Taylor Lautner, a.k.a. Jacob Black of the blockbuster movie franchise Twilight, was in town last week to meet his Filipino fans and promote his latest venture as the new “global Benchsetter” of fashion label Bench.
At the press conference, held August 16, the 21-year-old Hollywood hunk said that endorsing the brand wasn’t a hard decision to make because his style and the clothes simply jive.
"I am—first and foremost—comfort is huge for me. And I'm simple.
"I like simple. I'm a jeans and T-shirt guy, so I love some of Bench's really comfortable jeans and just simple V-neck T-shirts.
"But there are other stuff, like this jacket for example," referring to the blue blazer he was wearing over a plain white V-Neck top, teal pants, and brown leather boots at the presscon.
"I mean, what I love about Bench is you can dress it up or down, you know, the same outfit.
"I could show up at something in this jacket and I can make it look really fancy and spiffy or I can just wear it up and about and be cool and relaxed."
Program host Sam Oh was pretty impressed at how "fashion savvy" the actor sounded with his answer, and he replied, "Thank you. I'm trying really hard."
Taylor has not only found a new styling partner in the brand, but he also adds to its ever-growing list of international endorsers.
What does he think made him a "perfect fit" for the brand's image?
"You know, I am very... I'm relaxed and I like to be myself.
"And, like, I mean, going back to the comfort thing—'I can't do that if I'm not comfortable'—I just, I like to have a good time.
"I mean, all that Bench is about to me is being yourself, is expressing yourself, and being relaxed, and having fun; and I think it was just the perfect match."
Of course, Sam did not fail to ask about the thing that made Taylor famous with the ladies—his perfectly toned physique and rock-hard abs.
"Don't make me blush out here. There's lots of people watching," Taylor remarked with a shy smile, his head tilted down.
So how does the Hollywood It-boy maintain his figure?
"You know, I love to stay active. It doesn't even have to be a really specific workout.
"Most of the stuff that I do... I love playing sports. I'm a massive football fan. I'm a sports fan in general.
"I love all sports, but, yeah, I mean, you get me and a few friends together and I will play any sport for hours, so that takes up most of my activity.
"I still find time to get in the gym and keep that up, but I don't get to do that quite as much now since I'm not filming the Twilight franchise anymore, but yeah... And I just try to maintain a healthy diet somewhat, but I get to cheat every now and then."
Taylor wasn’t always the hunk that he is today.
In the first Twilight movie, he looked the typical 15-year-old kid making his way through puberty.
But for the second movie, The Twilight Saga: New Moon, he had to pack in 30 pounds of muscle in order to keep his role as Jacob, who turns out to be the leader of a shape-shifting pack of man-wolves.
"It was tough, it was really tough, especially because of how young I was at that time," says Taylor, who was only 16 to 17 years old when they shot the movie.
"It's really hard to develop [muscles], I mean, it's tough, so I was in the gym all the time.
"But not too much because my metabolism works so fast that I couldn't... I couldn't, like, sweat too much, so I could not play any of my sports, which was a killer for me.
"I just had to sit in the gym, lift heavy weights, and eat healthy food non-stop. I mean, I had to consume so many calories it was ridiculous.
"I'm not talking about calories like ice cream and pizza; but healthy like very lean meats and, you know, healthy, 4500 calories a day minimum. It was tough."
But no matter how stressful that experience had been for him, Taylor says he will never forget nor regret that he did it all for the sake of Jacob Black.