A Web Exclusive with Abduction's Taylor Lautner and Lily Collins

With the action flick, Abduction, now open in cinemas, we caught up with Taylor Lautner and Lily Collins to talk about their new film, and what it was like working alongside some of Hollywood's biggest stars.


STUDIO: I think it's been about six or seven years now for you, Taylor, since your first movie with Robert Rodriguez.  How do you find making movies now?  Are you still finding that there are new things to learn?

Taylor Lautner: Yeah absolutely.   I believe you can never stop growing and learning, and I've been very fortunate to be working since I was ten or eleven-years-old.   I've learned so much throughout the years working with amazing directors and great actors as well.  This has really been a huge step for me because it's very different from anything I've ever done before.   I think the biggest difference here is the cast we were surrounded by in this movie.  It was unbelievable.  We were surrounded by an all-star cast with Sigourney Weaver, Alfred Molina, Jason Isaacs, and Maria Bello.   I really could not have done it without them.


STUDIO: Lily, I heard that when you're on a film set you like to watch your co-stars in action and learn from them.  Was there anyone in particular whom you really learnt from?

Lily Collins: I loved watching Sigourney – she is someone I've always admired.   Her career has gone from so many different genres, and the idea that she was going to be in this movie was so exciting.  The fact that she wanted to be a part of this was cool.  (Turns to Taylor) I would love to sit during the scene when you were filming the therapy session and I wasn't filming that day.  I really wanted to just watch and see how she is and see how she switches from one emotion to another, and then when they yelled cut she becomes Sigourney again.  She is so funny and she's really just an amazing woman.   I really loved watching them out of their element, and in their element.


STUDIO: Taylor, you mentioned Jason Isaacs.  We are big fans of him over here.  Tell me about that fight scene.

TL: It was awesome.   We were very friendly by that point, and he's hilarious.


STUDIO: So is he hilarious even though you were in the middle of fisticuffs?

TL: Yes actually!  He is so funny. I have looked up to him for a while.  Ever since I saw him as the bad guy in The Patriot, I've loved him.  Don't get me wrong, he's done so many roles, but this is something kind of different for him and we really get to see his humour in this movie, as well as different areas.   During that scene it was fun because we had gloves on so we were literally, like, "Let's go for it."   He was whacking me the whole time, but it was fun.  There were no serious injuries, maybe a few bruises the next day.


STUDIO: There was mention of another fight scene in your interview with Letterman.

TL: It's the brutal fight scene in the train.   It was me and Ilia, who's the other actor, and we were doing the fight ourselves.   We were doing a scene and towards the end, I'm supposed to throw an upper cut, and of course we're faking it, so I'm not really punching him.  But the stunt co-ordinator comes up to us both and says, "Okay guys, the upper cut is not selling.  Taylor, you need to extend your arm more, and Ilia, you need to stick your chin out more, so we can sell the upper cut."  And I'm like, "Okay let's do this."   Very next take, sure enough, I extend more, he sticks his chin out more and pop!   I connected right in that spot where it just puts you out, and this guy is huge and so intimidating and he just goes woop!  He was out for like two seconds and it was very scary at first and I felt terrible, especially when he stood up and he had a chunk of skin hanging out of his lip.   He's like, "Oh, I'm fine, I'm good. Let's keep going, let's keep going."  And I'm like, "No Ilia, you need to look at your lip. It's not good."   He was very nice about it, but I felt so bad.


STUDIO: How did you get on board the project, Lily?

LC: I read the script and was really attracted to it.   I loved that Karen was not your typical girl next door.  She was spunky, she spoke up, she gained self-confidence throughout the film, and she turned into this young woman.   So I read the script, obviously loved it and I...

TL: I will take it from here.   Everybody from the very beginning knew that Lily was the only person for this role.  She's the only person I read with and that's all we needed to see.


STUDIO: So you had seen her in The Blind Side?

LC: Yeah.  Also, we'd seen each other at multiple events throughout the last couple years and we happened to run into each other the night after I read the script.   I brought it up and it kind of snowballed from there.


STUDIO: Back to the fighting – did you find you had to reign back on your skills because the character is not as adept as you?

