Taylor Lautner in "New Moon."
Around this same time last year, not too many people knew who Taylor Lautner was. He showed up for 2008's San Diego Comic-Con Twilight panel, but everyone was busy fawning over the British bloke who made all the girls squeal every time he opened his mouth. Lautner's come a long way since then as the fan-proclaimed mascot of Team Jacob, and this time, New Moon shines the spotlight on him.
This ridiculously buff 17-year-old wasn't afraid to joke around with us—he has a contagious, giddy laugh and energetic persona that embodies Stephenie Meyer's coming-of-age werewolf. We stole a few minutes with him inside the Vancouver Film Studios during our New Moon set visit and chatted about his Michael Phelps diet, favorite scenes and perspective on Jacob.
Q. What physical preparation did you do to get ready for the film?
Lautner: While filming Twilight, I knew Jacob's character transforms not only emotionally and mentally, but also physically. I immediately, the day after filming Twilight, hit the gym, I started eating a lot – good food – and trying to pack on pounds. Here I am, thirty pounds heavier.
Q. Was it harder or easier than you thought?
Lautner: The actual getting into the gym and working out process was easier, but the eating was harder. Everybody's like, 'Are you kidding me? I'd love to eat like that.' I had to eat every two hours. At one point, my trainer was literally like, 'Put anything in your mouth! Go to McDonald's. Get the biggest shake possible. I just need get calories in you!' Because my body fat at that time was only 7 ½ percent.
Q. You poor thing. [Laughs] So you were on the Michael Phelps diet.
Lautner: Yeah, seriously. I'd wake up and my trainer would be like, 'You need to have six egg whites, and bacon, and toast.' It became a lot. That was the hardest part, especially putting something in my mouth every two hours.
Q. Are you trying to bulk up even more for Eclipse?
Lautner: Yeah. Jacob continually grows throughout the series. I'll shoot for another ten (pounds). We'll see what I can do, but I'll be working hard.
Q. How often do you go to the gym?
Lautner: About five days a week. At one point, I started losing weight dramatically. I was like, 'What's going on? Why am I losing all this weight that I put on?' What I realized is that I was overworking myself. I was going seven days a week. I would be in the gym for two and a half hours, just burning more calories than I was putting on. That was my biggest problem. I had to cut back to four to five days a week and not be in the gym too long.
Q. Did you have to learn anything new for your role?
Lautner: I did have to go through some dirt bike training because I really hadn't ridden before. The cool thing is they've pretty much let me do most of my stunts. They've definitely been my favorite part so far.
Q. How did you and the wolf pack guys create the bond that has to translate onscreen?
Lautner: We hung out, went out to dinner, and went to some movies. They're easy to get along with. I definitely think you're going to see that in the film. They're fun guys and they've got a lot of energy.
Q. What happened to your wig?
Lautner: I just wrapped [filming with] the wig a few days ago. That was amazing. The whole crew gave an applause. I was so happy. They're like, 'So do you wanna keep it?' If you give it to me, I'll probably burn it. [Laughs]
Q. What's the biggest difference between the New Moon and Twilight shoot?
Lautner: We know what we're making this time around. For the first one, we had no idea we were making a big film. We just knew that we were all in love with the series and wanted to make a great movie, but didn't know that all these people were going to fall in love with it and it was going to be as big as it was. Now we're coming into New Moon with more pressure. We're trying to not think about that and just stay focused on what we need to do.
Q. If you could give Jacob a power, besides being a werewolf, what would it be?
Lautner: Oh boy. Tough question. Man, I wanna steal one of Edward's powers, but then I feel like I'm just betraying Jacob. OK, well, I don't wanna sparkle. [Laughs] Definitely — I don't wanna sparkle. We can read minds though, in our pack — each other's, but not anybody's. I'd kind of like to read Bella's.
Q. What's your favorite scene to film so far?
Lautner: I'd either say some cool action scene I got to do, because I really do like the action, or I really like the break up. It's the first time Bella sees Jacob after he's transformed. She comes to his house, his hair's cut, he's different, she asks what's up, and he tells her that we shouldn't be friends. It's really emotional.
Q. Jacob gets moody in New Moon, toying Bella's emotions. Do you feel bad at all for that?
Lautner: I feel bad for myself. [Laughs] When I was reading the books, I felt so bad for Jacob's character, but now that I'm actually living him, I feel way worse. Bella's toying with Jacob. I don't care if she's ripped between the two guys. She confused him. One moment, she'll want to kiss him, then the next moment, she's ditching him for Edward. I understand where Bella's coming from and it's a crappy situation for all of them, but I feel really bad for Jacob.
Q. A lot of fans are looking forward to the scene in Eclipse where Jacob and Bella finally have the kiss.
Lautner: Yes. So am I. [Laughs]
New Moon Fan Site
New Moon Vancouver Set Visit Part 1
New Moon Vancouver Set Visit Part 2
Director Chris Weitz Interview
Rachelle Lefevre Set Visit Interview
Exclusive Jamie Campbell Bower Set Visit Interview
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