The Twilight Saga: Eclipse - Taylor Lautner and Kristen Stewart
The Twilight Saga: Eclipse - Werewolf Jacob Black (Taylor Lautner) and Bella Swan (Kristen Stewart) ©2010 Summit

In The Twilight Saga: Eclipse, Bella Swan (Kristen Stewart) must choose between her friendship with werewolf Jacob Black (Taylor Lautner) and her love for vampire Edward Cullen (Robert Pattinson). But even with the tension that scenario evokes, the Cullens’ and the Quileute Indians, which Jacob is a member, have to form an alliance to protect Bella and their community from a greater threat from vicious vampires called the Newborn Army.

At the press junket for the movie, Taylor Lautner talked about the third movie in this phenomenally successful franchise.

Jacob seems to be more mature in this film. Do you think that’s because you’re coming into your own as well?

Twilight Sage: Eclipse - Taylor Lautner and Kristen Stewart
Taylor Lautner and Kristen Stewart © Summit

No. I don’t know if it really has anything to do with me. It’s all in the books, and that’s what we go off of. That’s exactly what the fans want to see. But, yeah, Jacob definitely matures quite a bit because he’s dealing with his new self now.

He’s come to know his new self and the situations he’s been put in, romance wise. He deals with a lot. He becomes frustrated in this one, a little bit, because he gets so close and then gets told no, over and over again. It’s quite a bummer, but he’s quite persistent.

Can you talk about what you get to do in Eclipse that’s different from the other Twilight films?

I was actually bummed. There’s a lot more action in this picture, but for me, specifically, I’m a wolf when there’s any action going on, so I was bummed I wasn’t involved in too much action. I got to kiss Bella for the first time, so that was probably the biggest thing.

Is she a good kisser?

Definitely. Bella is a fantastic kisser. That was probably the most exciting new thing.

Did you and Rob compare notes after?

We didn’t. That would have been fun.

Is it easier for you to keep the muscle mass on, in between movies?

The most interesting thing I found is that it’s just as hard to maintain it as it was to put it on in the first place. Trust me, it was really hard putting it on, and it is just as hard keeping it.

If I’m really busy and can’t get into the gym, or if I’m busy and don’t have time to eat, it just comes off and it takes 10 times the amount of time to put it back on again, so it’s tough.

Can you talk about working more closely with Robert Pattinson for this film?

Twilight Sage: Eclipse - Taylor Lautner and Robert Pattinson
Taylor Lautner and Robert Pattinson © Summit

I had a scene or two in New Moon where I was able to work with Rob, and I was really excited to work with him in Eclipse quite a bit. The hardest thing I found, about working with Rob, is that usually I have to hate him in the scenes and it’s difficult.

He’s such a funny, nice guy. Literally, we’d be doing a scene where we’re yelling and screaming at each other, and he’s slapping my shoulder and I’m shoving him off me, and we’re screaming and spitting in each other’s faces, and then, as soon as they would call cut, we’d bust out laughing. It is really hard to be mean to Rob, definitely.

Was that line where Edward says, ‘Does he have a shirt?’ referring to you being half-naked throughout the entire film, in the script?

I believe it was actually in the book, but it was definitely in the script. When I read that, for the first time, I couldn’t wait for Rob to deliver that. It was funny. It was quite obvious, when they pull up in the middle of the street, even with the position I’m in. I’m leaning back up against the car, with my hands behind me.

It looks like I’m flexing, waiting for her to come up. Those are the awkward scenes. When everybody is fully clothed, it’s raining and I’m just the only person there, posing for them. [pullquote]Jacob gets to say, ‘I’m hotter that you’. How did you get through that with a straight face?[/pullquote]

You have maybe the line of the movie when Jacob gets to say, ‘I’m hotter that you.’ What was your reaction, when you first read that line, and how did you get through that with a straight face?

It’s true, keeping a straight face was the tough thing. That was another line where, when I read it, I loved the line, but I was like, ‘This is going to be so hard to deliver, especially with a straight face.’ I was looking Rob in the eyes, and he was staring at me with that Edward look. It was funny. That was difficult to say to Rob.

What feedback have you heard from Native Americans about the Wolf Pack?

I haven’t heard too much feedback from them. But, two years ago, maybe even longer, when we filmed Twilight, I met with some real Quileutes. I just wanted to get to know them before we started filming.

I went there with a pad and pencil. I was thinking I was going to have to write down notes and transform myself into this different person. I was like, ‘What do you guys like to do in your free time?’ and they were like, ‘We go to the beach and we play basketball, but most of all, we like to check out girls.’ I was like, ‘Oh, really? Alright.’ It would definitely be interesting to hear feedback, after the movies have come out.

How do you remain so balanced and normal, in all of the craziness of Twilight?

That’s a good question. It definitely is about surrounding yourself with family and the friends that you’ve known forever. All of us live in two completely different worlds, and they are complete opposites. This is our job.

We go to work and live in this business world, and then we go back to our regular world. We do the same things we did before. We’re not that exciting. We sit home and watch American Idol every Tuesday and Wednesday, and spend time with our family and friends.

I think maintaining that world is extremely important.

In the second half of our interview, which you can catch here early next week, the actor talks about the next movie, his friendship with co-stars Robert Pattinson (Edward Cullen) and Kristen Stewart (Bella Swan) and other films he has coming up.


Judy Sloane

Judy is Film Review Online's regular Los Angeles based reporter.