There are many reasons Twihards loved the Twilight saga. There’s the forbidden romance made complicated by a love triangle, shiny warring vampires, and the screen time dedicated to Jacob Black’s abs. Taylor Lautner, who played the shape-shifting wolf swooning over Bella Swan, was only 16 when the first series installment premiered. Like the rest of the cast, he turned into an overnight sensation. A full decade after the franchise ended in 2012, Lautner opened up about the complicated relationship he had with post-Twilight fame.
On Thursday, Jan. 27, in an interview with Today, the typically-private actor shared, “I went so many years either not leaving my house,” adding, “It built up something inside of me where, I didn't know it, but I was scared to go out. I'd get super anxious to go out. So I just didn't.”
Lautner continued, “Not many things in life can come and happen overnight. Fame can. It also can disappear overnight.” The Scream Queens actor recalled, “When I was 16, 17, 18 years old, waking up and trying to just go out for a walk or go on a date, and I had 12 cars waiting outside my house to follow me wherever I'm going.” Though Lautner found the situation “frustrating” because he “wanted to live a normal life,” he confessed that when fame is “taken away from you at all, you start to question yourself.” “When it goes away a little bit, you notice it, and that's the dangerous part because that can mess with your mind,” he said.
His recourse was to take a five-year acting hiatus after his last project, Run The Tide, in 2016. The time off seemed to do him good. Now, he’s back in Hollywood with a new Netflix football movie called Home Team, out today. Speaking about his break from acting, Lautner said, “It was needed for me personally, so I, Taylor, feel so much better today than I have in the last four, five years.” Looking back, Lautner said he’s still grateful for the Twilight experience. “I’m happy because of what it’s taught me. It’s made me who I am right now. For that, I’m thankful.”