LOS ANGELES - It’s well-known that Taylor Lautner has dealt with the physical aspects of playing a werewolf for the “Twilight” movies, but he has also been required to do some very delicate acting.
In “The Twilight Saga: Breaking Dawn — Part 1,” Jacob (Lautner) imprinted on Bella and Edward’s new baby, Renesemee. It might sound dirty, but it just means the werewolf in him will always be there to keep Renesemee safe.
With “The Twilight Saga: Breaking Dawn — Part 2,” the finale of the saga, Lautner had to find the line between Jacob being really caring for the young girl and not coming across as creepy.
“I was worried about it. We were very fortunate to have Stephenie Meyer, the author, on set with us on these last two movies, and I definitely had conversations with her,” Lautner says. “She basically told me, ‘Stop overcomplicating it.’ It’s a lifelong bond between two people. At this point, the girl is 10 years old, so it’s more of a protective thing, like a brother [or] sister. And that’s really all it is.’ ”
There was an even more awkward moment in filming the finale. (Those of you who don’t like spoilers should skip a few paragraphs.)
To help explain Bella’s transformation to her father, Charlie (Billy Burke), Jacob strips down and changes in front of him into a werewolf. Lautner jokes that it’s always tough to do a scene sans shirt because he tends to be the only one is such a state of undress.
Shooting the scene ended up being pretty funny for the young actor.
“I love Billy Burke to death. He’s one of the coolest people alive,” Lautner says. “I was so nervous to film it, because it was written so hilariously I just wanted it to come across that way.“
Despite ending up playing a role where he takes his shirt off more than a Chippendale dancer, there were questions about whether Lautner was the right person to play Jacob in the first “Twilight” film.
“I was so focused for that year. I had my eye on one goal and there were a lot of things I had to do in order to get there, but I wasn’t going to let anything happen,” Lautner says. “I’m thinking back to every day in that gym. Every burger patty that was shoved down my throat. Every protein shake. It was worth it.”
That is an understatement. Lautner went from a scrawny 16-year-old kid from Michigan with a handful of minor credits to being one of the biggest box-office draws in recent years, especially if you don’t count the weak reception to his starring role in the 2011 film “Abduction.”
Unless Meyer whips up a new series of books, Lautner will move on to new roles — some that won’t require him to work out. He’ll miss playing the character because he’s always admired the loyalty, persistence and strength Jacob has shown through the story.
Although he jokes that he can’t remember the first time he met co-star Robert Pattinson, Lautner says the biggest thing he takes away from the movies is a deep friendship with Pattinson and Kristen Stewart.
“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,” Lautner says. “But our friendships will go on forever.”