By Paulette Cohn
Flashing a Pepsodent-white smile, Taylor Lautner entered the ballroom of the Four Seasons Hotel in Beverly Hills eager to talk about what is the end of an era for him now that the final film in the “Twilight” saga, “Breaking Dawn — Part 2” has opened in theaters.
“What I love about the character of Jacob is that he never stops changing throughout this whole franchise. He takes huge leaps. But, it’s a completely different Jacob in ‘Part 2,'” Lautner says, gesturing with his hands to make a point. “I loved playing the new side to Jacob in this last one. He finally knows who he is and where he belongs, and he has a lot of stress taken off his shoulders. It was nice to play more of that comedic side to him and see him smile once in a while.”
“Breaking Dawn — Part 2” picks up right where “Part 1” left off — with Bella (Kristen Stewart) opening her now red eyes as the transformation from human to vampire has successfully taken place.
Not only does she awaken transformed, but she is also a mother. The question, of course, is what kind of creature is her child — human or vampire? While her husband Edward (Robert Pattinson) delights in her beauty, speed, and uncommon self-control, newborn Bella has never felt more alive; and the destiny of her best friend Jacob Black has become entwined in that of her and Edward’s exceptional daughter Renesmee (Mackenzie Foy). The arrival of a creature so rare cements an extended family, but will soon ignite forces that threaten to destroy them all.
In this interview, Lautner talks about working with Mackenzie Foy, growing up while filming the “Twilight” saga and getting his butt kicked by Kristen Stewart.
Yeah, it’s a fine line and I was worried about it. We were very fortunate to have Stephenie Meyer, the author, on set with us for these last two movies, and I definitely had quite a bit of conversations with her. There was nobody better to ask about it than her, and she basically told me, “Stop over complicating it. Just think here and now. That’s all you really have to focus on. It’s simple.” She said it’s a lifelong bond between two people, and that’s it. At this point the girl’s like ten years old, so it’s more of a protective thing, like a brother-sister. That’s really all it is. I couldn’t allow myself to think ahead and go beyond that, so that’s the zone I had to stay in. Bill [Condon], our director, did a tremendous job with it because it is delicate. I think the fans are going to be happy with it. I think it came together well.
Can you talk about the scene where you had to wolf out in front of Charlie? Was that as funny to film as was to watch?
It actually was pretty funny, in person. I love Billy Burke to death, and he’s one of the coolest people alive, so it was a little uncomfortable for me. It’s always uncomfortable when I have to take my shirt off, because I’m always the only one doing it. With the weather conditions we film in, everybody’s bundled up in seven layers and I’m the only one in jean shorts. So, it is awkward to begin with. But that was a new one. I think the pants came off in that one, too. It was a funny, funny scene. I was so nervous to film it because it was written so hilariously, I wanted it to come across that way. I hope it does. It was a blast to shoot.
That scene is probably my favorite in the movie. That was a fun scene to shoot, and to see Kristen that way was incredible. That scene is hysterical. It’s a completely different side of Jacob than we’d ever seen before. It’s the first time we’ve seen Bella like that. The visual of Kristen chucking me around, she had a lot of fun with it and I did as well. I love that scene! It came together. In the book, it was so awesome and I’m really happy with the way it turned out.
You pretty much grew up on the set of “Twilight?” What’s next for you?
I love challenging myself, doing different things and exploring different areas that I haven’t been to or gone to before. That’s what I love about acting, and that’s what I love about film. Some of the actors that I love most, they have gone from this to that. They have challenged themselves throughout their entire career. That’s my goal. I’m really excited about a few things that I will most likely be starting really soon. I’m re-teaming with the producers of “Twilight,” who I love and I have an amazing relationship with on an awesome script that I am excited about. It’s different for me. It’s very serious and dramatic, and I’m excited to do something like that next. But, I love all aspects of film and all genres, so that’s my goal.
“Twilight: Breaking Dawn — Part 2,” produced by Wyck Godfrey, Karen Rosenfelt and Stephenie Meyer, and written by Melissa Rosenberg from the novel Breaking Dawn by Meyer, opens in theaters on Friday, Nov. 16.