Best known for his iconic role in the beloved series, #TheTwilightSaga, Taylor Lautner went from hero to zero in literally a year and a half. After finishing off a six-year project and franchise in 2012 that was supposed to leave him reigning as one of Hollywood's hottest and most sought after celebrities, Taylor fell flat on his face after Twilight ended, and for the life of me, I cannot figure out what happened to the boy from Michigan that was set to become the next Matt Damon in the world of action movies.
I was a young teenager when Twilight was captivating every female figure with a heartbeat. I remember falling hard for the exotic boy who still had a touch of childhood roundness to his face when watching Twilight for the first time, realizing slowly that #TaylorLautner was taking the title as my first celebrity crush. And it wasn't just thirteen-year-old girls who were falling fast and hard for this teenage werewolf, even grown women who were wives and mothers had posters of Taylor Lautner hanging in their garage. His fan base ranged from all different ages, and to think he was only sixteen when he was cast for the role of a lifetime, and possibly his entire career.
I mean. C'mon:
He was sixteen when cast in Twilight, and he just turned twenty-four a couple weeks ago on February 11. So, what has he been doing all this time? Twilight set Taylor up for success. It molded him into a kick-butt action hottie who's brilliant at stunt work and awesome at fist fights. Surely he took those newly built skills and talents and ran with them, right? Wrong!
2013 - What just happened exactly?
Fresh out of #Twilight a couple months after the highly anticipated closure to the Saga, Breaking Dawn Part 2 came out in theaters, Taylor started working with Adam Sandler in a sequel to one of his bigger projects, Grown Ups 2. Taylor played a frat boy in the film, and while he was actually pretty funny in the movie, it was a little disappointing to see Taylor's first role since Jacob in Twilight be a (bad!) comedy and a side character for that matter. I mean, come on! None of us wanted to see Taylor hop off the Twilight train and immediately get bucked in the crotch by a psychotic deer! That wasn't cool, man.
But no worries, right? He'll do something epic next and nobody's going to remember this let down. He probably just wanted to branch out of his comfort zone, right? Right? No.
2014 - The year I wanted to bash my head into the coffee table
I had such high hopes for Taylor's next solo film. His first big project since his first solo project, Abduction in 2011! This movie was so promising too: action film, plenty of pictures on the internet of Taylor training with a stunt double, he even dated his co-star for a while after filming: all the signs for a good action flick that no doubt would be his step up to grabbing some good roles with some good directors in the future.
Like I said, I had very high hopes. So, whenever it came out that this film wouldn't actually premiere in theaters but become an exclusive DirecTV picture, I tried not to let that shake my faith in how good the movie was going to be. I made my mom rent it anyway and forced my whole family to sit down and watch it with me. Yeah, they still won't let me live that down.
Tracers was a crash and burn in every possible way. The plot was stupid, the "love story" (if you care to call it that) was horrible, and it had just enough unnecessary sexual content to bump the rating to R, but they didn't actually show some scenes that were discussed, so I guess it still leveled at PG-13. Actually, all the parkour was pretty awesome to watch, and it was the only thing that made that movie bearable. But I'll never again spend $10 on a movie without reading some reviews first, that's for sure.
Taylor, because of that awful film you put out, my family will never let me pick the movie for movie night ever again. I hope you're happy. Tracers? Seriously? I know you can do better than that!
2015 - At this point, I can't even think about my thirteen-year-old celebrity crush without cringing
2015 was definitely quieter for Taylor. Probably because he went underground after Tracers. In fact, nobody heard a word from him until late 2015.
In August, Taylor appeared at the premiere of Twilight co-star #KristenStewart's movie, American Ultra. While it was said he only showed up to support his friend and the only member from the Twilight cast that he still spoke with, he and Kristen ended up on the red carpet together for the first time since Breaking Dawn Part 2.
That was exciting to see, and probably my favorite thing Taylor's done since Twilight. After that, he actually started coming out of hiding.
In December of 2015, Taparody was released on #Netflix, Taylor visited Comic-Con for the first time since 2012 for e Ridiculous 6. He worked with #AdamSandler again in this western spoof and it was said that Adam actually reached out to Taylor for this project, requesting him personally.#
I haven't seen the movie myself, mostly because I'm still traumatized from Tracers and Grown Ups 2 and I'm not sure how much more failure I can handle, but I've heard that the movie actually wasn't that bad. Translation: it's not going to bring back kick-butt Taylor, but it probably wouldn't make me want to rip my hair out. But then again, maybe it would.
2016 - Along came Scream Queens...FINALLY
Since The Ridiculous 6 parody was released on Netflix, Taylor visited Comic-Con for the first time since 2012 for Breaking Dawn Part 2 with his fellow Ridiculous 6 cast. He also made an appearance at this past 2015 American Music Awards and presented an award alongside Terry Crews.
But after that, finally he seems to be gaining some traction again. I mean, he's playing a heartthrob-type doctor in #ScreamQueens on MTV so surely that should get him some recognition, right? But we want to see him back in movies again!
I don't know anything about the process of making a movie or being cast in a movie and I'm not going to pretend I do, but it seems like an actor with a big name (like the one Taylor used to have) and a big following shouldn't have a problem finding roles in cool movies that are going to do well in theaters. Taylor made it big in Twilight when he had no name, so what's stopping him from making it big in another franchise now that he does have a name?