In late December, College Wrestling Examiner reported that Taylor Lautner, who plays werewolf Jacob Black in the Twilight movie series was in talks to star in a remake of Vision Quest, the 1985 movie about a high school wrestler.
Now the 18-year-old star of the summer blockbuster Eclipse is playing a prep matman in another movie, Abduction, now being filmed in the Pittsburgh area.
IMDB.com, an independent online resource for television and movies, describes Abduction as, “a thriller centered on a young man who sets out to uncover the truth about his life after finding his baby photo on a missing persons website.” (The website BuzzSugar.com says, “Sounds a whole lot like The Face on the Milk Carton, but everything old is new again in Hollywood, right?”)
Abduction is produced by Lionsgate Films, and directed by John Singleton, nominated for two Oscars for The Boyz in the Hood. Along with Lautner, the cast includes heavyweight Hollywood stars Signorney Weaver, Alfred Molina, and Maria Bello.
Last week, scenes were filmed at Hampton High School outside Pittsburgh. Here’s how an Associated Press article described the situation:
The cheerleaders, dance drill team and marching band were hired as extras. In the movie, Lautner’s school will have the same name, same colors, same mascot as theirs.
Wrestling team members were cast as Lautner’s fictional teammates and opponents. Students spoke reverently about the fact that their math teacher and wrestling coach, Joe Bursick, a Hampton grad, would train Lautner for the movie and appear in it.
“My guys are pretty excited,” Bursick said of his team. “Even some who graduated came back for this.” Wrestling Hollywood’s sexiest werewolf hasn’t exactly hurt their popularity.
Wrestling scenes involving a dual meet between Hampton and Fox Chapel high schools were filmed last Tuesday, according to the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette. In the movie, Lautner’s character is a prep wrestler; actual Hampton matman Jacob Hart played his opponent.
“I’m supposed to lose to him,” said Hart, who recently completed his freshman year at Hampton. “I don’t like to lose, but in this case, I don’t mind. I’m really looking forward to my acting debut. It will be a lot of fun.”
Hart has impressive mat credentials. Wrestling varsity at 189 pounds in his first year at Hampton, Hart compiled a 26-9 record, which included a second-place finish in the Section 3-AAA tournament and a fourth-place finish in the WPIAL Class AAA championships, just missing the chance to wrestle at the Pennsylvania state tournament.
Hart is wrestling Greco-Roman at 215 pounds at the Cadet Nationals in Fargo for the Pennsylvania team, the first Hampton wrestler to compete at the national event in more than a quarter-century. In addition to being a varsity wrestler and actor, Hart plays football at Hampton.
Taylor Lautner apparently has some personal combat experience himself. At the time a Vision Quest remake was being discussed, E! News reported: “Lautner is an accomplished martial artist, who won several titles as a child.” Hampton coach Bursick gave the Hollywood heartthrob high marks: “He picked up on it (wrestling) really quickly. He’s a very good athlete.”
Taylor Lautner Plays A Wrestler in 'Abduction'