Taylor Lautner’s body is a temple. The 17-year-old New Moon star with the eight-pack abs and tan, chiseled face tells Rolling Stone‘s Neil Strauss he’s never smoked pot, never tried cigarettes and never snorted a line of cocaine in our new issue dated December 10, 2009, on stands tomorrow.
What Lautner has done is turn his love of martial arts into superstardom as werewolf Jacob in the Twilight series. “This could have happened to anyone who played Jacob,” Lautner tells RS. “It’s Twilight. It’s not me personally.” But his hard work is inescapable: he started learning karate at age six and moved on to Xtreme Martial Arts, relocating with his family to Los Angeles to pursue acting and stomaching the bullying that came along with it. He put on 30 pounds of muscle between the first two Twilight films. He found time to shoot the upcoming Valentine’s Day with Taylor Swift, with whom he “instantly clicked,” he admits. “Aside from being beautiful, she’s extremely funny, charismatic and fun to be around.”
But as Strauss discovers, Lautner is quiet and guarded, more of a Zac Efron than a Lindsay Lohan, as far as young stars go. “He’s so picky. I was the first person who got him to eat sushi,” New Moon costar Kristen Stewart tells RS. “He’s very set in his ways. But that is very informative of his personality. He’s very steady. He has a really solid sense of himself.”
Find out more about the elusive star’s life off-camera in our cover story, and watch video of Lautner’s sexy photo shoot below. Plus, read Taylor’s take on Twilight‘s love triangle — and how he really relates to Jacob — in a bonus exclusive Q&A here:
Also in this issue: Matt Taibbi on how Obama turned the bailout into an all-out giveaway, the making of teen-angst guru Jamie Tworkowski, David Fricke interviews Tom Petty about the early days of the Heartbreakers and Norah Jones opens up about her ex. Plus, Peter Travers’ countdown of the best DVDs of 2009 and our special holiday gift guide packed with the season’s loudest, coolest, rockingest toys.