For Taylor Lautner, being cast in Twilight and its sequels: New Moon, Eclipse, Breaking Dawn – Part 1, and Breaking Dawn – Part 2, was a one-way ticket to fame and fortune. Lautner managed to nab the role of werewolf, Jacob Black, and become the youngest member of the main cast. Lautner’s place in the Twilight cast would eventually catapult him into superstardom and earn him millions of dollars. But Lautner was almost replaced by another actor after the first film.
Fans of Twilight will recall that Lautner’s character, Jacob, undergoes some intense physical changes in New Moon. In preparation for his transformation into a werewolf, Jacob grows a lot taller, stronger, and more muscular. The producers of the Twilight movies wanted to honor those changes in the films and thus they were seriously considering replacing Lautner with an older and more muscular actor. But, how did Lautner manage to hold on to the coveted role?
Taylor Lautner adopted a strict diet and exercise routine to avoid being recast after ‘Twilight’
Rather than lose out on his part, Lautner adopted an intense diet and exercise regiment to put on some serious muscle. This involved training in the gym five times a week, eating a tremendous amount of calories, and even carrying around burger patties to ensure that he was packing on the pounds. But even though Lautner focused a lot on diet and fitness, there was something else he focused on even more to keep his role in the Twilight movies.
In an interview with Collider, Lautner shared that he ultimately knew that being replaced in the Twilight sequels was out of his control. Therefore, he focused on what he could control. Having a firm grasp on his character was one thing that was in his control, so he concentrated on that. “Honestly, I knew where my character went in New Moon and that’s all I tried to stay focused on,” Lautner confessed. “I couldn’t control things outside, I couldn’t control the media. But I could control what I was doing to portray Jacob Black correctly. So that’s what I stayed focused on the whole entire time.”
Lautner studied the ‘Twilight’ books and Jacob’s emotional arc to keep his part
But Lautner didn’t only focus on Jacob’s physicality. Getting to the crux of the werewolf’s emotions was paramount for the actor. “Yeah, Jacob transforms a lot in New Moon,” the Twilight star shared. “Not only physically, but mentally and emotionally as well. So it was a matter of getting to the gym and eating the right foods and a lot of it. But also, reading and studying the book and my character over and over and over again so I could have his character down as well. Because he changes in many many different ways.”
Lautner specifically called out Jacob’s duality in New Moon and how who he is in the first half of the movie is at odds with who he is in the second half of the movie. “Basically my job was to continue what I started in Twilight, which was this extremely happy, friendly, outgoing guy,” the actor added. “Best friends with Bella. And I had to continue that for the first half of the film, but as soon as I transform, I snap and I become a completely different person. I’m dealing with my issues and it’s really hard for me.”
Fans of the movies are thrilled that another actor wasn’t cast to take Lautner’s place
Clearly, Lautner was committed to keeping his role as Jacob Black. We’re sure fans of the Twilight franchise are thrilled that the actor was so dedicated because now it’s hard to imagine anyone else in the role.
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