The “Twilight” films completely changed Taylor Lautner’s life. If it weren’t for the franchise, he wouldn’t be where he is today. However, becoming Jacob required the actor to transform himself completely, and it’s had a lasting impact on his professional and personal life. Things have never been the same ever since he auditioned for the part of Jacob.
A household name
When the “Twilight” films were still being released, they were one of the biggest phenomena in the world. They collectively grossed billions of dollars and made household names out of its stars, one of these being Taylor Lautner.
Before “Twilight,” Lautner had been a struggling actor trying to find his breakthrough, but things were completely different by the time “Breaking Dawn: Part 2” was released. The series gave him the opportunity to change his life, although the impact it had on him was far greater than he ever anticipated.
Standing by his dreams
Taylor had always aspired to be an actor, but his dreams faced adversity from day one. The star admitted that he was bullied in his younger years because he had hopes of acting as a career.
Rather than being put off by the taunts of others, though, Lautner stood his ground. It didn’t matter what everyone else thought. He loved acting, and nothing was going to stop him from doing it for the rest of his life. Plus, with all his karate training, kids would want to think twice about teasing him.
Emerging into the mainstream
His career started in the early ‘00s when Lautner was only just hitting double figures. He had minor roles in episodes of popular sitcoms like “My Wife and Kids” and “The Bernie Mac Show.”
They were nothing major, but they gave Taylor the opportunity to get his face out there. By 2005, he’d appeared in a handful of shows, as well as action sci-fi flick “Shadow Fury,” making him a star on the rise. It was clear he was going to be one to watch over the next few years.
Finding his voice
In that same year, Lautner found himself landing parts that were a little different from what he’d been used to. He was cast in voice roles for the animations “Duck Dodgers,” “What’s New, Scooby-Doo?” and “Danny Phantom,” all of which were recurring characters.
Taylor might have been hoping to get his face out there more, but any kind of acting work was a step in the right direction. Plus, 2005 proved to be incredibly fruitful when it came to boosting his career.
Getting his face out there
If Taylor wanted people to know his name, then bagging the lead role in a movie was definitely a good way to go about it. In the summer of 2005, the young star was cast as Sharkboy in adventure film “The Adventures of Sharkboy and Lavagirl.”
Although the film received largely negative reviews, it brought Lautner to the attention of producers. Several months after the movie debuted, Lautner was back on the big screen playing Eliot Murtaugh, one of the rival family children in the comedy “Cheaper by the Dozen 2.”
It was in 2008 that things changed forever. Taylor’s agent suggested he audition for the role of Jacob Black for the upcoming romantic fantasy film “Twilight.” Although Lautner knew nothing about the part, he didn’t see the harm in trying for it and arrived at the casting call.
After reading through his lines with Kristen Stewart, producers took an instant shine to him and selected him for their film. He didn’t realize it at the time, but he’d just scored a role that would change his whole life forever.
Not right for the part
While “Twilight” might not have received the best reviews from critics, it was a commercial success. People loved the big screen adaptation and couldn’t wait for the sequel, although whether they’d be seeing Lautner again was uncertain.
Considering the huge changes that his character went through between the first and second book, the director wanted an actor who looked the part of Jacob in “New Moon.” Taylor had a decent body, but he didn’t have the muscle needed to look convincing. The film would require a different actor.
Doing whatever it takes
Determined not to lose the most successful role he’d had so far, Lautner worked on building up his muscle. He didn’t take a day off during his training, eventually emerging with an extra 30 lbs of muscle on his body.
The transformation of his physique was insane, but it was exactly what the director was looking for. Not only did Taylor now fit the part, but he’d also shown just how dedicated he was to the role. The actor remained with the series and got to work filming for “New Moon.”
Saving the movie
When the “Twilight” sequel hit the big screen, it received even worse reviews than its predecessor. However, it pulled in nearly double what the first film had managed at the box office.
It was a huge commercial success, and Lautner’s bulked-up body was credited as being one of the main reasons that “New Moon” had performed so well. People couldn’t believe how much he’d changed in the space of a year, and his rippling muscles certainly weren’t off putting to look at. Taylor Lautner’s body had effectively saved the movie. Probably.
More than just a body
From that moment on, people started paying a lot of attention to the young actor. His buff appearance, especially at such a young age, made him a person of great interest.
The world became so obsessed with how he looked that online publications were actually slammed for how they were talking about him. He wasn’t even 18 when “New Moon” hit the big screen, but the media was talking about him like he was a piece of meat. Although Taylor liked the attention, he was more than just his body.