TL: There was a few times where I just wanted to go crazy and I wanted to throw flips and stuff.   There was one flip that made it in there, but yeah, there was a few times where I would throw a few moves that they'd be like, "Okay Taylor, Nathan doesn't know how to do that, so you can't do that."  So yeah, I was a little frustrated, but it's true I had to take a step back, and the biggest thing we wanted to do with this movie is make it seem as real and grounded as possible.  And you know, it helps when you have the real actors doing the stunts, and Lily and I were able to do the majority of our stunts in this movie, which was very exciting for us, but also makes the movie that much more realistic.


STUDIO: Would you want to do a full-on martial arts movie, where you get to use all the moves you know?

TL: You never know.  I love the fact that I was able to use it in this movie, but this was a great acting piece for me and that's what excited me the most.   It's the journey that this character goes on and it's great that I got to incorporate my martial arts and do a lot of cool stunts, absolutely.  That was just the fun part of this movie.   It also was very challenging, emotionally.

LC: I think there's always something different about when you're doing these crazy stunts and you have to be so focused on not getting hurt.  He makes it look so easy, but it takes a lot of thinking, and it's exhausting to be thinking about keeping yourself safe whilst doing it.  But at the same time, his character is also going through all these emotions in the span of seconds, while dealing with all the physical aspect as well.  I think that was a challenging thing that you surprised everyone with.

TL: Thank you.


STUDIO: You're both at similar junctures in your career.   Taylor, you mentioned all the great actors that are in this film and yet yours is the name on the top of the posters.  Does it feel like you're on the brink of breaking away from the Twilight angle?

TL: This has been a very surreal experience and definitely a dream come true.  I couldn't have done it alone, I really couldn't have.  I had a lot of help from the cast, from the crew and the director.  But this experience was amazing, and with this project specifically, I just went with my heart.  I tried to not over think what should be next, what I should be doing.  The very first time I heard this idea I knew I wanted it to be my next project, and I was very thankful and fortunate that it was able to be.


STUDIO: Lily, you've got Snow White coming out after this as well.   Does it feel like you're on the brink of something major?

TL: I'd say she is.

LC: It is for Snow White in particular when everyone is calling you Snow White.  It's kind of a weird thought that you're the character that the whole story is about.  But just being able to work with people like Julia Roberts and Nathan Lane – being in their presence, let alone being on screen with them, for me is a complete honour and I learn so much from them.  But then being the one that works every single day and is first on the call sheet is a weird concept.  I'm like, "I'm never going to be number one again."   That's my mentality. I'm really excited about getting chances like this and I'm in this for the passion.  I hope to continue working and I feel really lucky so far to have gotten the roles I've gotten, and for them to have arcs in the story and not just be one-dimensional.  »






STUDIO: Taylor, is it a nice breath of fresh air to be doing something different from Twilight?

TL: Yes and no.  That franchise and that character mean so much to me.  That coming to an end is a very bittersweet feeling, but yes, absolutely.  As an actor I want to be able to challenge myself to a wide variety of roles and this here couldn't be more different from Jacob and Twilight, and that's one of the major reasons I was attracted to this.  So yeah, it was great to try something new and I had an amazing time with it.


STUDIO: I imagine you are really tight now with Kristen and Rob. Did you miss having them on set?

TL: It was a little different at first.  We're definitely great friends, but as I was filming this I knew that as soon as I was done, I was going back to spend seven months filming the last two with them.  So I was going to get enough of them!   It was great to be with new people and be with Lily and everybody that we've mentioned thus far.


STUDIO: Lily, have you witnessed the Jacob-mania first hand?

LC: Yes!  One night outside in the city, we had six hundred girls just waiting outside our base camp and Taylor, of course, went out and spent time with every single one of them and signed and took photos.   Just the dedication and the admiration that they have for him, and vice versa, was crazy to see.  I've never witnessed that first hand, but some of them you never know what they are going to do.  They're going to try everything they can to see him, but they're very dedicated and it's really nice to see.


STUDIO: I suppose it's one thing to admire some of your more senior co-stars, but then to see them work up-close, that must have been interesting, particularly to see how they take a character on and off in between takes, or keep the accents up in the case of Alfred Molina and Jason Isaacs...

