“It’s happened a couple of times. We’ve been at In-N-Out Burger and a little kid went 'Hey, it’s Sharkboy, dad! Sharkboy’s over there!' We were just in an Old Navy and they have these Sharkboy and Lavagirl T-shirts that they’re selling and one kid kept staring at me and the sticker pack that he just received with my picture on it! That was really funny, having the kid go 'Oh my gosh! You’re the REAL Sharkboy! One sec, I have to go tell my friend,' and he runs over, grabs him and we talk for a few minutes.” Taylor Lautner
A world champion martial artist as a kid, Taylor Lautner turned to acting and got his big break when he played Sharkboy in Robert Rodriguez's superhero family movie "The Adventures of Sharkboy and Lavagirl in 3-D" (2005). He also appeared in the action movie "Shadow Fury" (2001), alongside Pat Morita, and in the family comedy "Cheaper by the Dozen 2" (2005), playing Elliot, the son of Eugene Levy and Carmen Electra's characters.
Meanwhile, TV viewers could catch him guest starring in the TV shows "The Bernie Mac Show," "Summerland," "My Wife and Kids," and "Love, Inc." He also did voice-over work in episodes of the animated TV series "What's New, Scooby-Doo," "Duck Dodgers," and "Danny Phantom."
On a more personal note, the 5' 6" French descendant who was featured in “Sporting Kids” magazine once dated Liliana Mumy and teen sensation Miley Cyrus in early 2006. He was also rumored to be dating his "Cheaper by the Dozen 2" (2005) co-star actress, Alyson Stoner, who plays his love interest in the movie.
"My advice for people that want to act would definitely be, 'You can't get down.' Because the average booking rate when you're starting is one out of 75 auditions and that's crazy! So you can't just go to something and not get it and get totally down and want to quit, because that's just not happening unless you're an extremely lucky and talented person. But, once you break into the business more, it will get better. You just can't get down and quit because it's very, very difficult." Taylor Lautner
Childhood and Family:
On February 11, 1992, Taylor Daniel Lautner was born in Grand Rapids, Michigan. He has a sister named Makena Lautner who is 6 1/2 years younger than him.
Before pursuing his acting career, Taylor became an accomplished martial artist. He first trained at age 6 at Fabianos Karate School in Holland, Michigan, and later with seven-time world karate champion Mike Chat. Taylor has since won many karate tournaments on a local, national and international level, including three black belt Junior World Championship trophies.
"Well, I did extreme martial arts and my karate instructor was actually the Blue Power Ranger. He was the one who suggested I audition and thought I would do well. And he was right. I really liked it. So I came out to California for a month to audition and then six months later, we moved out here."
When Taylor decided to pursue an acting career at age 13, he and his family moved to Los Angeles. He is friends with “The Adventures of Sharkboy and Lavagirl 3-D” (2005) co-stars Taylor Dooley and Cayden Boyd, who live minutes away in their new homes in Los Angeles. Taylor attends Valencia High School, in Santa Clarita, California, and is expected to graduate in 2010.
On how he juggles school and acting, Taylor revealed, "I get mostly A's with an occasional A- here and there. The key is an open communication with my teacher. My parents and me are in close communication with my teachers to make sure I'm not missing anything and understanding assignments. This doesn't mean it's not been difficult, because it has. I think once the school understands that my education is important to me, and then they are more understanding. The last week has been really tough. I've had to stay up till 10:30 or 11:00 pm each night to make sure all my homework is done."
In his free time, Taylor loves football and has played running back and middle linebacker for the Castaic Cougars. He enjoys watching college football and supports the Michigan Wolverines. Taylor also loves baseball. He joined the Hart Baseball Program and plays center field and second base.
Taylor also performs with the hip hop dance group LA Hip Kids and Jazz dance group Hot Shots.