Enough is enough
Things went too far during the filming of rom-com “Valentine’s Day” in 2010. The actor was asked to remove his shirt during a scene in school for no reason other than to show off his body.
Lautner put his foot down, telling them that he’d only ever take his clothes off if there was a genuine reason for him to do it. He was there to act, not take off his clothes for the audience’s pleasure. As a result, the shirtless scene was scrapped, and Taylor’s intentions were made clear.
Reaping the benefits
However, while Lautner might not have appreciated people taking advantage of him because of his physique, being buff certainly had its benefits. Following his appearance in “New Moon,” the actor started receiving a lot of requests for modeling appearances.
He appeared in magazines like GQ and Rolling Stone, boosting his public image even further and helping his seemingly unstoppable rise to stardom. It also didn’t hurt his chances with the ladies, with the actor dating big names like Taylor Swift and Selena Gomez following his incredible transformation.
Expanding his horizons
With Lautner now a hot commodity, many people wanted him to appear in their productions. However, the actor already had his hands full working on the “Twilight” films, not to mention all the training he did to maintain his physique.
However, every so often he found the time to work on another movie, including the aforementioned “Valentine’s Day.” In 2011, between the releases of “Eclipse” and “Breaking Dawn: Part 1,” Taylor starred as Nathan Harper in the action thriller film “Abduction” which grossed $90 million at the box office.
Coming to an end
Each successive “Twilight” film seemed to be more successful than the last, with the final two movies in the franchise being the highest grossing. They collectively pulled in more than $1.5 billion at the box office and brought the series to a satisfying conclusion, something that the fans had been anticipating for four years.
However, the arrival of “Breaking Dawn: Part 2” meant that Lautner’s role as Jacob was done. It was time to put the character that had made him so successful to bed and see what happened next.
Fading from the spotlight
Lautner finally had the freedom to appear in whatever he wanted. However, the film roles weren’t coming in as thick and fast as he’d hoped. The year following the final “Twilight” movie, the actor only made one appearance in the form of the comedy “Grown Ups 2.”
It wasn’t a significant role which was disappointing considering how much of an impact playing Jacob Black was supposed to have on his career. Nevertheless, he took what he could get, grateful to still be relevant on the big screen.
Returning to TV
A few years later, Lautner bagged one of his biggest credits since the release of “Breaking Dawn: Part 2.” He was cast in the second season of comedy horror series “Scream Queens” alongside stars like Jamie Lee Curtis and Lea Michele.
It was one of the only roles he’d done on TV since moving to film in 2008, and it didn’t get the best reception. However, while the critics might not have raved about “Scream Queens,” the show introduced him to Billie Lourd who he later went on to date.
Letting himself go
With his career starting to disappear before his eyes, Lautner appeared to let himself go. He showcased a heavier figure than fans were used to, leading people to throw around accusations that he was overweight.
Taylor had put in a lot of work sculpting his muscular physique for the “Twilight” films, but that intense regimen wasn’t something he wanted to maintain forever. When he no longer had to play Jacob anymore, he took things easier, meaning his body stopped converting as much of his calorie intake into muscles.
Enjoying his freedom
While he might have relaxed his workouts, though, Lautner wasn’t on the verge of throwing his athletic body away. Despite the fact he’d packed on a few pounds, the actor confirmed that he was comfortable with how he looked and felt there was nothing to be ashamed of.
He preferred to be slightly bigger and enjoying life than working himself too hard in the gym every day. Plus, a fuller figure didn’t mean he wasn’t still hitting the weights regularly and keeping himself as strong as he’d always been.
Slowing things down
Lautner has been incredibly quiet over the last few years. He hasn’t done any film work since the comedy Western “The Ridiculous 6” and drama “Run the Wide,” with the latter debuting back in 2016.
Things have been similarly quiet over on the TV front, although he hasn’t given up on acting completely. Judging by his social media accounts, the star prefers to spend most of his time playing golf and hanging out with his friends. Given how hard he worked growing up, we can’t blame him for wanting some time off.
Change of pace
Although his career has quietened down recently, he continues to follow his passion from time to time. Since 2014, the star has regularly been appearing in the British sitcom “Cuckoo,” replacing fellow American actor Andy Samberg after the show’s first season.
New episodes air every two years, with the program’s fourth season debuting as recently as August 2018. The comedy role is a change of pace from the moody teenager he played in “Twilight,” but its one that he’s grown more comfortable with over the years.
