BY CINDY PEARLMAN | BIG PICTURE NEWS INC.
Chicagoans need not apply to Team Jacob.
“We’re not going to get along if you’re a Bears fan,” says Taylor Lautner. “I’m from Michigan. I’m diehard Lions all the way.”
On an early morning in Los Angeles, the former “Twilight” star and native of Grand Rapids does offer one shred of commonality. “I’m guessing that neither of us likes the Packers. They keep stealing our playoff spots and it’s annoying.”
Not much else annoys the screen hunk, including reinventing his career post-YA franchise mania.
Is there life after playing a half human, half werewolf in one of the biggest film series of all time? Lautner is certainly planning on it. “I just want to mix it up,” she says. “What I love the most about acting is playing a wide variety of characters in a wide variety of genres. I want to challenge myself.”
His latest is “Tracers,” available on demand this Friday, where he plays a bike messenger wanted by the Chinese mafia. It was filmed on location in the Big Apple. “I could have been hurt, but the good thing is I did as much prep as possible,” he says. “I trained for months in L.A., and when we got to New York, I continued to ride through the city, which is 10 times crazier than just doing my core training in LA.”
He also did as many stunts as possible. “In the film, bikes are literally jumping from building to building and flying off rooftops. We have great stunt coordinators. They wouldn’t let me do it if I couldn’t.”
As part of his training regime, he did have to give up a few things. “I missed my ice cream. But I’ve had to say goodbye to ice cream a few times in my career.”
“Twilight” aren’t saying goodbye to him. “There are still ‘Twilight’ fans everywhere. I can be out to dinner or just walking down the street and there is a wide range of 12-year-old girls to 50-year-old women who still want to talk about Jacob.”
Could he ever see another “Twilight” film catching up to the supernatural love triangle many years later? “The good thing is vampires don’t age. Werewolves do, which creates a little issue. So the idea of another installment is fun to think about.”
Next up for Lautner is a Netflix film with Adam Sandler and Will Forte called “The Ridiculous Six.” “It’s a comedy western with an amazing cast,” he says. “I did a cameo in one of his movies two years ago. Adam and I met and became good friends. We wanted to find something else to do together and this made perfect sense.”
In his spare time, the single Lautner is a sporty type. “I cannot be a Bears fan, but I’m kind of a Bulls fan,” he offers. “I was always a big Michael Jordan fan. I’m a huge Derrick Rose fan. I’m a big hockey fan, but I can’t give you the Blackhawks. They’re too good. Your Blackhawks are always good.
“I have to stick to my Red Wings,” he says. “I definitely have to represent.”