Five Favorite Films With Taylor Lautner
Plus, we chat with the star about the action thriller Abduction, his career ambitions, and dealing with Twilight fame.
RT: Abduction is your first major role post-Twilight. What drew you to it?
Taylor Lautner: Well, my goal is to be able to challenge myself with a wide variety of roles and genres. This movie was kind of perfect for that because it was extremely challenging for me, physically and emotionally. I mean, obviously physically with all the action and all the stunt work, but emotionally my character goes on such an amazing journey -- the emotions that he faces in this movie are unreal, and so difficult to relate to. That's what attracted me to this movie. I had a great time with this and now, after it, I look forward to challenging myself with something completely different.
There are almost hints of Tom Cruise here -- if he'd made, you know, a teen Mission: Impossible.
I will take that compliment. [Laughs] Cruise is definitely at the top of my list. I have looked up to him as an actor my entire life. I really admire his career choices -- going from Risky Business to Top Gun to Jerry Maguire to Born on the Fourth of July. I respect the fact that he has continued to challenge himself throughout his entire career.
How hard did John Singleton work you? You look like you did a lot of your stunts in this.
I did all my stunts.
You slid down that glass awning?
How many injuries did you sustain?
[Laughs] The worst I got from it was a few bumps and bruises. The boxing scene with Jason Isaacs and then the brutal fight scene in the train gave me a few red marks and maybe a bruise or two, but that's about it, thankfully.
When you were car surfing, were you strapped on to that truck?
We had these little wires that were hooked up to the underbelly. They're very loose so it allows me to slide across the whole trunk. But we got up to 60 miles an hour, so if I fly off they'll be there to catch me. It's still kind of dangerous. Trust me, it took some negotiating. I definitely wanted to do it and at first [the producers] were like, "There's no way you are doing this." Eventually they said "Fine, but you can only go 20 miles an hour." And I went, "Come on -- ever heard of Method Acting? [Laughs] I gotta be able to experience the adrenalin."
What about that slide at the stadium?
That stunt was never in the script. But now it's on the poster. It was a good find. We were scouting the baseball stadium one day and we saw this huge glass awning and we were like, "We have to find a way to incorporate this into the movie." It's just so cool. So we created the stunt, where I'm trying to evade the bad guy, and I jump down this giant glass awning and over the escalators and use it as a slide. It was quite a bit of fun. A little dangerous, but fun.
It's a change for you, shooting a paranoid thriller.
My favorite aspect of the movie is probably the mystery-thriller suspense stuff. When he starts finding things out slowly and he starts to become a little suspicious -- I just loved that vibe to it.
How did you prepare? Did you Google pictures of yourself?
That's something you probably don't want to do.
I know, right? [Laughs] It was tough to prepare for this, because, I mean, it's tough to relate to. The biggest thing I would do is just try and take a step back and ask myself what I would do in that situation. If I found out today that my entire life was a lie, where would I start looking for answers? Who would I trust, what would I do? Truth is, I was never able to answer that question. I would have no idea where to start.
I guess you are used to people following you around to a certain extent.
[Laughs] Yeah. A little bit.
How do you deal with that kind of constant attention? Does it get tiring?
I mean, it really still... [pauses] I don't know if it's fully sunk in yet. It's really surreal. You just try and carry on with your normal life. Of course you have to make adjustments and maybe think about things more, but you don't wanna change who you are or what you do just because of that.
Do you ever slip out incognito among the fans?
I try. I try. I don't have the best outfit.
Do you have to wear a disguise?
I mean, you don't have to -- but if you wanna go somewhere really public then maybe you'll try. I just throw on a hat and sunglasses. I keep it simple.
And you still get spotted?
Yes! When I look in the mirror -- I put the hat down, put it really down, with big sunglasses -- I don't think I look anything like myself.
So you don't recognize yourself, but somebody else does.
Oh yeah. It's unbelievable. I think I look nothing like myself, but the second I walk out the front door: boom! It's amazing. It just goes to show the passion that the fans have.
Are there ever people camped outside your house? Does it get that intense?
Sometimes, yeah. We've had people knock on the door that flew from India. I don't know how they found my house. And then sometimes there's like, tour buses and things like that. It's definitely very surreal.
You talked about admiring Tom Cruise's career. Would you be able to cope with that extremely heightened level of public scrutiny?
That's definitely to the extreme. If that's what it takes to do what you love, then yeah -- absolutely. I go with what I'm passionate about.
Abduction is in theaters this week; September 28 in the UK.