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Taylor Lautner has big aspirations.
The 20-year-old Twilight actor, who will make his final bow as Jacob Black in Breaking Dawn – Part 2 this week, is hardly new to Hollywood. At 13 years old, Lautner was starring in The Adventures of Sharkboy and Lavagirl and Cheaper by the Dozen 2, opposite Steve Martin. Three years later, Lautner debuted as Kristen Stewart’s possible love interest in what would become a worldwide phenomenon and multibillion-dollar franchise.
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And while his first outing as a leading man in Lionsgate’s Abduction ultimately flopped, the studio’s former president of motion pictures Joe Drake still recognized that crucial star quality in him.
“When you watch Taylor, he’s like a young Tom Cruise,” Drake told The Hollywood Reporter at Abduction’s Hollywood premiere last year. “The way he handles his business, he’s such a pro.”
Adding: “He’s a big star. I’ve just never seen anybody handle their business the way he does. … He knows how to sell, and he’s a hell of an actor.”
PHOTOS: ‘Twilight: Breaking Dawn — Part 2’: First Look at the Final Film in the Vampire Saga
Speaking with THR at his current film’s press junket, Lautner laughed off the comparison. “That’s quite the honor,” he said, having previously name-dropped Cruise as an actor whose career he’d like to emulate.
“I’ve always been a huge fan of Denzel Washington, Matt Damon, Tom Cruise,” he said. “I think what it is that I respect about their career[s] so much is how they’ve continued to do different things throughout. Their careers are enormous, and they’ve done so many films and played so many characters, but they’ve never done the same thing over and over and over again.
“You just look at their choices and it’s unreal,” he continued. “They’re very, very smart and incredibly talented.”
Email: Sophie.Schillaci@thr.com; Twitter: @SophieSchillaci
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