Young actor Taylor Lautner takes time out from running Team Jacob to star in the action thriller, 'Abduction'.
The Twilight Saga's Taylor Lautner has officially graduated to leading man status. With Abduction, the young actor not only takes on the kind of challenging action hero role that the likes of Tom Cruise, Will Smith and Matt Damon are famous for playing, but also boasts a co-producing credit. Make no mistake: Taylor Lautner has his hands firmly on the wheel of his own career.
In this action-packed thriller directed by John Singleton (Boyz N The Hood, Four Brothers), Lautner plays Nathan, a teenager who suspects that he was kidnapped as a child after he stumbles upon an image of himself as a little boy on a missing persons website. Just as he begins to piece together his true identity, Nathan's family come under deadly attack by agents of a menacing organisation, and our hero is forced to flee with the only person that he can trust, the girl-next-door, Karen (Lily Collins).
Polite and humble in person, Lautner doesn't play down how thrilled he was by the experience. "I can't even describe how much fun it was," the actor smiles. "This character is completely different to Jacob Black [from Twilight]. It was cool to play a character that starts out as a normal high schooler, and then everything collapses and his life is turned upside down."
The fit young star says that he threw himself into training for the challenging action sequences. "There was a lot of training needed beforehand," he explains. "I took boxing lessons for a couple of months before I started filming, which was awesome." Lautner also picked up the motorcycle and wrestling skills required for the role. Now nineteen, Lautner began studying martial arts at the age of six, demonstrating a unique and natural talent for the sport. By the time he was eight, he was representing the US in the annual championships of the World Karate Association (WKA), where he won three gold medals.
It was around that time that Lautner showed promise as a child actor, appearing in bit roles on TV comedies such as The Bernie Mac Show. In 2005, he appeared in the large cast of the movie Cheaper By The Dozen 2. His first starring role, at the age of thirteen, was in Robert Rodriguez's adventure fantasy flick, The Adventures Of Sharkboy And Lavagirl (2005). Then he was cast in Twilight, and the rest is history.
Despite his teen heartthrob status, Lautner is earnest, humble and seemingly grounded, claiming that the most important preparation that he did for Abduction was what he describes as "emotional training." "My character faces a lot of complicated emotions," Lautner says. "John Singleton and I sat down and watched a lot of movies, mainly ones with actors that I look up to, like Tom Cruise and Harrison Ford. We watched Minority Report and The Fugitive, where they were leading men and on the run, searching for the truth. We studied those characters, and tried to bring some of them into this."
Lautner recently formed his own film production company with his father, Dan, appropriately named Tailor Made Entertainment. Abduction marks their first release, and the actor says that he was hooked the minute he was pitched the concept. "I knew that I wanted this character to be the next one that I played," Lautner says. "It's always been a dream of mine not only to be in front of the camera, but to be behind the camera too. I want to be involved in the creative process, and everything involved in making a movie from the ground up. Abduction was the first movie from my production company, and I had a blast with it."
Abduction is released on September 22. This is an excerpt from a story we ran in our October issue, on sale now.