The John Singleton-directed film is the actor’s bid to become an action star and leave his identity as a young heartthrob behind. But if the reception Lautner got outside Grauman’s Chinese Theatre was any indication, it’ll be a while before he can entirely abandon his teen pinup reputation.
Hundreds of girls lined Hollywood Boulevard, chanting “Taylor!” repeatedly in unison as Lautner made his way down the street, stopping to greet fans for nearly 40 minutes. Though “Abduction” is Lautner’s first major role on the big screen, he came across as a veteran movie star, looking polished in a tailored suit and waving to those he didn’t have the time to meet.
It’s no coincidence that Lautner exudes the presence of a Tom Cruise or a Matt Damon, said Singleton: The director asked the actor to watch the films of such stars to prepare for “Abduction.”
“We studied Harrison Ford, Tom Cruise, Matt Damon — I mean, we even studied James Dean — because I wanted him to see people that were kind of in his position when they were young and how they evolved and changed as artists, just so he could get a sense of what his own path would be,” the filmmaker said.