"Tracers," the new movie starring "The Twilight Saga" breakout Taylor Lautner, sounds a little far-fetched on paper. In the thriller, Lautner stars as Cam, a bike messenger up to his handlebars in debt who gets tangled up in the "dark world" of parkour.
But after seeing the kind of free-running moves that Lautner pulled off all by himself on set, it all made perfect sense to us. MTV News' Josh Horowitz was there on the New York City set of "Tracers" to find out what Lautner has been up to since we left behind the vampires and wolves of Forks, Washington.
It turns out that he's been practicing parkour a lot.
"The action difficulty is through-the-roof because most people think parkour is just, 'Oh, yeah. That's just running and jumping off of walls and buildings or something.' But they take it very seriously," Lautner said. "If a parkour artist heard you say that, they'd be very offended. I mean, it is an art form to them. It required a lot."
And by the look of footage from the set, the work paid off. A short clip from filming shows Lautner running on top of — not through, on top of — traffic and somersaulting between cars and tractor trailers.
But for Lautner, "Tracers" wasn't just an excuse to show off a new skill. "This movie is a great mix [of acting and physicality]. I really wanted to do something that was different for me," he said. "When I read 'Tracers,' it was unlike anything I had done before. It's a very character-driven movie. It's dramatic. My character's journey throughout the thing is really crazy. It's challenged me as an actor, but also the physical side as well. It's a really good combination."
The role of Cam also required Lautner to get a few new tattoos in addition to his new moves, but luckily for him, the five or six pieces of body art that the character sports are only temporary for the actor. "I've gotten so used to them," Lautner said. "I don't know if I'd be able to do it — definitely not like this — in my life, but that's what I love about acting. You get to do things and get away things that you would never be able to."
"Tracers" opens in theaters next year.