This isn't really "breaking news" but it's such a refreshing take on modern movie celebrity that we just had to give credit where credit is due. In a recent interview with VMAN Magazine (via Hollywood Reporter), Twilight star Taylor Lautner talked about the surge in popularity both he and his co-stars have experienced after appeared in the hit franchise. While the popularity of the series has garnered Lautner, Kristen Stewart and Robert Pattinson bigger roles in other films, none of them have torn up the box office despite the supposedly raving throng of fans. Some industry folks are disappointed about that, but the reason is simple, and Lautner just said it himself:
"Its definitely these characters we are playing […] They are in love with Bella Swan, Edward Cullen, and Jacob Black. I mean, they feel like they know them. We are just lucky enough to be playing them. But I definitely think it’s the characters."
He's right, and not just about Twilight either. Movie stars don't currently have the clout that they used to, although that trend seems to go in cycles. Many of the bigger film franchises aren't attracting audiences for the hunky, and perhaps even talented men and women who star in them. Over the last decade audiences are attracted to stories and characters that appeal to them, which helps explain why Zoe Saldana, who co-starred in Avatar (the most successful movie of all time, not accounting for inflation) can't open a movie on her own, or why Tobey Maguire could headline the supremely successful Spider-Man movies but not draw audiences out of their homes for just about anything else he does. Even Christian Bale, star of the popular, successful and critically-acclaimed Batman movies, couldn't work wonders with Terminator: Salvation. Meanwhile, many of the Marvel Studios movies are gambling on smaller or unknown stars, and cranking out hits like Thor and Iron Man (which was made at a time when Robert Downey Jr. wasn't considered A-List talent, if you'll remember).
Anyway, such statements might not be in his best interests publicity-wise, but they're accurate and we respect the hell out of Lautner for being smart and humble enough to recognize it. That might not say much about the box office prospects of his next film, Abduction, but that's out of anyone's hands at this point.
CraveOnline will be back with more fascinating film industry insights the next time somebody says something cool.