Taylor Lautner, whose athletic good looks made “Glee” cutie Lea Michele swoon, doesn’t get carried away with the media hype surrounding him and his Twilight co-stars. That’s because the ripped former karate champ insists fans are in love with his character, not him.
“It’s definitely these characters we are playing [the fans love, not us personally],” Lautner, 19, says in the September 2011 issue of VMan.
“They are in love with Bella Swan, Edward Cullen, and Jacob Black,” says Taylor. “They feel like they know them. We are just lucky enough to be playing them. But I definitely think it’s the characters.”
Taylor, who gained 30 pounds of muscle to play werewolf Jacob Black in the Twilight franchise, has worked nonstop since 2008, when he was first cast in the vampire romance.
As a result, Lautner is either working out at the gym, traveling to promote the Twilight films or shooting. “If I’m not filming, I’m promoting, and if it wasn’t Twilight, it was a different movie, so it got really busy,” he recounts. “But I hang out with my friends, family [when I’m not working]. When I am not filming, it seems like I don’t even know what I do.”
Despite having traveled all around the world to promote Twilight, New Moon and Eclipse, Lautner has done little sight-seeing as a tourist.
“I hadn’t explored much besides Michigan and California,” says Taylor. “When I am traveling the world promoting the films I say I am on vacation, but it’s not really true because when I go to a beautiful city I spend the whole time in a hotel room and then I am back on a plane to the next place.”
Lautner, who became a global sex symbol thanks to the blockbuster popularity of the Twilight saga, is grateful he experienced overnight fame with his Twilight co-stars.
“It was really helpful that all of us were going through the same thing at the same time,” says Taylor. “I think if we didn’t have that sort of relationship it would have been tough. It would have felt pretty lonely.
“Because when you are filming for these Breaking Dawn movies, we were filming for seven months – and if you’re there alone the whole time even with the cast members, like on a day off, or on weekends, you’d go nuts.”
The athletic Lautner is poised to become the next big action star with the release of Abduction, an action thriller in which he kickboxes, wrestles, runs and jumps off buildings.
In Abduction, Taylor plays Nathan Price, a high school student who sets out to uncover the truth about his life after discovering his baby photo on a missing persons website. In the Jason-Bourne-like thriller, Lautner gets caught up in an underground world of spies and murderous plots when he reaches out to his birth parents.
Taylor, a former junior world karate champion, lifted weights, swam, took motorcycle stunt lessons and underwent fight-training for the film. Since transforming from a lanky teen werewolf in 2009’s Twilight to the muscle-bound shapeshifter in New Moon and Eclipse, Taylor has emerged as a teen icon and sex symbol.
“Hitting the gym, hiring a personal trainer, eating the right foods, and eating a lot” is how Lautner describes his rigorous workout and diet regimen, which he continues to do to maintain his muscles.