For many teens coming of age in the late 2000s, the Twilight franchise was their most formative film experience. The five-part film saga made superstars out of performers like Robert Pattinson, Kristen Stewart, and Taylor Lautner. The latter played Jacob Black, a shapeshifter who has an intense affection for Bella Swan. Lautner quickly became a sex symbol, and one of the most vibrant performers of the late 2000s. While Lautner might have seemed at ease in front of the cameras, in truth, he recently revealed was experiencing intense body dysmorphia.
Taylor Lautner shot to fame with ‘Twilight’
Lautner was cast in Twilight in 2008. The role of Jacob was an important one, with the character meant to offset the relationship between Bella and Edward. Lautner was the perfect fit for Jacob, and right from the start, fans couldn’t get enough of the actor’s shirtless scenes. Lautner’s presence in the film series helped to boost their popularity — and many have speculated that the Twilight franchise was one of the most impactful series of films ever.
Lautner graced the covers of many teen magazines, often appearing shirtless. While many critics slammed the overt sexualization of Lautner, who was a teenager at the time, he still continued to earn fans from around the world. He then went on to appear in several other popular movies of the time, including Valentine’s Day and Abduction.
What did Taylor Lautner say about experiencing body dysmorphia during the ‘Twilight’ films?
He didn’t reveal it at the time, but Lautner struggled with the hyper-sexualization that he experienced as a rising star — and with the expectation that he would always be shirtless and fit. In a recent interview with Access Hollywood, Lautner opened up about this period in his life, admitting that he started suffering from extreme body dysmorphia in the years following his work in Twilight. “It was tough, when you start putting on a little weight and don’t look like you did in this huge franchise when you were 17 and cut,” Lautner said. “It was embarrassing seeing all the photos and having people trash you.”
“But it also made me feel kind of guilty, having so many people tell me how inspiring I was to them and looking at myself in the mirror and not looking like that anymore,” Lautner revealed. In another interview with People Magazine, Lautner expanded on his experiences. “When I was in it, when I was 16 through 20 years old, starring in this franchise where my character is known for taking his shirt off every other second, no, I did not know that it was affecting me or going to affect me in the future with body image…but now looking back at it, of course it did, and of course it is going to.”
What has Taylor Lautner been doing lately?
After his success in the Twilight films, Lautner made a conscious choice to take a step back from acting. In recent years, Lautner has been focusing on smaller projects, including a podcast, which he hosts with his wife, Taylor “Tay” Lautner. Still, he acts on occasion, when a certain project speaks to him. Most recently, Lautner appeared in the 2022 sports comedy film Home Team, according to IMDb.