Taylor Lautner Opens Up About "Awkward" Rivalry With Robert Pattinson

Twilight fans splitting off into Team Jacob and Team Edward was strange for them, he says.

The rivalry between Team Edward and Team Jacob was so strong that it impacted the real lives of the actors who played those characters. In the Twilight movies (adapted from the book series by Stephanie Meyer), Robert Pattinson and Taylor Lautner played Bella Swan's (Kristen Stewart) love interests, vampire Edward Cullen and werewolf Jacob Black, respectively. The competition written for their characters and argued amongst fans intensified with the release of the movies, and Lautner now says that being pit against one another was "awkward" and "difficult" for himself and Pattinson.

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"I think it was tough," Lautner said on the most recent episode of the podcast Call Her Daddy (via Entertainment Tonight). "I don't know for him, but for me at least it definitely, especially at the age I was at, you get your feelings hurt sometimes when you shouldn't. It's hard not to sometimes. It was a little difficult." When the first movie was released in 2008, Lautner was 16. When the final movie hit theaters in 2012, he was 20. Meanwhile, Pattinson ranged in age from 22 to 26 across the franchise.

"I think it was awkward at times for the two of us to be standing together on a balcony and having 10,000 girls booing Rob, but then cheering for me, but then this half booing me and cheering [for Rob], but then us having to have some sort of friendship," the actor, who is now 31, continued. "It was difficult."

Robert Pattinson, Kristen Stewart, and Taylor Lautner at the "Twilight: Breaking Dawn Part 1" premiere in 2011
Kathy Hutchins / Shutterstock

Lautner said that he and Pattinson never became close anyway, simply because they're "very, very different people." He explained, "We never really connected on a deep level just because we're different humans. But he was always fantastic and the sweetest person ever."

Lautner also opened up about confronting Twilight's passionate fanbase earlier this year. "I was so young and, yeah, I do feel like it was very strange traveling the world and being in different cities and having thousands of screaming fans either taking your side or the other guy's side," he told the podcast The Toast in February (via Business Insider). "Like, we're a team. We're both just trying to make the best movies." He added, "Yeah, it was a little bizarre, the competitiveness. There wasn't a competitiveness between me and Rob, but having that constant reminder, it definitely had an impact."

Even though it was awkward dealing with the Edward vs. Jacob rivalry behind the scenes, Lautner and Pattinson appeared to get along well while promoting the movie together. During the 2011 MTV Movie Awards, the two surprised viewers by kissing each other after Pattinson and Stewart won the award for Best Kiss. They also joked around with each other during appearances, such as on The Ellen DeGeneres Show in 2012. On the talk show, Pattinson said of Lautner growing up on screen, "Taylor left the first movie being like a 15-year-old little boy with a long wig and then he came back like a Chippendale."

Lautner has also expressed that the fame that Twilight brought on was hard to deal with. "I had people sitting outside my house every single day, and it drove me crazy," Pattinson told NME in 2015 (via People). "I didn't go into a supermarket for about six years. But now I can go in and chat to the guy who's working there about his kids, or where he's going on holiday, and not be thinking, 'Is he gonna sell me out?' I just don't have to think about that stuff anymore."

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Lia Beck
Lia Beck is a writer living in Richmond, Virginia. In addition to Best Life, she has written for Refinery29, Bustle, Hello Giggles, InStyle, and more. Read more
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