Interview with a Werewolf, New Moon's Taylor Lautner
Unless you've been living under a rock for the past few months, you've probably heard about the Twilight book (for ages 12 and up) and movie series (not that there's anything wrong with you rock-turnal dwellers!). But for those of you who are as caught up in the Twilight series as I am, you probably know that New Moon (PG-13), the second movie of the Twilight series is hitting theaters on November 20th.
Where to start?! If you haven't checked out the Twilight books or movies, I highly recommend it. The series follows Bella, a normal teenage girl living in the dreary Pacific Northwest town of Forks, and Edward a vampire who is trying his best to be normal by abstaining from drinking human blood. Throw in Jacob, Bella's friend who also happens to be a werewolf, and see what happens. In the second book and movie, we find Edward and the Cullens have left Forks for Bella's own good. But Bella is (understandably) heartbroken and falls into a pit of reckless despair. Enter Jacob. Her friend takes her under his wing, but she still can't get Edward out of her mind. She starts doing reckless things to hear Edward's voice in her head. But when an old vampire comes back to town to avenge a death, things take a turn for the worse. Want to see what I mean?
Take a look at the official trailer:
This second movie and book feature a bigger role for werewolf character Jacob Black, played by Taylor Lautner. And . . . we just happened to score a HUGE interview with him exclusively for all you Ink Splotters! (It's a tradition to bring you exclusive Twilight interviews, you know, like the interview with Kristen Stewart and Robert Pattinson before the first Twilight movie!)
Without further ado, check out Taylor's interview!
Q: I love the trailer clips that show you transforming. Tell us about that.
Taylor: Yeah, it was really cool to observe the process of that. Because one second I'm a human and the next I'm a complete CGI [computer generated imagery] wolf. So in that shot in the trailer what I'll do is I'll be harnessed up, I'll start running, I'll take a few steps and then I'll jump ten feet in the air and the wires will stop me mid-air, so I'll come to a jolting stop so then they can take my body and transform it into a wolf. It was really cool to observe that process.
[Ratha: You mean you're not a real werewolf?]
Q: Did you study Native American history to play Jacob?
Taylor: When I found out I was going to be playing Jacob Black who's Quileute Indian, I had the opportunity to meet with several Quileute Indians, and ask them questions and just learn about them so that I could portray Jacob Black correctly.
Q: What questions did you ask them?
Taylor: I wanted to know what the teenage boys like to do in their free time, to have fun. And I was thinking I was going to hear some answer that was really different, but I found a teenage boy who was very close to my age and I asked, “What do you like to do in your free time to relax and have fun?” And he was like, “Oh I like to play basketball, I like to go to the beach.” So what I actually learned the most was that the kids are just like me. So it was a surprise, but very interesting.
[Ratha: That's so cool! Hmm…I wonder if Robert Pattison (Edward) had to do some research by interviewing real vampires. . . ]
Q: Are you similar or different in any ways to Jacob?
Taylor: I hope if you were to ask my close friends, they would say that I am more similar to Jacob's pre-transformation side! But I would not hope to be similar to his werewolf side, because he all of a sudden becomes more angry and fierce.
[Ratha: That's true. I wouldn't want to meet Jacob in a dark alley, especially if he missed his last meal.]
Q: Did you do any research on werewolves?
Taylor: I would honestly say the best research was through the [Twilight] books. Because that's what Stephenie Meyer created, and what we're trying to bring alive. The books are so specific, and she's an amazing author. And it provides so much detail about each and every character. The way to go to study your role to the fullest is through the books.
Q: Did Stephenie Meyer ever come on to the set?
Taylor: Yeah she did, which was really cool. At the beginning she chooses which scenes are her favorites and when she wants to come up and visit so she can watch those scenes being filmed.
Q: What scene for you did she come to see specifically?
Taylor: I know she was there during Emily's house. Emily has this really cool house and I remember we were at the location, and Stephenie was there. So it's always cool to have her around, because if you have any questions, you have the best person to ask right there.
[Ratha: Emily was Sam the werewolf's fiancée. I'll have to look for that scene to see if it feels especially authentic since Stephenie Meyer herself was there!]
Q: Which scene in New Moon was the most fun to shoot?
Taylor: I really liked the dirt bike scenes. I didn't do much dirt bike riding at all before, so I had to do some practices in rehearsals so it looked like I could actually ride a dirt bike! So that was a lot of fun. I really enjoyed the action scenes. . . and some intense scenes with Kristen.
[Ratha: Hmm, I wonder what Taylor Swift will think of those scenes. . .]
Taylor: There's a scene right after Jacob transforms into a werewolf and it's the first time Bella discovers this and it's a really emotional scene, because Jacob's just realizing that he may not be the best friend possible for Bella.
Q: You used your karate background and stunts for New Moon. How did you first get started studying karate?
Taylor: When I was younger I did wrestling, football, baseball, martial arts, basketball, and everything. As I got older I realized I had to narrow things down and focus on one or two. So I narrowed it down and I started focusing on martial arts. . . and football and baseball. I did it for about eight years and I traveled around the country. I had a tournament in a different state every single month and it was a lot of fun. It was really competitive though.
[Ratha: Sounds like he started training early to kick some vampire butt!]
Q: Did your martial arts training help prepare you for your role of Jacob?
Taylor: Not necessarily. I think the only thing that's similar is before Jacob transforms into a werewolf, he's a kid. He's clumsy, but as soon as he transforms into a wolf he all of a sudden becomes very agile. So I think it helped with that aspect, the simple agility of Jacob Black, but that was about it.
Q: Did you do most of your own stunts?
Taylor: Yeah, I had the opportunity to do all of my stunts except for one, so it was a lot of fun. I got to dirt bike ride; I got to jump off a lot of cool things, so the stunts were definitely one of my favorite parts.
Q: Do you like to read?
Taylor: I wasn't the biggest reader until the Twilight series. I'd have to say that those are some of my favorite books. I think the story's great and I love all the characters.
Q: Besides the Twilight series, if you could recommend three books, what would you recommend?
Taylor: When I was younger I really enjoyed The Hardy Boys books, and there was also something kind of similar. They're called the Three Investigators. Oh and The Island of the Blue Dolphins.
[Ratha: I love that one too! I just did a book review on it a few months ago!]
Q: You have an 11 year old sister. Does she come to you for advice?
Taylor: When she's doing her homework she'll definitely come to me for help. So I'll help her with her homework sometimes. I think she's kind of in the stage where we have a really good relationship. We're really close, but I guess I'm going to have to watch out for boys coming up here soon.
[Ratha: As long as they don't have fangs keep company with a group of people called the Volturi, right?!]
Q: What's the funniest or sweetest fan story that you could tell us?
Taylor: Well, when we do autograph signings or meet fans, our fans are very passionate and dedicated which is awesome, because that's the reason we're here today. But we see criers a lot, so you see a lot of people crying so you always feel bad for them. And you're like, “It's okay! Come here! It's gonna be alright.” But I remember one time we actually had a girl faint and that was kind of scary. You feel so bad, because you're like, “It's all right. I'm not gonna hurt you. We're not going to bite.” It's a little different, but we're so thankful for our extremely passionate fans.
[Ratha: I was about to laugh but then realized I might be one of the fainters too.]
So there you have it! How psyched are you for New Moon? How obsessed are you with the Twilight series? Leave a Comment and let's discuss!
—Ratha, STACKS WriterInterview by Marie Morreale
Photos by Kimberley French, Copyright: 2009 Summit Entertainment