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Moviegoers watched Taylor Lautner put his impressive martial arts and stunt skills to work in Lionsgate’s action thriller Abduction. And Twihards have been wooed by his ripped physique as uberpopular werewolf Jacob Black during his forest fight scenes in The Twilight Saga series. But it was Breaking Dawn — Part I’s pivotal “imprinting scene” that the actor admitted was one of the most challenging scenes he’s tackled.
“It was tough, it was probably the most challenging for me because first, you have to get a hold of what imprinting is and what it means,” Lautner told The Hollywood Reporter ahead of the film’s massive $283.5 million worldwide opening over the weekend. “And thankfully, we had [Twilight book series author] Stephenie Meyer on the set all the time, so trust me, there were a lot of conversations with her about that.”
In the popular book series, Lautner’s character Jacob is angry over the near death of his best friend, Bella Swan (Kristen Stewart), during the birth of her and Edward Cullen’s (Robert Pattinson) child. Jacob then sets out to kill the infant but upon locking eyes with the baby discovers that she is the woman he will spend the rest of his life loving and imprints on the girl.
The final cut of the scene is quite visual, using CGI and a flash-forward montage of the infant as a teenage girl, which actually made what potentially sounds controversial or creepy quite tasteful on the big screen but still a bit difficult at first for the actor.
“Once I grasped that, then it became, ‘What does it look like?’ and I mean, I was giving an X on the wall and I had to walk in the room and look at this X, make eye contact with it and imprint, whatever that means, whatever that looks like,” Lautner said. “So on the day it was tough and required a lot of imagination but I am really happy with the outcome and I need to thank [director] Bill Condon for that one.”
Lautner added that Jacob goes through a massive transformation in Breaking Dawn — Part 1.
“The whole thing with Jacob in this movie is the journey that he goes on from the beginning to the end,” he said. “He starts out the movie as the same Jacob we always known, but throughout the journey, I mean, he is forced to become a man and deal with maturity issues and make choices and he is torn between his own family, the wolf pack and his new family, the Cullens and he has to do the right thing.”
Lautner’s interview at the Four Seasons in Beverly Hills came on the heels of THR’s exclusive report that he would be starring in an independent movie directed by Gus Van Sant.
Though Lautner and his team played coy on any further details to the press during rounds that week — saying “it was still in very, very early stages.” The actor however was a good sport when THR brought up its report about plans for the project even joking, “Oh, The Hollywood Reporter, my favorite this week.”
The actor’s first effort as a solo leading man, Abduction, underwhelmed at the domestic box office over the summer. But the new project would almost certainly take Lautner’s career in a new direction. He is said to be determined to work only with top directors and writers from now on as he strives to define himself as an actor.
Meanwhile, the final film in Summit Entertainment’s five-movie Twilight Saga franchise, Breaking Dawn — Part 2, opens Nov. 16, 2012.
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