was the eating side. Everybody thinks it was the actual getting in the gym — that was easy. I was motivated. Getting in gym was easy for me, but the eating was pretty hard. It was just eating a lot. We found out that I had to consume at least 3200 calories a day, just to maintain. I’m not trying to maintain, I’m trying to gain. I had to eat more than that. Putting something in your mouth every two hours and I’m busy. I’m in downtown LA going from meeting to meeting, so there’s no time for me to be eating. I would literally have to carry a little baggy full of beef patties, raw almonds, sweet potatoes. So it’s not like every two hours I’m eating ice cream. It was difficult.
Did you have a personal trainer?
TL: I do. I definitely had one. That helped me out.
How do you feel about all of Jacob’s topless scenes in the movie?
TL: There’s a reason that he’s not wearing clothes all the time. One, when he transforms, all those clothes get shredded, he can’t help it. And when he goes into the woods to put something on so he’s not naked, it’s just a ripped pair of jean shorts. He’s also hot, he’s 108 degrees, so that’s another reason. The thing is I love this character, I love this story and putting on the weight and not wearing much clothing was required by the role. A year from now, if I love story and I love a character that requires me to loose 40 pounds, I’m ready to do it.
With your new body and persona, were you ever concerned about overshadowing Edward?
TL: It just depends on what kind of girl you are. What kind of guy you like. Edward and Jacob are complete opposite guys. They’re hot and cold, literally. But forget that, I love Jacob and Bella’s relationship. How they begin as best friends and it starts to grow into something more and more. Both guys are in love with Bella. Both guys are always going to be there for Bella. They’re protective. I just think it’s what kind of guy you like.
Who would win between you and Rob?
TL: I don’t know between me and Rob. He does a lot of boxing in his time off so it might be a good match up. We were actually discussing this on set, it’s funny. Who would win in a fight between Jacob and Edward? There’s a scene outside Bella’s house where Edward grabs my shoulder and he’s mad at me. Jacob doesn’t take that, so he takes his arm and rips it off. At that moment Jacob would transform into a wolf. It got really deep. Our discussion points were, usually we’re with our pack so if I’m without my pack, am I going to be weaker? That discussion is still up in the air. We should probably get Stephenie Meyer on the line and ask her.
When you were younger you starred in a film called The Adventures of Shark Boy and Lava Girl, who would win between Shark Boy and Jacob?
TL: That’s a good question. At the moment I would have to say Jacob. We’re pretty strong and fast.
Can you talk about performing the stunts?
TL: The physical side was very fun. Some of it was challenging. I had never ridden a dirt bike before, and yes, I rode the dirt bike for a total of about five seconds in the film. For those five seconds I had to look as cool as possible. It did require a lot of practice, safety wise, so they could let me do it. In the wire work, when I run up in the side of her house. The wire was there just in case I slipped and fell, I didn’t face plant into the ground. It was definitely challenging. That stunt was really complicated. You need to be on. I’m using like a little plug on the side, just to take off, so it’s really complicated and it required a lot of practice. Every weekend I would practice that stunt for three hours a day, it was the last thing we filmed — the bonding with the werewolf’s was very fun. Those guys are characters. They’re a lot of fun too. On set, we had a blast.
How did you deal with the cold weather?
TL: The challenging thing is Jacob is suppose to be extremely hot so he’s not suppose to feel cold at all. And the worst scene for that was the rain scene or the break-up scene, where Bella first sees Jacob after his transformation. We’re standing on that little hill right behind Jacob’s house and it was 35 degrees and it was pouring rain on top of us. Not regular rain, rain tower rain, which comes straight from the springs, and the scene was very long. It took four minutes to film the scene and we filmed that same scene all day long. It was really hard, and as soon as he’d call cut, we’d run over to a heater and wrap ourselves in blankets. Then we’d have like two minutes off before we had to go do one more take. The weather was extremely challenging. I just had to take myself to another world.
How did you feel about all the action Jacob gets to pull off in New Moon?
TL: I was blown away. I was excited. When I’m filming the famous trailer shot where I’m running through the field and I jump up and transform in mid air [I'm attached to wires], I’m running and I just let the wires pull me up in the air and jerk me to a stop. I just have to freeze there and let them convert my body into a CGI wolf. The whole time, I’m like, I hope I look cool. And yeah, after I saw the final version last week, it was amazing. And the fight scene that comes right after, the fight between Jacob and Paul’s wolf, it was so cool. I thought they were extremely powerful and looked very real.
Can you talk about the experience with the wig?
TL: It not only was uncomfortable. One, I look myself int he mirror I wouldn’t be able to recognize myself. It was just so weird just to see that hair on me. Two, it was very itchy, hot, whatever, annoying. Also it slowed down the filming process. Whenever it got caught in my eye, we’d have to cut, start over. Get caught in my mouth and I’m spitting hair out in the middle of the scene. I’m coming this close to kissing Bella, I’m like, Sorry I have to spit my hair out. It was annoying. We actually had a picture wrap on the wig. The crew claps for you at the end or whatever. My last day of filming without the wig, we ripped it off, held it up in the air and was like, that’s a picture wrap on Taylor’s wig. The whole crew gave a standing ovation and it was amazing. It was great to chop that thing off.
Your character says ‘loca’ to Bella. Do you speak Spanish, and are you going to be speaking more of it in the future?