TL: That was very cool.  I always pay attention to the accent thing, especially with Rob.   The coolest part for me was – and trust me, it was very cool doing scenes with Sigourney Weaver – but the coolest part was just seeing them as people on the set, seeing how they treated the crew, their work ethic, seeing how courteous they were to everyone.   We worked with some amazing people in this movie and that was probably the most important thing for me to see.


STUDIO: Did you pick up any Swedish from Michael Nygvist?

LC: Oh, my gosh, no, just so many memories of Michael saying his lines!  We'd say, "Actually, you say it like this."  We loved hearing him saying his lines.  He was hilarious.  He pretty much wanted to be speaking English and try the American accent.  He was really trying to get into being able to say things and have it understood.  He's funny.

TL: The guy's an incredible actor, but we know him personally and he's hilarious, so when he's doing these spooky scenes and he's supposed to be this bad guy, we were off camera laughing, it was so funny!  Now we watch the movie and we are like, "Whoa, he was actually kind of freaky!"  On set we knew him so well.   He was just hilarious.


STUDIO: Lily, do you consider yourself British?

LC: I do.  I sound very American, but I feel completely British at heart.  I say when I'm travelling here, I'm coming home, but then also when I leave here to go back to LA, I say I'm going home. So I feel like I have two homes, but when I land here at the airport I just de-stress.  I feel like I'm coming back to somewhere that is just so ingrained in me.   I'm very British.


STUDIO: Have you given up journalism for good?

LC: No, I don't like to close any doors officially.  I love writing, so I'm going to keep that up.   I love meeting new people and asking questions and I think that's the heart of journalism – meeting people and asking questions, having conversations.  Maybe one day down the line I will come back to that, but for now my focus is definitely acting.


STUDIO: There's a very intense kissing scene on the train.  How much practice did that take, and did that chemistry really extend off set?

TL: We were able to just dive right into that.  It's funny because the other action scenes – two different kinds of action (laughs) – the other action scenes took a lot of preparation, a lot of training, and for this we figured it would be best to just go for it.  There was really no choreography.  We just thought, "Let's just see what happens and hope it looks well."  The only awkward part about it was that we had a hundred grown men staring at us during all of it, and that's their jobs.  That thought is always at the back of your mind and you have to just get rid of it and live these characters for that moment.  But it was fine – we jumped right into it.

LC: And it's also nice to be able to be in a situation like that with some who doesn't make it awkward, and who you can laugh about it with.  It's automatically a comfortable situation between the two of you because you just don't make it awkward.   Once you make it awkward, the situation becomes awkward.


STUDIO: Taylor, is it true that you got some advice from Tom Cruise about riding the motorbike?

TL: It was less advice and more of him just being very excited for me.  He's obsessed with motorcycles and action and stunts, and all that stuff.   When I told him about this project he was very excited, and told me, "You're going to need training. You've got to know what you're doing because you've actually got to do it yourself."

LC: That was good advice, though.

TL: Yeah it was.  Hopping on a motorcycle and not training would not have been a good idea.  He's a great guy.


STUDIO: People have compared you to him and said you are the young Tom Cruise.  He is someone you know now?

TL: I wouldn't say we're best friends, but I have run into him a few times, and I guess I can say I've technically worked with him.  Once we did this opening skit for the MTV Movie Awards where he was playing his Les Grossman character from Tropic Thunder, and that was very surreal for me because he has definitely been at the top of my list growing up and still is today.  Those are some mighty shoes to fill.   I would give anything to have a tenth of the career that Cruise has had.


STUDIO: You mentioned last year that you are interested in going to university at some point.  Is that still possible or is your career just going too well?

TL: Right now it's very busy and I feel like I'm living my dream, so this is definitely my focus now.  This is what I've wanted to do for a very long time and still I have to pinch myself because I'm not quite sure if this is real.   But yeah, that's always at the back of my mind.   I enrolled in my community college as soon as I finished high school and then I just became too busy.   It definitely interests me.



Words by Anita Bruce-Mills.  Abduction is out in cinemas now.

"This has been a very surreal experience and definitely a dream come true. I just went with my heart."
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