Taylor Lautner Says Twilight Fans' Team Edward/Jacob Debate Impacted His Dynamic with Robert Pattinson
Summit Entertainment, LLC. Robert Pattinson and Taylor Lautner in The Twilight Saga: Breaking Dawn – Part 2 (2012)
Taylor Lautner is getting candid about how the Team Edward vs. Team Jacob Twilight discourse affected his real-life dynamic with costar Robert Pattinson.
The actor, now 30, appeared alongside wife Taylor Dome Lautner on Thursday's episode of The Toast podcast, admitting he'd "be lying if" he said the infamous fan debates over who reigned supreme between his and Pattinson's characters didn't affect him.
"I was so young," Lautner recalled. "I was 16 when Twilight came out, 17 for New Moon and Eclipse. I finished the franchise by the time I was 19."
He went on to describe the "very strange" feeling he had while "traveling the world and being in different cities and having thousands of screaming fans either take your side or the other guy's side."
"Like, we're a team. We're both just trying to make the best movies … but it was a little bizarre, the competitiveness," Lautner said. "There wasn't a competitiveness between me and Rob, but having that constant reminder, it definitely had an impact."
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Kyle Rover/startraksphoto.com Robert Pattinson and Taylor Lautner in 2010
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Lautner also recently opened up on his new podcast The Squeeze about how although topics of body image are often associated with women, "being viewed as having this unbelievable body" in Twilight was difficult on him.
"When I was in it, when I was 16 through 20 years old, starring in this franchise where my character is known for taking his shirt off every other second, no, I did not know that it was affecting me or going to affect me in the future with body image," Lautner began. "But now looking back at it, of course it did, and of course it is going to."
Lautner played werewolf Jacob Black in all five Twilight saga movies, rounding out the series' love triangle opposite Kristen Stewart as Bella Swan and Pattinson, 36, as Edward Cullen.
For the role, the actor has to make an impressive transformation from human to wolf in New Moon. At the time, he credited his routine of five days a week at the gym — and a 3,200-calorie daily diet — with getting him in werewolf shape.
"It was my entire life," he admitted, in part. "In the first movie, I was 140 lbs., and in New Moon I was 175. So yeah, that wasn't my natural body. I had to work very hard for it and very, very hard just to maintain it."
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In January 2022, Lautner told PEOPLE about the new generation of fans who are being exposed to Twilight for the first time, as a result of the vampire fantasy film series streaming on Netflix at the time.
"Before that, to be honest, it was mainly the 'Twi-moms' that would still stop me in the streets," the actor said with a laugh.
And now? "It's like teenagers again," Lautner added.
He went on to say of his time acting in his childhood through his early 20s, "I'm super thankful for what I did experience, but I did miss out on a lot of just normal-life things, like going to college."
"I wanted to take a step back and enjoy life and spend some time with my family and friends. And I met my fiancée out of it, so it all worked out," Lautner said.