Teen star also discusses his research on the Quileute tribe to play Native American character Jacob Black.
Lautner: I actually had a meeting with Quileute tribal members yesterday! I interviewed them and just wanted to get to know them. One thing they do that I noticed is they don't need to be told to what to do. If the trash is getting full, they empty it out. They're always helping each other. They're always there for each other. So I just want to make sure I can bring that part of Jacob alive.
MTV: For a little while, the Twilighters were intent on having a Native American actor play Jacob.
Lautner: I know! And actually, I am part Native American. We learned that through [preparing for] this film. I'm French, Dutch and German, and on my mother's side, she has some Potawatomi and Ottawa Indian in her.
I don't think we should give the filmmakers any credit if they cast Lautner first and then discovered a trace of Native ancestry. They cast someone who they thought was non-Native because they didn't care about making the character authentic.
Thanks to correspondent DMarks for bringing this interview to my attention. He adds:
I know this does not really make him Indian. Just a white guy who has (?) some Indian ancestry, but nothing firm enough where it could be documented and he could be an enrolled member of the Grand Traverse Band of Ottawa and Chippewa Indians, or the Little River Band of Ottawa Indians (the reservations in the counties where his family is from).
For more on the subject, see Quileute Werewolves in Twilight.