As a countdown to New Moon, the Los Angeles Times is posting daily recaps from their trip to the New Moon set last spring. Yesterday was a Q&A with Melissa Rosenberg; today it’s with New Moon producer Wyck Godfrey.
GM: There had been some talk about whether to recast the role of Jacob because of the physical transformation the character undergoes between “Twilight” and “New Moon.” But you opted to keep Taylor Lautner in the part. Why was that the right call?
WG: It was always the right call to keep him from a character standpoint because people connected to Taylor as Jacob in the first movie. The only thing that ever stood in our way was the physical description of Jacob in the second and third book. Taylor when we were making “Twilight” wasn’t the same Taylor that showed up when we were ready to start making “New Moon.” He said, this is what I’ve done to work myself and do everything I can humanly do to make myself appear as the Jacob that is described by Stephenie Meyer in “New Moon.” When you saw him and saw that he had physically transformed himself to a great degree – people will look at this movie and go, “Oh my gosh, I can’t believe that’s the same guy that was in ‘Twilight.’” And that was really all that we needed to make sure happened because that is what happens in “New Moon.” She does go, “Holy cow, Jacob, you look like a different person,” and he’s like, yeah, well, it’s a growth spurt. It was one that from a practical standpoint we had to acknowledge as an issue when we were deciding to make “New Moon.” It was going to be an issue, but he made it less of an issue by doing the work. It’s a real testament to his passion for the role, his commitment as a kid to do everything he physically could to become Jacob in “New Moon.”
GM: Are you using any tricks to make him look bigger?
WG: There’s a lot of things you can do in terms of putting him in the foreground, raising him up, putting him on higher ground in certain scenes. From a body mass standpoint, we don’t have to do anything. He’s ripped like, to date myself, Marky Mark in 1991. At the end of the day, will people go, wait a minute, Jacob is described as 6’5’’ in the book and he’s clearly not 6’5’’? That’s movie license. At some point, you just have to go with it, but as a spirit, he’s embodied the change and I think that’s what’s important from a character standpoint. You see a transformation in Taylor as an actor from “Twilight” to “New Moon,” which is, I think, going to blow people away.
Read the full Q&A here, and be sure to check back tomorrow to see their next interview.