TL: I don’t’ speak much Spanish. I took it in school, that was about it. I think it’s Jacob’s personality. He’s outgoing, he’s random. It definitely doesn’t have anything to do with his character just the fact that he’s friendly and you never know what to expect. I didn’t speak any Spanish in Eclipse. At the end of this one I did speak a little bit of Quileute, when I was leaning in to kiss her in the kitchen. I’m not going to tell you what I said, I’ll leave you to figure that out. There’s only four people left in the world that actually speak Quileute, so we were able to talk to one of these ladies and it was really interesting.
How do you keep your private life private?
TL: I try and stay away from what’s been written about me because if you let that stuff get to you and it’s not true, it can drive you crazy. One thing that I have heard recently, which is not true, I didn’t say it. I believe I was quoted saying, “I will never take my shirt off for a movie again.” I didn’t say that. If I have to, if the character requires it, I will. Who knows in ten years I might do that. It’s just all what the character requires.
How do you let your fans know who you are outside of Jacob?
TL: It’s important to stay true to yourself and stay close to those people you were close to before. Your family, your friends, and just not let that outside stuff get to you.
What is a touching or sweet encounter you’ve had with a fan?
TL: We have fans all the time that will just burst into tears. It’s just moving. It must mean so much to them to meet us. It’s just an amazing feeling that you can touch somebody in that way. It also makes you sad. It’s like don’t cry, stop crying. You don’t know what to do. You’re like, it’s okay. It’s hard. You feel bad for them, but you’re also like happy at the same time.
How has being part of this phenomenon affected you?
TL: The biggest transformation would be my schedule. I’m really, really busy, but it’s a lot of fun. I just got back from South America, yesterday, and here I am today for three days, then I go to Europe. I’m really, really busy, but it’s a lot of fun. It has been a great experience. I’m really excited to be a part of this thing.
This movie is going to make you a star. How do you prepare yourself going into this?
TL: I don’t think there’s any way to prepare yourself for this phenomenon. None of us expected it when we were filming Twilight. We didn’t expect anything. We were just filming a movie that we wanted the fans to enjoy and then it just kind of blew into this whole other world. So I don’t think there’s a way to prepare for that. You could definitely say I felt a little bit of pressure trying to bring Jacob’s character, and Jacob and Bella’s relationship alive for the fans. This movie definitely develops their relationship and sets up the love triangle so it’s a very important story.
Is it strange for you to see your face on posters everywhere?
TL: Of course. I don’t think there’s a way to ever get use to it. It’s not normal to drive up the street and see your face up there. It’s Twilight, it comes with the job.
You’re nearing the end of your teenage years, how are you relishing in it?
TL: I’m having the time of my life. It couldn’t be a better end to my teenage years. I’m doing what I love. I’m spending time with the people I love. It’s great. I’m never going to forget this.
Since Rob and Kristen are a little bit older than you, have they given you any advice about life and how to enjoy it?
TL: No. I think most of our advice and talking is pretty much stayed on a business level. That’s the great thing with our relationship. And that’s the great thing, all of us are completely open and not afraid to hold anything back. We talk about our characters together. We have meetings and we discuss our characters. It’s really helpful, but we haven’t gotten into life talks yet.
You filmed an upcoming movie with Taylor Swift. Has she written a song about you?
TL: That’s a scary thing. I don’t know if she has. I have no idea. That movie was a lot of fun and it comes out pretty soon. It comes out really soon after New Moon does. It’s going to be funny. There were a lot of fantastic actors, and I got to work with legendary director Garry Marshall. Taylor was great as well. I’m excited for everyone to see that. It’s called Valentines Day. It’s out in February.
Was it hard to squeeze that in with this schedule?
TL: It was hard. We had a very short break between New Moon and Eclipse. I knew that I wanted to be part this film somehow. Just to work with Garry and then the entire cast, so I was able to squeeze the whole thing in, quickly.
What it’s like to work and live in Canada? Can you tell us more about Eclipse?
TL: Canada’s great. I spent a while there. The past six months. The first time we were there it was really rainy and dark and cloudy and it was snowing. That was difficult weather-wise, but this past time filming Eclipse, it was beautiful. Eclipse was my favorite book. I was really excited to start filming the movie. I just love that it’s the height of the love triangle. Twilight develops Edward and Bella’s relationship, New Moon develops Jacob and Bella’s relationship, and in Eclipse, the three are physically together. It has one of my favorite scenes ever in that movie, the tent scene. Edward is forced or I guess it was a choice of his to let me sleep in the same sleeping bag as Bella, just so she doesn’t die because she’s shivering to death. I’m warm and I’m the only thing at that moment that can keep her alive. It’s a funny scene. It’s going to be a really good movie. And visually stunning. David Slade is incredible.
Last time in the tour you were teamed up with Edi Gathegi and Rachelle Lefevre. You guys really showed what good friends you were. What’s it like to say goodbye to them? And also have you gotten to know Bryce Dallas Howard well?
TL: It was definitely sad to see both of them go. The whole entire cast loves both of them. They were great people, but Bryce is amazing. She’s extremely talented and she’s a great girl as well. So we’re definitely lucky to be surrounded by an amazing cast.
Who else are you close to?
TL: I wouldn’t be able to list (who I am close to), if I were to start, I’d end up listing the whole cast. I do spend a lot of time with Kristen because all of my scenes are involved with her. So Kristen and I are very close. I guess I’m close with Rob too because we spend a lot of time together as well. The great thing about this series is the whole entire cast is so close. It would be a nightmare if we weren’t. It would be impossible to make this series because the characters are so tight. We’re really thankful that we all get along so well.
- Kristen Stewart’s New Moon Interview
- Robert Pattinson’s New Moon Interview
- Kristen Stewart and Robert Pattinson on Eclipse and Breaking Dawn
- Twilight’s Bella Swan is a Feminist’s Nightmare