LOS ANGELES Teen idol Taylor Lautner stars as werewolf Jacob Black in "The Twilight Saga: Eclipse," a vampire romance film that sees him compete with bloodsucker Edward Cullen for the heart of a high school girl.
In the movie opening on June 30, the rivalry between Jacob and Edward for the love of Bella Swan, the central character in the "Twilight" franchise, culminates in a scene where all three hunker down in a tent.
Ostensibly, they are there to seek refuge from a roving band of vampires that is hunting Bella, but the mountain-top scene also amplifies the love triangle between Edward (Robert Pattinson), Bella (Kristen Stewart) and Jacob.
As it turns out, the cold skin of a vampire is not as good at preventing hypothermia for Bella as Jacob's warm werewolf blood, a point that the film brings home with one-liners that have left audiences laughing in early screenings.
Lautner's character is part of a supernatural Wolf Pack in the movie, the third in the franchise.
The 18 year-old actor spoke to Reuters about the tent scene, his many shirtless scenes in the film,and his strangest encounter with a "Twilight" fan.
Q: There a lot of ironic moments in "Eclipse." Was that something that you welcomed?
A: "Yeah, I loved it. Because when you put Edward and Jacob together, it's bound to have that sarcasm, that tension. But in the tent scene, I think the tent scene sums up the whole entire movie. It's extremely tense, these guys hate each other. But at the same time, the situation is just pretty funny."
Q: Some might say you are objectified in these movies because you are so often shirtless. Does that help you understand what it's like for women actors in films aimed at guy audiences?
A: "I just feel that all of the love going toward the ("Twilight") cast members is love going toward the characters. I mean with Megan Fox and Jessica Alba, sorry -- they're gorgeous. They just are, and they play many different characters where they're gorgeous. I'm just lucky enough to be playing Jacob, the guy that doesn't wear a shirt, and I think all of that love is going toward Jacob, not me personally."
Q: I hear you had a crazy encounter with a "Twilight" fan at an event in Australia where you were signing autographs. Can you talk about that?
A: "I get down to one (fan) who has the Wolf Pack tattoo right on her forearm. And I was like, 'Whoa that is so cool. That's the real tattoo. Is it real?" And she's like 'Yeah.' And she's like 'Can you sign it, right here?' And I was like 'Yeah, sure of course.' And I had a feeling about it, I did. And Kristen actually predicted it. Then the next day I got a call from one of my buddies asking if I signed a girl's arm, and I'm like 'Yeah, I signed a lot of girls' arms.' And he's like 'One of them got it tattooed to her arm.' And I'm like 'It was the girl with the tattoo.'"
Q: Your family moved from Michigan to the Los Angeles area to help you pursue your acting career. Did you feel any added pressure because of that?
A: "I was like 10 years-old when I moved out. I was just like, 'Yeah this is going to be fun, my family is moving to California, this is going to be great.' I didn't realize all the sacrifices they took, and everything involved in that move. Now, looking back, I'm like 'Wow, good thing something worked out,' because if it had bombed that would not have been good."
(Reporting by Alex Dobuzinskis: Editing by Bob Tourtellotte and Patricia Reaney)