'Twilight' to film one or two days in LaPush
The teen actor set to play Jacob is Taylor Lautner, who recently starred in "The Adventures of Sharkboy and Lavagirl."
The fans were quick to react to this news:
Taylor Lautner is Jacob Black!
I may not be full-blooded, but I know a Native when I see one, and honestly, Taylor Lautner looks like an English American mutt who just happens to be brown. Sorry if that offends anyone.
Maria, thank you for explaining. Honestly, I feel that if an Asian or African American had been casted as Bella, the Caucasian community would have freaked out. Native Americans are a serious minority in this country, and when a big role comes along in which the actor is supposed to be Native American, and ends up not being so, it’s a huge insult to our community.
I also understand the whole holding auditions away from the reservations but then they should have held them closer to the reservations. To me, that is kinda saying that they don’t really care if that get a true NA or a fake one.
What difference does his ethnicity make, as long as he fits his role and doesn’t insult the culture in any way?
When i read the book i imagined a gorgeous NA with long black hair…
Of course, the original character--6'7" with a ponytail--also sounds a bit stereotypical. In terms of height and hairstyle, Lautner is much more typical than the fictional Jacob, who sounds like someone's dream of a Native hunk.
A note to the person who said "I AM SOOO NOT RACIST, I DID A PROJECT ON IT": I don't care if you're a full-blooded Indian. Your statement is sooo racist.
"Do your research"
So what's the story about Lautner's ancestry? Is he or isn't he part Native?
A Google search reveals that everyone who claims he's Native has referred to his Wikipedia entry. Since people can edit Wikipedia, I don't know what it used to say. But at present it says nothing about his ancestry. All it does is link to a Native actors page, which links back to the Lautner page. That's not exactly conclusive evidence.
Someone referred to an MTV interview that Lautner did. Here's part of it:
Lautner, who told us that some recent research into his family history revealed that he shares Jacob’s Native American ancestry, arrived in Portland last week to spend some time behind the wheel of a “Twilight” vehicle and assure filmmakers he’d be OK to drive on camera with his newly received license. He was also eager to slip into his character—although his new costume did leave him scratching his head.
This genealogical find seems a little too convenient to me. Here's what I think happened. When it became clear people were going to protest his casting, someone dug up some "Natives" (I use the term advisedly) in his family tree.
So who are Lautner's Native ancestors? Are they even remotely connected to the Indians of the Pacific Northwest? Anyone want to bet he discovered his great-great grandmother was a Cherokee princess?
No, wait...I know. He has a Latino in his background, and Latinos are part Native, so that makes him part Native. Just ask Robert "Chakotay" Beltran if you don't believe me.
Without anything resembling evidence, Lautner's Native claims are dubious at best. And even if he has a Native ancestor, that doesn't make him Native. Unless he has strong cultural or biological ties to tribal people, he's just a non-Native with a drop of Native blood.
Let's sum it up. Lautner doesn't look remotely like the character Jacob. He doesn't look remotely like an Indian. His biggest role to date is a juvenile hero named Sharkboy.
Raise your hands: How many think Lautner was cast because he's part Native and has the depth and background to play a Native character? And how many think he was cast because he's "cute" and "hot" and "awesome"?
I'm going to go with the person who said:
Yeah, that's the racist Hollywood sense that makes Lautner the best choice to play Jacob Black.
For more on the subject, see our past discussions about who's an Indian. Also see The Best Indian Movies and The Best Indian Books.
Below: "I'm an Indian warrior! I don't have a shirt on!"