Why breakout Twilight star can’t get cast

 

Unless you've lived under a rock this past decade, there's no doubt you know who Taylor Lautner is.

The Hollywood heart-throb burst onto the big screen - and into the hearts of women the world over - thanks to his portrayal of Jacob Black on the cult franchise, Twilight.

His werewolf character was embroiled in one of pop culture's most famous love triangles with human Bella Swan (Kristen Stewart) and vampire Edward Cullen (Robert Pattinson), forcing fans into a bitter rivalry divided between 'Team Jacob' and 'Team Edward'.

Dream team. Picture: AP/Matt Sayles
Dream team. Picture: AP/Matt Sayles

Based on Stephenie Meyer's best-selling books, the Summit Entertainment movies, which are all available to stream on Foxtel, grossed an astronomical $US3.346 billion at the global box office, with the sequel New Moon breaking box office records at the time as the biggest midnight screening and opening day in history, making an estimated $US72.7 million.

He became synonymous with taking his shirt off.
He became synonymous with taking his shirt off.

It also propelled its three - previously little known - leading stars to global superstardom almost overnight, their faces becoming the most recognisable in the world as their lives were splashed across tabloids daily.

His fame was further bolstered when he briefly dated pop princess Taylor Swift, appearing in the 2010 all-star romantic comedy, Valentine's Day.

Taylor Lautner and Taylor Swift.
Taylor Lautner and Taylor Swift.

But when Twilight fever all came to an end in 2012, with the release of the fifth and final movie Breaking Dawn Part 2, Lautner's career suffered a snag.

To be fair, it took time for Pattinson and Stewart to break free from their iconic characters, but the duo have managed to do so and are currently experiencing a resurgence in the industry.

Pattinson has had some sensational roles, more recently in The King and The Lighthouse, as well as being cast as Bruce Wayne in next year's The Batman, while Stewart was praised for her work in this year's Seberg and stars in the Charlie's Angels reboot.

Lautner, 27, hasn't appeared in a movie since 2016. And it's one he'd probably rather forget, a passion project called Run the Tide, which was a panned indie drama with no budget and no big studio backing.

He starred in the TV series Scream Queens that same year, and has been a main character in the British sitcom, Cuckoo since 2014. He left the show last year.

At the moment, it seems there aren't any projects he's working on.

So where did it all come crashing down?

His first big film away from Twilight was the action flick Abduction in 2011, which he starred in alongside Lilly Collins.

Taylor and Lilly in Abduction.
Taylor and Lilly in Abduction.

It absolutely bombed. Reviews panned the movie, which would be OK if it managed to make a buck at the box office.

It only made $US28 million domestically against a $US35 million budget.

To make it worse, Lautner's acting was savaged by critics.

Movieline's Alison Wilmore wrote, "This may be the first film I've ever seen where when an actor goes to put his hand thoughtfully on his chin, it's so awkward I became afraid he'd somehow miss and poke himself in the eye."

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Despite not being considered the greatest actor of his generation, Lautner was still a huge star, which allowed him to command north of $US5 million per movie - what he was paid for Abduction.

He was pencilled to star in Stretch Armstrong as the titular action figure, as well as a retelling of David and Goliath, however both movies were shelved.

It was reported studios weren't keen on paying the $US7.5 million Lautner was asking for.

His second attempt at breaking free from his werewolf roots was in yet another action film, Tracers.

Dropping almost four years after the final Twilight movie, the movie didn't manage to get a theatrical release and only made $US2.8 million domestically. Eek.

After that, Lautner made possibly one of the worst decisions of his career and teamed up with Adam Sandler again, after previously appearing in the 2013 disaster film, Grown Ups 2.

The funny man has famously lost his flare for comedy; his movies a far cry from his Happy Gilmore and The Wedding Singer days.

Lautner on the red carpet for the Australian release of Abduction at The Entertainment Quarter in Moore Park.
Lautner on the red carpet for the Australian release of Abduction at The Entertainment Quarter in Moore Park.

But after a string of movies that were savaged, Sandler gave it another red hot crack for the 2015 Netflix movie, The Ridiculous 6, which Lautner jumped on board for.

On review site Rotten Tomatoes, the film is described as "must avoid viewing" and scored a pretty shocking 0 per cent rating.

While promoting Run the Tide in 2016, Lautner indicated he felt pigeonholed by his Twilight stint, and was focusing on other things outside of acting.

"For me the biggest thing is just surrounding myself with people that I love, just spending time, it doesn't matter what I'm doing as long as I'm with my friends and my family," he told Reuters.
"You know, I could be sitting in a cardboard box and that's where I'm happiest."

Having been in a bevy of high profile relationships, which were often dubbed as "fauxmances" given they were always with his co-stars, Lautner has seemingly found love with someone very normal. A nurse, also named Taylor.

This comes after having famous girlfriends including Swift, Collins, Ashley Benson, Selena Gomez, and his Tracers co-star, Marie Avgeropoulos.

The couple, who appear to have been dating for a year, post a lot of loved-up photos together and look completely smitten.

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Instagram vs reality

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He still reportedly has $US40 million in the bank, so he can probably afford to take a sabbatical.

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Uhhhmerica 😍🇺🇸 @daouvineyards

A post shared by Taylor Lautner (@taylorlautner) on

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Don’t mind us 🐆🐍 @neoncarnival

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