We’re not the biggest fans of John Singleton’s new thriller Abduction (a rather scathing review here), but we’re pleased to report its two young stars are charming in the flesh.
We attended a press conference with Taylor Lautner, and had the unexpected bonus of rising star Lily Collins. Thankfully we didn’t have to fight our way through hordes of Twilight fans, as fans of the oft-shirtless wolfboy Jacob Black were positioned outside the IMAX for the UK premiere.
After lots of gushing about their classy co-stars Sigourney Weaver, Alfred Molina, Maria Bello and Jason Isaacs, here are the highlights.
How did Lily get involved?
Taylor: Everybody from the very beginning knew that Lily was the only person for this role. She was the only girl I read with - that was all we needed to see.
Lily: I read the script and really really loved 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, and obviously loved it. We also hung out and had seen each other at multiple events throughout the last couple of years. We happened to run into each other the night after I’d read the script at an event, and I brought it up and it just kind of snowballed from there.
What did you learn from your co-stars?
Lily: I loved watching Sigourney Weaver. I think that she’s someone I’ve always admired, and her career spans so many different genres. The idea that she was going to be a part of this movie was very exciting - she really wanted to be a part of this. I went to set during the filming of the therapy session scene - I wasn’t filming that day but I really wanted to watch and see how she is, see how she switches from one emotion to another, and then when they shout cut, she’s Sigourney again. She’s so funny and she’s really just an amazing woman. I really love watching them out of their element and in their element.
Taylor: I always pay attention to the accent thing. The coolest part for me. Trust me, it was very cool to be doing the scenes with Sigourney Weaver and everyone, but the coolest part was seeing them as people on set, how they treated the crew, their work ethic, how courteous they were to everyone. That was really cool.
Taylor, did you have to rein back your martial arts skills with your screen dad Jason Isaacs?
Taylor: Jason was pretty impressive! There were 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 were a few times where I’d throw a few moves and they’d be like, ‘Taylor, Nathan doesn’t know how to do that, so you can’t do that!’ So yeah, there were a few times where I was a little frustrated. But it’s true, I had to take a step back - the biggest thing we wanted to do with this movie was to 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.
Is it true one stunt went slightly wrong?
Taylor: It’s the brutal fight scene in the train and it was me and Ilia [Volok], who’s the other actor, and we were doing the fight ourselves. We’re doing this scene and towards the end of the scene I’m supposed to throw an uppercut, 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, ‘OK guys, the uppercut 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 uppercut.’ And I’m like, ‘Ok let’s do this’. 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. This guy’s huge and so intimidating and he just goes bang - he was out for like two seconds. 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. And he’s like, ‘I’m fine, I’m good, let’s just keep going,’ and I’m like, ‘Ilia you really need to look at your lip, it’s not good.’ He was very nice about it but I felt so bad!
Lily: There aren’t many people who could take down a six foot five Russian guy!
Was it nice to be involved with a project that wasn’t Twilight?
Taylor: Yes and no. That franchise and that character means 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 couldn’t be more different to Jacob and Twilight, and that’s why, or one of the major reasons, I was attracted to this. It was great to try something new and I had an amazing time with it.
Did having your name at the top of the poster bring extra pressure?
Taylor: This was a very surreal experience for me, and definitely a dream come true. you know, I couldn’t have done it alone, I really couldn’t have. I had a lot of help in the cast and the crew and our director, but this experience was amazing and with this project specifically I just went with my heart. I mean, I tried to not overthink what should be next, what I should be doing. The very first time I heard this idea I knew that I wanted it to be my next project, and was very thankful and fortunate that it was able to be.
Lily, with your next project as Snow White do you feel like you’re on the brink of something?
Lily: It is very strange when it’s Snow White and everyone calls 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 learnt so much from them. But then being the one at work every single day and the first on the call sheet is a weird concept. I mean, I’m the one who saves the call sheets because I think I’m never going to be number one again, that’s my mentality anyway! I’m really excited about getting chances like this. I’m in this for the passion and I hope to continue working. I feel really lucky so far to have gotten the roles that I’ve gotten and for them to have the arcs that they’ve had in the story, and not just be one dimensional.
Did you pick up any Swedish from Girl With the Dragon Tattoo star Michael Nyqvist?
Lily: Oh my gosh, so many memories of Michael saying his lines! We loved listening to him saying his lines. He pretty much really wanted to try and get the American accent, he really wanted to be able to say things and be understood. He was funny.
Taylor: He was very funny. What was funny is that on-set we were watching him… The guy is an incredible actor, but we know him personally and he’s hilarious, so when he doing his “spook” scenes and he’s supposed to be this big bad guy, we’re off camera laughing!
Our friends at Filmbeat caught up with Taylor and Lily for a filmed interview below.