Taylor Lautner On Jacob And Renesmee's 'Breaking Dawn' May-December Relationship: 'I Was Worried About It'
You think navigating a press junket after a personal controversy goes public is potentially awkward? Try braving throngs of journalists clamoring for an answer to The Twilight Saga's curious "imprinting" storyline, as Taylor Lautner did today when the franchise-ending Breaking Dawn Part II press tour kicked off.
For the record, both parties in the reportedly reunited Robsten supercouple acquitted themselves ably and congenially in back-to-back press conferences as they discussed their four-year journey with the vampire franchise. [Mild spoilers follow, if you haven't read the books.]
But Kristen Stewart and Rob Pattinson aren't the only Twilight kids who've matured as the worldwide phenomenon has turned them and their cast mates into global megastars. Twenty-year-old Lautner turned in a charismatic performance for the media horde, even as he broached the subject of his character's eyebrow-raising attachment to a child in Breaking Dawn.
"It’s a fine line, and I was worried about it," Lautner admitted of Jacob Black's supernatural, (platonic — for now) love-at-first-sight connection to Renesmee, the half-human, half-vampire offspring of Bella Swan and Edward Cullen. (By comparison, Edward's a century older than Bella, so in the grand scheme of things it's not that bad....)
Played by 9-year-old Mackenzie Foy, Renesmee grows from infant to school-age girl in a superhuman span of time — and, in keeping with the story arc of the novels, Jacob is compelled by his Quileute legacy to instantly "imprint," or attach, himself to her side in a manner that eventually will take on romantic undertones.
Lautner said he went to the source for advice about his concerns: Stephenie Meyer. "There was nobody better to ask about it than her," he explained. "And she basically told me, ‘Stop overcomplicating it. Think here and now, that’s all you really have to focus on.’"
"It’s simple — she said it’s a lifelong bond between two people and that’s it," he continued. "At this point the girl’s like, what, 10 years old? So it’s more of a protective thing, like a brother-sister [relationship]. That’s really all it is. I couldn't allow myself to think ahead and go beyond that, so that’s kind of the zone I had to stay in."
The weirdness of the Jacob-Renesmee bond is not lost on Jacob in the film, who encounters a furious Bella when she awakens from human death to find her best friend has imprinted on her newborn baby. But Lautner's Jacob finds himself in a more than few awkward situations in Breaking Dawn. Another scene found Lautner stripping down in front of Billy Burke's Charlie in one of the surprisingly comical moments sprinkled throughout the film.
"It actually was pretty funny in person," Lautner laughed. "I love Billy Burke to death and he’s one of the coolest people alive, so it was a little uncomfortable for me — it’s always uncomfortable when I have to take my shirt off or something because I’m always the only one doing it!"
Filming on location in the cold made the abs-baring scene even more awkward for Lautner. "Everybody’s bundled up in like seven layers and I’m the only one in jean shorts," he remembered. "I think the pants came off in that one too. But it was a funny, funny scene. I was so nervous to film it because it was written so hilariously and I wanted it to come across that way and I hope it does, but it was a blast to shoot."
Stay tuned for more on The Twilight Saga: Breaking Dawn Pt. II, which hits theaters November 16.