Taylor Lautner, who joins Scream Queens cast, on co-star Jamie Lee Curtis and how he avoids being typecast
Late last year, US actor Taylor Lautner was looking for a role that was as far away from Jacob Black from The Twilight Saga as he could get.
A fan of TV producer Ryan Murphy's television shows (Nip/Tuck, Glee, American Horror Story), Lautner asked his manager if he could find a way to work with the Emmy-winning producer.
Three months later, he was offered the role of Dr Cassidy Cascade on the second season of Scream Queens, which airs every Tuesday at 8pm on Star World (StarHub TV Ch 501 and Singtel TV Ch 301).
"And I was like, all right," the 24-year-old said, laughing.
"I was thinking porn star."
Lautner joins the returning cast of Jamie Lee Curtis, Emma Roberts, Lea Michele and Abigail Breslin as Season 2 of the comedy-horror show moves from a college campus to a creepy hospital with bizarre medical cases as a backdrop for the season's mystery.
We are at the Four Seasons Hotel in Beverly Hills to discuss his new role, and Lautner is chatty in his beautifully tailored jacket and dark jeans, even though it is relatively early in the morning.
He seems much more comfortable with interviews since the height of his fame that culminated in 2012 with The Twilight Saga: Breaking Dawn - Part 2.
He describes his transition from The Twilight Saga, which saw him going from being an unknown to a teen idol overnight, as "a scary time but it was also exciting".
"When you finish something like that, you can't get much bigger than that, so it was like, where do I go from here?
"You have to prove to people that you are more than just that. So you do have to strategically pick things that challenge you and show you in a different way, that's different than people have seen you before."
And Scream Queens is one strategic pick.
"Contractually, I am only on for one season. So that could shift, it could not; I could be dead tomorrow on the show, so you never know," he said.
"I was a little nervous at first being the new one to the set, but everybody was extremely welcoming and it's been a blast."
He described co-star Curtis' welcome text.
"I had never met Jamie in my life. On the day that I was announced to join the cast, I got a text message saying, 'Hey Taylor, it's Jamie Lee Curtis. I am so excited that you are joining the cast and it's going to be crazy and so much fun and I look forward to meeting you.'
"She is so much fun to be around," he added.
"She is so thoughtful and so humble. For somebody in her position, she could easily not be. But she is such a delight to work with."
Doing TV is very different from movies, but he said he enjoys it.
"The biggest difference is how fast paced it is. It's a little more chaotic. My very first TV experience was for a British series called Cuckoo (on BBC) two years ago, and I did two seasons of that and I loved it.
"I fell in love with that world, and that's why when this opportunity came up, I was so attracted to it."
His life has certainly calmed down in recent years since the crazy fan encounters are things of the past.
"It can be something simple like meeting a girl who immediately takes her underwear off in front of you and wants you to sign them," he said.
Then there was the time where 2,000 girls stormed the hotel that Lautner and Twilight star Kristen Stewart were staying at in Brazil.
"They had to call the National Guard to get all of them out," he said, laughing.
Stewart is his closest friend from the series and they see each other often.
So what makes him scream?
"I am very easily startled. So if somebody were to just tap me on the shoulder right now, I would freak out, which is funny, filming a horror show (now).
"I am scared of snakes, rats... I don't like any of that stuff, " he added.
"I am not the best with blood and gore, so that is also fun - playing a doctor and having to do surgery. I am definitely easily scared."