Taylor Daniel Lautner (pronounced LOWT-ner) (born February 11, 1992 in Grand Rapids, Michigan) is an American actor, voice actor, model, and martial artist. As a child, Lautner took up martial arts and was ranked number one in his category by the American Sports Karate Association. Lautner soon thereafter began his acting career, appearing in bit roles in comedy series such as The Bernie Mac Show (2003) and My Wife and Kids (2004), before having voice roles in television series like What's New, Scooby-Doo? (2005) and Danny Phantom (2005). In 2005, he appeared in Cheaper by the Dozen 2, and starred in The Adventures of Sharkboy and Lavagirl in 3-D.
Lautner got his big break when he was cast as Jacob Black in The Twilight Saga film series, beginning with the first film, Twilight (2008). Lautner returned for the following two movies, The Twilight Saga: New Moon (2009) and The Twilight Saga: Eclipse (2010), and is set to appear in the last two films for the series, The Twilight Saga: Breaking Dawn. Lautner has been nominated for several awards for his work in the Twilight series, including honors at the MTV Movie Awards, People's Choice Awards, and Scream Awards.
The late 2000s saw Lautner become a Teen Idol and rise as a sex symbol, after extensively changing his physique to keep the role of Jacob Black in further Twilight installments, and thereafter generating media attention for his good looks. In 2010, he was ranked second on Glamour's "The 50 Sexiest Men of 2010" list, and fourth on People's "Most Amazing Bodies" list, among other honors. As of 2010, Lautner was considered the highest-paid teenage actor in Hollywood.
Tropes in his work:
- Ambiguously Brown: He has both European and Native American ancestry. In most roles, his character's ethnicity is not commented on (but he did play a fully Native character in the Twilight films of course).
- Determinator: Upon hearing that he might be recast for New Moon (the studio producers were ''openly negotiating'' with other actors before the end of filming the first movie), he immediately hit the gym and apparently never left. He gained an insane 35 pounds of muscle to keep his role in the series.
- Heroic Build: The end result of his pursuit to keep his role in the Twilight series.
- Mr. Fanservice: A big part of his appeal in the Twilight films... and pretty much anything else he's been cast in. Unlike Leonardo DiCaprio before him, he hasn't been able to move past this into a genuinely talented actor, having begun to appear in Direct to Video "movies".
- Playing Against Type: After a couple of failed attempts at Drama and Action films outside of The Twilight Saga, Lautner decided to flex his comedic muscles. He appears in several films that play on his Mr. Fanservice persona and has more recently joined Adam Sandler's Production Posse.
- Retroactive Recognition: He participated in the 2003 ISKA US Open Karate Championship, which was broadcast by ESPN. This very show was riffed by the Sklar brothers on Cheap Seats in 2006...all before he had anything to do with Twilight.