Taylor Lautner on taking a break from Hollywood after “Twilight”: “It was a learning curve”

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“Are you Team Edward or Team Jacob?” If part of your high school and high school years revolved around asking your friends this controversial question, you’re probably familiar with the film origins of Taylor Lautner, who split the “Twilight” fandom in two when he made his debut as teenage werewolf Jacob Black in 2008. In the nearly 14 years since the film first premiered, Lautner has remained a cultural icon for his performance as the shape-shifting teen. While the old Twihards still reminisce about Jella fanfiction and Lautner’s long hair (it was a wig the whole time), the movie franchise took a mental and emotional toll on the star that prompted him to step back from Hollywood.

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“It was a learning curve for all of us as a family.”

“In ‘Twilight’ I was the youngest – I was 16 – and so my parents were a big part of (ground me) even when I was filming movies,” he says. CNN in a recent interview. As swarms of fans chased him with handmade signs proclaiming their love — in malls, movie theaters and even supermarkets — Lautner struggled to cope with his newfound fame and barely took the time to bask in his on-screen success.

For Lautner’s parents, dealing with fame was “unexplored territory,” and seeing him rise to the top didn’t change the fact that he was still their son. “When I got home, I still had to take out the trash,” he says. “I still had to mow the grass.” Jokingly, he adds that his parents would tell him: “We don’t care if you’re on the big screen. You still have to do your chores.”

In addition to making sure he stayed grounded, Lautner’s parents were key to helping him realize he needed to separate himself from his own. overwhelming popularity. “My parents definitely put it in perspective. I think it was uncharted territory even for them for parents with a 16-year-old going through that,” he says, adding that the sudden influx of fan attention — and the pressure that came with it — inspired him to create a to take a break from acting. “It was a learning curve for all of us as a family. And that’s why I think the step back is just a good refresher and just to make sure you’re doing things for the right reasons.”

While filming “The Twilight Saga: Breaking Dawn – Part 2,” the fifth installment in the movie franchise, Lautner noticed that his fan base was rapidly declining. With fans disappearing as quickly as they had come, he began to experience imposter syndrome, another factor that led to his much-needed hiatus. “If that’s taken from you at all, you start questioning yourself and start thinking, ‘Oh, don’t people care about me anymore?’” he said. “It’s going away a little bit. You notice, and that’s the dangerous part, because that can really mess up your mind.”

After a brief hiatus from the entertainment industry to reflect on his experiences, Lautner returned in roles as Cam in “Tracers” (2015) and Dale Ashbrick Jr. in the British sitcom “Cuckoo” (2014-2018). Most recently, he appeared as Troy Lambert in “Home Team,” a sports comedy film about a disgraced NFL player who returns home to coach his son’s high school soccer team. In 2018, the star also began dating Taylor Dome, a nurse from California.

On November 13, 2021, he announced their engagement via Instagram. “Can’t wait to spend forever with you @taydome,” he wrote. “You love me unconditionally. you don’t love me . You calm me down when I’m anxious. You make me laugh way too much. You make every day you spend with you so special. And most importantly, you make I’ve become a better person. I cannot thank you enough for what you have brought into my life. I will love you forever.’

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