Wednesday, November 18, 2009

"New Moon" brings rise to Lautner

When -- not if -- "The Twilight Saga: New Moon" takes the expected huge bite out of box office receipts this weekend, then a new wolf in town likely can be credited with part of its success.
That would be Jacob Black -- as played by Taylor Lautner -- whose plenty of time on screen comes at the expense of Edward Cullen (Robert Pattinson), mostly separated from love Bella Swan (Kristen Stewart) for most of the sequel.
Buff, popular and leaving behind all that months-ago talk about not returning to his now firmly established Native American role, Lautner certainly deserves to be all smiles.
"I start laughing so hard every time I see that (sure-to-become fan friendly) scene (between Jacob and Bella): 'Oh, you're bleeding? OK, let me fix it.'
"It's so embarrassing. Yeah, I mean, here's the thing: There's a reason that (Jacob's) not wearing clothes all the time. One, when he transforms, all his clothes get shredded; he can't help it. And, when he goes into the woods to get something to put on so he's not naked, it's just a ripped pair of jean shorts.
"Of course, he's also hot -- he's 108 degrees. So, that's another reason.
"The thing is," Lautner concluded during a recent press conference, "I love this character, I love this story and putting on the weight, and not wearing much clothing was simply required by the role. A year from now, if I love a story and I love a character that requires me to lose 40 pounds, I'm ready to do that, too."
Not very likely, my boy, especially with the third and fourth chapters of the "Saga" ready and eager to unspool on screens for fan hordes of the Stephanie Meyers books during the next few years. Even co-star Stewart seems impressed.
"I think that controversy has probably been like made bigger than it was," she said. "We needed to be sure that whoever played Jacob was going to be Jacob in 'New Moon.' He's such a different person. He becomes a man. There's an entire (thing). It's not just a physical transformation. He really becomes an adult.
"I mean, I always knew that Taylor could do that, but we just needed to make sure because it was so important. So, once he actually proved himself -- which wasn't hard to do -- even seeing him walk around on set was like a different experience. He's literally become a different person.
"He's just grown up," Stewart added. "Taylor is so confident and the nicest guy that I've ever met. I know that I'm using this grammatically incorrect, but he's the funnest guy I've ever hung
out with. So, he's great. I'm so proud of him."

For more on what "New Moon" players have to say, look for my piece now at Sun News, where you also can read my review of the film. While browsing there, be sure to check out my review of "The Blind Side," as well as a chat with star Sandra Bullock.

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