What’s So Great About…Taylor Lautner?

Besides having an eight pack washboard stomach and reprising his role in New Moon, Taylor Lautner, 16 used to be a nobody. He didn’t even know what Twilight was!

“When I signed on, I had no idea it was going to be like this,” he said. “I hadn’t even heard of ‘Twilight’ yet. As soon as I was cast, I did some research and found out it was a bit bigger than I expected—and (even) then, I didn’t even know how big it was going to be,” Taylor tells local Michigan paper MLive.com.

Born Taylor Daniel Lautner, his first love wasn’t acting—it was karate. He began winning tournaments by the age of seven, and trained with world karate champions when he was eight. The same year, he was asked to represent his country in the World Karate Association where he proved himself by becoming the Junior World Forms and Weapons champion, winning three gold medals.

The karate kid’s first foray into acting was at the behest a martial arts instructor who pushed him to audition for a Burger King commercial! He didn’t land the part, but loved being on camera so much that he told his parents he wanted to pursue a career in acting. Soon, he and his family were traveling back-and-forth from their home in Michigan to California so Taylor could audition for acting roles on a regular basis.

His big break came in 2005 at the age of 13. Taylor was the lead in The Adventures of Sharkboy and Lavagirl 3-D. Within months, he successfully auditioned to play Eliot, the son of the Bakers’ rival, in Cheaper by the Dozen 2.

There had been speculation that he might not be on board for New Moon, due to the character’s radical physical transformation in the book series.

But a few weeks ago Taylor bulked up for the challenge.  “I had put on 20 pounds,” Taylor told Access Hollywood.

“I started working out the day after I finished filming Twilight because I knew it was a necessity for the character… I guaranteed 10 more pounds, and I’ve already put on six.”

Let’s not be quick to forget his other project. He was featured in Cassi Thomson’s music video “Caught Up In You.”