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Taylor Lautner and Lily Collins talk about working with an all star cast

27 September 2011

What would you do if you found your own picture on a missing persons website?  Teen Nathan Harper (Taylor Lautner) finds himself facing this very dilemma. Setting out to uncover his real identity, Nathan quickly learns his parents are far from who they say they are. When the police, government agents and shadowy figures start to pursue him, Nathan’s quest for the truth erupts into a full-blown “Bourne”-like man-on-the-run thriller.

The Fan Carpet were lucky enough to be in attendance at London’s Claridges Hotel for the press conference of the high octane thriller Abduction. In attendance were the young and upcoming stars Taylor Lautner and English rose Lily Collins.

The pair talk about their experiences on set, working with an all star cast and reminisce about accidents while doing fight scenes and talk about that kiss on the train.



Taylor, it’s been about six or seven years since your first movie with Robert Rodriguez, what are the new things you learnt during Abduction?

Taylor Lautner: Oh yeah, I believe you can never stop growing and learning, and I’m kind of fortunate to have been working since I was ten or eleven years old. I’ve learnt so much over the years working with amazing directors and great actors as well.

This was really a huge step for me because it was different to anything I had done before and the cast we were surrounded by was just unbelievable; we were surrounded by an all star cast, Sigourney Weaver, Alfred Molina, Jason Isaacs, Maria Bello and I really couldn’t have done it without them.


Lily, you’ve said before that you really like watching other cast members on film sets, was their anyone of the all star cast that you really learnt things from?

Lily Collins: Watching Sigourney, I think she is always someone I’ve admired, and her career spans so many different genres, the idea of her being a part of this movie was very exciting, and that she wanted to be a part of this movie was really cool.

I went to set during the filming of the therapy session, I wasn’t filming that day but I just wanted to watch and see how she is, how she switches from one emotion to another and how when they shout cut, she’s Sigourney again. She’s so funny and just an amazing woman, I really love watching them in their element and out of their element.


Tell me about the fight scene with Jason Isaacs, Taylor.

Taylor Lautner: It was awesome! We were very friendly by that point and he’s hilarious, he is so funny. I have looked unto him for a while, ever since I saw him as the bad guy in The Patriot, I love him, and don’t get me wrong he’s done so many roles but this was kind of different for him, we get to see his humour in this movie, as well as different areas, but during that scene it was just fun and we had gloves on so we were like let’s go for it, and he was whacking me the whole time. So it was fun, there were no serious injuries, maybe a few bruises the next day.


There was another fight scene that you mentioned on your Letterman interview.

Taylor Lautner: It’s the brutal fight scene in the train and it was me and Ilia the other actor and we were doing the fight ourselves, so we’re doing the scene and towards the end of the scene I’m supposed to throw an uppercut, and ofcourse we’re faking it so I’m not really punching him. The stunt co ordinator comes up to us both and says the uppercut isn’t selling; Taylor you need to extend more and Ilia you need to stick your chin out more so we can sell the uppercut.
And Im like ok let’s do this, and the very next take sure enough I extend more, he sticks his chin out more and pop, I just connected right in that spot where it just puts you out, and this guys huge and intimidating and he just goes woop and 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 from his lip. He’s like ‘I’m fine, let’s keep going’ and I said ‘No Ilia you really need to look at your lip, it’s not good.’ He was very nice about it but I felt so bad.


How did you get on board the project, Lily?

Lily Collins: I read the script, really connected with it and loved that Karen wasn’t the typical girl next door. She was spunky, she spoke up, she gained self confident throughout the film and she turned into this young woman. So I read the script, obviously loved it.

Taylor Lautner: I will take it from here. Everybody knew from the very beginning that Lily was the only person for this role; she’s the only girl I read with and that’s all we needed to see.


So you had seen her in The Blind Side and things like that?

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


Back to the fighting, do you find generally that you have to reign it back on your skills because the character is perhaps not as adept as you?

Taylor Lautner: There was a couple of times that I just wanted to go crazy, and throw like flips and stuff, there is one flip that made it in there but there was a few times that I threw a few moves and they’re like ‘OK, Taylor, Nathan doesn’t know how to do that.’ So there were a few times where I was a little frustrated but it’s true, I had to take a step back, the main thing we wanted to do with this movie was make it as real and grounded as possible.

And you know it helps when you’ve got the real actors doing the stunts and Lily and I were able to do the majority of our stunts in this movie which makes it very exciting for us but also that little bit more realistic.


Something to develop in the next movie perhaps?

Taylor Lautner: Perhaps, we’ll see.


Presumably you have been offered full on Martial Arts movies, where you are using all those moves you learnt, do you want to do one of those?

Taylor Lautner: You never know. I loved 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 about this movie and the journey that this character goes on, and is it cool that I got to incorporate my Martial Arts in this  movie absolutely, but that was just the fun part of the movie, it also was very challenging emotionally.

Lily Collins: I think there’s also something different when you are doing these crazy stunts and you have to be so focused on not getting hurt and he makes it look so easy but it takes a lot of thinking and it’s exhausting to be thinking about keeping yourself safe while doing it. But at the same time his character is also going through all these emotions while dealing with all of the physical aspect as well, I think that was a really challenging thing that you surprise everyone with.

Taylor Lautner: Thank you.


You’re both at similar junctures in your careers, and Taylor you mentioned all of the great actors you worked with but it’s your name up there on the poster. Did that bring an extra pressure to it? Does it feel like you’re breaking away from the Twilight angle? And Lily you’ve got Snow White coming out after this, does it feel like you are on the verge of something major?

