Monday, January 12, 2009

Taylor Lautner's Body and Reactions to It

So, I'm not sure if that video is actually going to show up. In the event that it doesn't, it's a video I'm sure you've all seen: Taylor's Access Hollywood interview where he shows us the goods. Unless you're just not that into Taylor or you'd feel bad lusting after a 16-year old, your jaw probably dropped to the floor and your eyes bugged out the first time you watched it. (C'mon. We ALL replayed the video a few dozen times.)

I'm one of those people. Now, I'm not letting myself cruh on the kid until he's 18, and I'm not a big fan of muscles -- They scare me. -- but I bugged out when I saw his physique. In the natural world, is there any 16-year old that looks like that? Not from what I've seen. There are some pretty fit kids, yeah, but not like THAT!

Because I'm a big Taylor Lautner fan (Could you tell yet?), I've been looking through reactions on various websites. Most have been positive, if not slightly exaggerated. Of course, there is a negative side to everything. Let me start off by saying that EVERY side has a right to its opinion. I'll admit that I usually don't like anybody's opinion that doesn't match my own, but they still have a right to disagree. I'm just a stubborn wench sometimes.

Anyhow, there have been a few Twilight fans that have felt some sort of dishonor by people's reactions. They've mostly been diehard Robert Pattinson fans. Not anything against the RPattzers -- He seems like a GREAT guy -- but these few individuals have felt betrayed by some of the things others have said.

What has been said?

Various people are claiming that while they are not Jacob fans, they might be switching teams. Others say that Robert has some competition to live up to, and now they might be lusting after Taylor more than him. Even Taylor said in the video above (which may or may not be visible) that Robert better move over.

Those are some pretty bold statements, and while most people have just shrugged them off, there are some who didn't take as kindly to them. They're saying that true Robert/Edward fans wouldn't switch teams just because the kid buffed up. They're also saying that his modesty is fake and the he's growing conceited.

When you're passionate about something -- which these fans clearly are -- it's easy to get riled up. It's easy to take things too seriously, which is what I think they're doing.

When people say that they're considering switching teams (Whether from Team RPattz to Team Taylor, or from Team Edward to Team Jacob), I don't think they're being serious. In a sense, it's a hyperbole. (I'm using that correctly, right?) We've had video and picture evidence of his bulkiness before, but it was merely a hint of what was beneath the shirt. The Access Hollywood interview was the FIRST TIME we'd seen his new body in completion. I think his new physique simply awed a lot of people. It wasn't that they were switching teams, it's just that they were taken aback.

And then there were the mutterings of "Robert had better move over!", even from Taylor himself. Those few who weren't astounded by the magnificence of his muscles claimed that he was being conceited. Taylor, from the very start, has been an overeager participant in the Twilight franchise. He has ALWAYS played up the Edward/Jacob rivalry. I don't think he actually considers himself competition against Rob (That's up to the fans, right?); I think he's just hyping the rivalry up. He's 16. His previous work was playing a Sharkboy, having a role in Cheaper By The Dozen 2, and playing Christian Slater's son in a tv show that got canceled. This is really his first big project that's not necessarily aimed at kids and that he has security in. I think he's just excited.

Naturally, this is all just opinion. I don't intimately know the boy -- I've never met him -- so I have no legitimate say in what he's like. Here's to hoping I'm right, though!

But then the rants continue onto something more that doesn't have squat to do with his personality: his height. Sure, he's bulked up, but how is he going to GROW?

Supposedly, he's already gained a couple of inches since Twilight. However, I have no way to verify this myself short of stalking the kid and measuring him myself. So since I don't fancy going to jail anytime or getting a restraining order slapped on me, I'll mention a few ways of them making him seem taller.

One easy and efficient way of doing this is just by putting lifts into his shoes. They've used shoes to make people seem taller in Twilight before. Ashley Greene and Nikki Reed are only about an inch apart in height's difference -- 5'5" and 5'6 1/2" respectively. If you've paid attention while reading the books (or just brushed up on the facts over at the Twilight Lexicon like me!), you'll remember that Alice (played by Greene) is 4'10", and Rosalie (played by Reed) is 5'9". In order to substitute for the lack of dramatic height difference, Reed was given stilettoes. Taylor can't very well wear high heels, so he might have to do with the lifts, which are VERY REAL. You can BUY them.

Then there are boxes. What? BOXES?! Well, digging a ditch like Taylor suggested might violate some terms of use, so boxes would be the next best thing. Now, I'm not a big Tom Cruise fan (His best work was when he was a kid and did that Mimi ship science video thing...), so I can't say my claims are entirely accurate. For the sake of this argument, however, I'll pretend that they are. According to, Tom Cruise is 5'7". He's just as tall as I am. In fact, I might be a half-inch taller. But in Hollywood, that would never do. Big stars need to, well, be big. So I've heard many a rumor that Tom is often placed on a box to appear taller. Hmmm.

Lastly, there is the option of camera angles. It is also simple but effective. It even costs less than grabbing a box or buying some shoe lifts. They've already got cameras; they just have to tilt them. It might seem like a cheap and cheesy way to do things, but it's effective. If you're a Twilight fan (Which you should be if you're HERE.), you might be a Harry Potter fan. I know I am! Remember Robbie Coltrane? Well, for those of you who don't, he plays Hagrid. Now, the guy looks like a GIANT, which is good because his character is half. How tall is he, actually? He must be at least 6'7". Oh, wait... He's only 6'1". That's actually rather unremarkable. Jared Padalecki, who plays Sam on CW's Supernatural, is taller than him at 6'4". So how do they make 'Hagrid' look so burly? By padding his clothing, adding lifts to his shoes, AND SHOOTING FROM BELOW! Now, if you're a Twilight and Harry Potter fan, you might also be a Lord of the Rings fan. (I'm not... Not really.) Remember Elijah Wood, who plays Frodo? He was so cute and furry and SMALL. Well, though he might be an inch shorter than Cruise at 5'6", the guy isn't the tiny hobbit we all know and love. How did they accomplish the illusion of his stature? Through a little thing called 'forced perspective' -- they had actors stading or sitting a few feet ahead of Elijah, making it look like they were towering over him.

So despite his lack of height, you'd be surprised how easy it is to create the illusion of somebody being incredibly tall or short. Give it a chance, folks!


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