August 31, 2009

Lautner:  Hiring me wasn't necessary

Taylor Lautner Poses An Interesting QuestionFifty percent of the time a franchise's success depends on casting the right actor (I blame part of "Superman Returns'" failure on Brandon Routh and Kate Bosworth) and 50 percent of the time a franchise will be successful no matter who you cast (look at the ever-rotating casts of "Saw"). And to hear Taylor Lautner tell it, he believes "Twilight" falls squarely in the latter category.

"I think the fans would love anybody who played Jacob," he says in the October issue of Teen Vogue. "I'm just lucky to be the one who got the chance."
Comment:  We've heard talk about how hiring Lautner was necessary to get investors to fund the Twilight movie. Or necessary to get "tween" fans into the theaters.

But finally Lautner has stated what some of us realized long ago. Namely, that from the studio's standpoint, it doesn't matter who plays Twilight's Indian characters. Any decent actors could do the job and everyone--investors, executives, filmmakers, fans--would accept them.

In other words, Lautner has just shot down one of the rationales for hiring non-Natives like him rather than Natives like the Wolf Pack actors. Lautner wasn't necessary for Twilight's success and he knows it. Therefore, studios should stop making lame excuses and start doing the right thing: hiring Native actors for Native roles.

For more on the subject, see Quileute Werewolves in Twilight.

No comments: