Taylor Lautner spoke about struggling to deal with fame as a teenager in a candid new interview with his friend Jason Kennedy for NBC’s “Today” show.
Lautner was thrust into the limelight at age 16 when he played werewolf Jacob Black in the “Twilight” franchise.
The actor, now 29, shared, “Not many things in life can come and happen overnight. Fame can. It also can disappear overnight. When I was 16, 17, 18 years old, waking up and trying to just go out for a walk or go on a date and I had 12 cars waiting outside my house to follow me wherever I’m going or show up to an airport or anywhere, and you have thousands of fans screaming.”
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He went on, “In the moment, it got frustrating because you just wanted to live a normal life. But then when that’s taken away from you at all, you start to question yourself and start to be like, ‘Oh, do people not care about me anymore?’ When it goes away a little bit, you notice it, and that’s the dangerous part, because that can mess with your mind.”
Lautner, who now stars in the Netflix movie “Home Team”, admitted that he didn’t step foot inside a grocery store, movie theatre, or mall for over 10 years due to the craziness of it all.
He said of when he finally stepped back inside a grocery store, “It felt like freedom.”
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“I went so many years either not leaving my house, or if I did, hat, sunglasses, and just like, scared,” Lautner told Kennedy. “It built up something inside of me where, I didn’t know it but I was scared to go out. I’d get super-anxious to go out. So I just didn’t.”
After the final “Twilight” film, “Breaking Dawn: Part 2″, was released in 2012, the attention died down. Lautner eventually took a step back from Hollywood to work on himself.
He said he feels “so much better today than I have in the last 4-5 years,” crediting his fiancée Taylor Dome for being “a large part” of getting him to where he is now.
Lautner joked about his other half being named Taylor Lautner once the pair tie the knot, and revealed that she was “diehard Team Edward.”
“I converted her,” he added.
Kennedy also asked Lautner if the “fame was worth it,” to which he said that his answer would have been different four or five years ago.
However, he insisted, “If you ask me now, now I say no. I am happy because of what it’s taught me. It’s made me who I am right now and for that I’m thankful.”