The Adventures of Sharkboy
A keen martial artist as a child, Taylor Lautner became interested in acting at age 7 after he enjoyed his first audition for a part in a Burger King commercial in Los Angeles that he took with the encouragement of his martial arts instructor. Although he didn’t receive the part, Taylor was determined to pursue an acting career. His parents supported his plan and the family subsequently made a move to Los Angeles so Taylor could join more auditions for acting roles.
In the new destination, 9-year-old Taylor landed his film debut in the action film "Shadow Fury" (2001), which was directed by Makoto Yokoyama and stars Sam Bottoms, Masakatsu Funaki, Alexandra Kamp-Groeneveld, and Pat Morita. In the film, he played the child version of Kismet, whose older versions were played by John Stork and Bas Rutten. He followed it up with guest roles in an episode of the Fox sitcom "The Bernie Mac Show," the WB drama "Summerland," and ABC’s sitcom starring Damon Wayans and Tisha Campbell, "My Wife and Kids."
"My agent got me an audition with the casting director. I went in and did my sides with her and about two weeks later my agent called and said they want me to go meet Robert Rodriguez at a hotel in L.A. I was like 'Okay, cool!' I went there and I met him and his son Racer, who came up with the idea of the film. About a month after that, I found out that I booked the part and we were really, really excited." Taylor Lautner (on getting a part in the film "The Adventures of Sharkboy and Lavagirl in 3-D," 2005)
2005 became Taylor's breakout year when he snagged the lead role of Sharkboy, a half-shark kid who was once lost at sea and raised by sharks, in director Robert Rodriguez's superhero family movie "The Adventures of Sharkboy and Lavagirl in 3-D." About his character in the film, Taylor explained, "He’s a superhero and he’s made up by Max [played by Cayden Boyd]. He dreams Sharkboy and Lavagirl up. Sharkboy’s very self-confident and sometimes his confidence gets him into trouble. And you know he’s really jealous of Max in the movie and he goes into these things called shark frenzies and he bites bars and rips stuff. But he was fun to play."
Although the film that also stars Taylor Dooley, Cayden Boyd, and George Lopez was widely panned by critics, it managed to perform modestly at the box office. Taylor Lautner, who did his own stunts in the movie, received a Young Artist Award nomination for Best Performance in a Feature Film (Comedy or Drama) - Leading Young Actor.
He revealed, "I do extreme martial arts and he (Rodriguez) saw a tape of me and he let me choreograph my own stunt scene in the film. I also do a song and I flip to that. The extreme martial arts is like a bunch of acrobatics and flips and tricks. I still train at my house but I can’t compete because it’s just way too busy, but it’s a good skill to have."
Also that same year, Taylor began receiving voice-over work. He provided his voice in two episodes of Kid’s WB’s "What's New, Scooby-Doo?" and Cartoon Network's "Duck Dodgers," as well as in three episodes of Nickelodeon's "Danny Phantom."
"I definitely love film and live acting better than voice-over, but I do a lot of voice-over stuff and, you know what, I love both. I like live acting and I love voice-over because you're not on camera and usually you're playing a person totally opposite of yourself and you just get to change your voice and be a weird character and that's an awful lot of fun. I just got back from a voice-over job yesterday." Taylor Lautner
Meanwhile, moviegoers could catch him as Elliot Murtaugh, Eugene Levy and Carmen Electra's son who falls for the daughter (played by Alyson Stoner) of his family’s rival, in Adam Shankman's family comedy movie "Cheaper by the Dozen 2" (2005; Steve Martin and Bonnie Hunt play the parents of the Baker family). He explained about the film, “There’s the huge Steve Martin family on vacation and then I play one of the kids in the competing family. Carmen Electra plays my mom and Eugene Levy my dad, in a family full of athletes and straight-A students. I have seven brothers and sisters and we have competitions and wars with the Steve Martin family.”
Afterward, Taylor returned to television and could be seen as a guest in an episode of the UPN sitcom "Love, Inc." He also lent his voice to the animated made-for-TV movie "He's a Bully, Charlie Brown" (2006).