Looking to the future
Taylor’s life has been full of ups and downs over the years. Whether it’s been his career or his body, nothing ever seems to stay the same for long. Hopefully, this means we can expect to see more of Lautner on our screens in the coming years after his period of increasing obscurity.
We doubt that the actor’s physique will go back to how it used to be, but it is good that he is happy with all that he is doing in life – and not having to hit the gym so hard anymore!
Even though Taylor Lautner hasn’t starred in very many movies lately, he has a great number of awards to his name. However, as an aspiring actor, the awards Taylor received might not be for what he was hoping to be known for.
In 2013, he won the MTV Movie Award for best shirtless performer, and he also won several Kids Choice and Teen Choice awards for his looks. He has held onto his fan base, though, and everyone is hoping to see his acting chops once again.
Living with his parents
We have no doubt that after making a lot of money for his work on Twilight, Taylor Lautner has enough money to buy his own home in Los Angeles as do many other young stars.
But Taylor has made a decision to continue living with his loving parents in Santa Clarita when he’s not away filming. He says that he loves to help around the house and takes out the garbage and mows the lawn when he can.
One of the constants throughout Taylor Lautner’s changing life has been his younger sister, Makena.
The adorable siblings are always sharing photographs of themselves enjoying time together, and they’re also not ashamed to post pictures from when they were younger. Taylor is always raving about how brave and strong his little sis is, and we think that she’s lucky to have such a loving older brother. Makena has also become something of a celebrity thanks to Taylor’s attention.
Supporting his sister
In the summer of 2018, Makena Lautner checked into the hospital to undergo heart surgery. She revealed that she has tachycardia, a heart condition in which her heart races much faster than it is supposed to.
Taylor posted a heartwarming picture of himself kissing his little sister on the head in her hospital bed, along with a moving caption which said, “Couldn’t possibly look up to this little/not so little girl any more.” Taylor and Makena will always be sibling goals.
Back to December
Just like many famous young actors, Taylor Lautner has tried his luck with dating around Hollywood, being linked to famous actresses and models since he made it big.
In 2009, he was romantically linked to actress Selena Gomez while they were both filming in Vancouver, but it didn’t last too long. That same year, Taylor reportedly dated Taylor Swift, after the pair got cozy while filming their film Valentine’s Day. And true to Taylor Swift form, she wrote a song, Back To December, following their relationship.
Despite his string of high profile girlfriends, Taylor Lautner sure seems to have had some trouble holding down a stable relationship.
One of his longest relationships was with his Tracers co-star Marie Avgeropoulos, who he was with for about two years. His last ex-girlfriend was reportedly actress Billie Lourd, who he met on the set of Scream Queens and dated for eight months. Taylor stood by the young actress during her own family tragedies, but they called it quits in 2017.
Recently, the internet and gossip columnists are abuzz as Taylor Lautner has gone “Instagram official” with his new girlfriend, who also happens to be named Taylor.
This young woman goes by the nickname Tay, and the two dressed up together for Halloween, posting pictures of them as members of the Tune Squad from the sports movie Space Jam. Tay is reportedly a nursing student, who Lautner met through his little sister. In fact, Makena and Tay seem to be very close friends. The couple certainly looks very happy together!
Must love dogs
Almost fittingly, since he became famous by playing a werewolf, Taylor Lautner really seems to love dogs.
In February 2018, Taylor posted a memorial photograph for his beloved pet Roxy, who his parents got for him while he was working on Sharkboy and Lavagirl back in 2004. “I’ll miss you every day but I’ll take those memories with me everywhere I go,” he wrote in tribute. He was really devastated by the loss of his beloved pet.
The shadow of Twilight
Taylor Lautner was so successful with his work in the Twilight movies, but he hasn’t been able to maintain that success since. There are several reasons why this might be.
Lautner got used to making a lot of money for his work when he played Jacob, so he was asking for a high paycheck in his later roles, as well. Many productions simply weren’t willing to shell out so much cash for the actor, and he found his options dwindling.
Since the lackluster performance of Abduction in 2011, Taylor Lautner has been focusing on smaller roles as he builds up his acting portfolio. He was in the indie movie Run the Tide and Adam Sandler’s Netflix comedy The Ridiculous Six.
He can now be seen in the BBC comedy show Cuckoo, which he said he chose because it was something different than his role in Twilight. Taylor is young and successful and has a long career ahead of him. We are confident we’ll see him again on the big screen.