Taylor Lautner: I’d say she is.

Lily Collins: It is for Snow White in particular especially when everyone is calling you Snow White. It’s kind of a weird thought that you’re the character 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 huge honour and I’ve learnt so much from them.
But then being the one who works everyday and being first on the call sheet is a weird concept. I’m the first one on the call sheets and I’m like I’ll never 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 and I hope to continue working and I feel lucky so far to have got the roles that I’ve gotten to have arcs in the story and not be one dimensional.

Taylor Lautner: This for me was a very surreal experience for me, 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, the crew and our director. This experience was amazing, and with this project specifically I just went with my heart, I tried not to over think what should be next, what I should be doing and when I fist heard this idea I knew I wanted it to be my next project and I was very fortunate that it was able to be.


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

Taylor Lautner: Yes and no, I mean that character and that franchise means so much to me, and that coming to an end is a very bitter sweet feeling, but yes absolutely. As an actor I want to be able to challenge myself to a wide variety of roles; and this film couldn’t be more different from Jacob and Twilight and that’s why or one of the major reasons I was attracted to it, it was great to try something new, I had an amazing time with it.


I imagine you are really tight with Rob and Kristen now, you’re a trio, did you miss having them on set?

Taylor Lautner: It was a little different at first, I mean we are definitely great friends but as I was filming this I knew I was going back to film with them for seven months on the last two. But this was great to be with new people, to be with Lily and everyone we’ve mentioned thus far.



Have you witnessed the Jake mania first hand?

Lily Collins: Yes! One night outside in the city we had like six hundred girls waiting outside our base camp and Taylor went out to spend time with every one of them, signing and taking photos, that dedication to be out there, not knowing if someone was gig to drive by. Just the dedication and admiration that they have for him and vice versa was crazy to see. Some of them you never quite know what they are going to do, they’ll do anything to see him and it’s nice to see.


I think it’s one thing to admire some of your more senior cast members, but to see them up close that must be interesting as well, to see how they take the character on and off in between or keep the accents up in the case of Alfred and Jason.

Taylor Lautner: That was really cool, I always pay attention to the accent thing, especially with Rob. But the coolest thing, 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, how courteous they were to everyone. We worked with some amazing people on this movie and that was probably the most important thing for me to see.


Did you pick up any Swedish from Michael Nygvist?

Lily Collins: Oh my gosh, no, just so many memories of Michael saying his lines. We’d say actually you say it like this, 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 thing and have it be understood, and he’s funny.

Taylor Lautner: What was funny about him was, we were watching him on set and the guy is an incredible actor, but we know him personally and when he’s doing these spooky scenes, and he supposed to be this big bad guy; we’re off camera laughing. Now we’ve watched the movie it’s like woah he’s actually kind of freaking, but we knew him so well on set that he was just hilarious.


Lily, you mentioned the Brits in the cast, do you consider yourself British?

Lily Collins: I do, I sound very American but I feel completely British at heart. I say when I’m traveling here that I’m coming home, but when I leave here to go back to LA I say that I’m going home, so I feel that I have two homes, but when I land here I literally just de stress and I feel like I’ve come back to a place that’s so ingrained in me and I’m very very British.


Have you given up Journalism for good now?

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


There’s a very intense kissing scene on the train, I wondered how much practice did it take to get that perfect and did the chemistry extend off screen as we have been lead to believe?

Taylor Lautner: We were able to just dive right into that, it’s funny because the other action scenes two different kinds of action scenes there was a lot of preparation and a lot of training, and for this we thought it best to just go for it, there was really no choreography, it was like let’s just do it and hope that it looks real.

The only awkward part about it was that we had one hundred to one hundred and fifty grown men staring at us the whole time and that’s their jobs so I totally get it, but that thought is always at the back of your mind and you kind of have to get rid of it and live these characters for that moment, but it was fine we just kinda jumped into it.

Lily Collins: I was also nice to be in a situation like that with someone who makes it not awkward, who you can laugh about it with and it’s automatically a comfortable situation between the two of you because you just don’t make it awkward, once you make it awkward it makes the situation awkward.


Taylor, is it true you got advice from Tom Cruise about riding the bike and such?

Taylor Lautner: It was less advice and more him being very excited for me. He’s obsessed with motorcycles and acton and stunts and all that stuff. When he knew about this project he was very excited and said to me you’ll need to train, you need to know what you are doing because you’ll be doing it yourself.

Lily Collins: That was good advice.

Taylor Lautner: Yeah, hoping on a motorcycle and doing all that stuff without training wouldn’t be a good idea. He’s a great guy.


People have compared you to him and said you’re the young Tom Cruise, is he someone you know now?

Taylor Lautner: I wouldn’t say we’re best friends but I have run in to him a few times, and I guess I can say that technically I 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’s definitely been at the top of my list growing up and still is today. But those are mighty big shoes to fill and I would give anything to have a tenth of the career Cruise has had.


You said last year that you’d like to go to university, is that still a possibility or is your career just going too well?

Taylor Lautner: Right now, it’s very busy, and I feel like I’m living my dream right now, this is my focus right now, this is what I’ve wanted to do for a very long time now, I still have to pinch myself because it doesn’t feel quite real. But that’s definitely something that is in the back of my mind. I enrolled into my Community College as soon as I finished High School, and then it just became too busy, but it definitely interests me.



Abduction Film Page