Taylor Lautner, the lovelorn werewolf in the "Twilight" series, is making the leap to American television with a role in season two of “Scream Queens.” To date the 24-year-old’s small screen appearances have been confined to the BBC Three comedy series “Cuckoo” (pictured above), taking over the lead role for two seasons following Andy Samberg’s departure after season one. Lautner is thrilled that show has been renewed well into 2018. (It is currently streaming on Netflix.) However, the lure of American television and an offer to appear in Fox’s wild comedy thriller had the actor packing his bags for home. The decision was a no-brainer, having come directly from mega-producer Ryan Murphy himself.
MediaVillage caught up with Lautner at Fox’s Television Critics Association party to get the lowdown on his US TV debut, what to expect in season two of Scream Queens and working alongside both Jamie Lee Curtis and fellow SQ newcomer, John Stamos. (Let’s just say the Full House devotee could barely contain his excitement.)
Steve Gidlow: Were you a fan of season one of “Scream Queens”?
Taylor Lautner: I was -- and it was for sure a part of the reason why I wanted to do season two. But to be honest the biggest reason was I wanted to work with Ryan Murphy. I actually reached out to him and said, "I haven't really done American television yet and if I'm going to do it I want it to be with the best people and you are at the top of my list.” He said, “Let me see what I've got.” Four months later there’s an incoming call saying, “I think I found the perfect match for us – Scream Queens."
Steve: With Ryan Murphy you never know quite what that perfect match might be, so were you nervous?
Taylor: I was! I was terrified! But I told myself going into it I don't care how scared I am, I'm going to trust this guy. He's a talented guy.
Steve: But with Ryan anything goes. You could end up with three boobs or two heads!
Taylor: I just knew whatever he had for me would be something I've never done before and that was attractive to me.
Steve: And is this role something new?
Taylor: For sure. I’m playing a doctor, a surgeon in fact. In season two Jamie Lee Curtis's character from the first season, Dean Munsch, opens a hospital and it’s specifically for very rare cases, so we have a different guest coming in each episode and that patient is suffering from some crazy rare disease or syndrome. What's really cool is what they suffer from is real, all from people that have actually suffered from them. But they're kind of crazy, unheard of things. John Stamos and I play the two head surgeons of the hospital.
Steve: How is it working with John Stamos?
Taylor: He's honestly the best. I could go on for an hour right now talking about John Stamos. I grew up watching Full House! I am absolutely a huge Full House fan and I love Stamos. I didn't know what he would be like, but truthfully he’s the most humble, down-to- earth person and a treat to work with. It's only been three weeks but he’s amazing.
Steve: Three weeks is a pretty good time to form an opinion.
Taylor: It is, but talk to me in three months. [Laughs]
Steve: How are you handling all the medical jargon, as that’s always challenging for an actor?
Taylor: I have to say this is some of the most challenging dialogue I've ever had. Some of the words … I have no idea what they mean. I'm literally on Web M.D. and Googling things to see what they mean -- even how to pronounce them. The dialogue is pretty tough.
Steve: Can you say how crazy the new season gets?
Taylor: It will absolutely be out of control and pushing boundaries, just like the first. What I like about season two, compared to season one, is it is kind of more in a contained and relatable environment.
Steve: Who’s back from season one?
Taylor: All the Chanels from season one -- and they have had all their money stripped away from them. They're wearing jeans and scrubs and are in the hospital with us training. Dean Munsch pulls them out and asks them to come work at her hospital.
Steve: You couldn't find a better bunch of girls to work with?
Taylor: Oh trust me, I'm not complaining. It's fun because almost everyone there is new to me. Working with Jamie Lee Curtis is amazing; she is the original scream queen! It's an honor to be working with her and she is also the sweetest. I've known some of the other girls from things over the years, so it's great to be working with them also. This whole cast is awesome. It's a super fun set. There are no divas or bad apples. Everyone is super professional and a lot of fun.
Steve: Will you be featured a lot? Nick Jonas kind of appeared and then disappeared for a lot of season one.
Taylor: I will be on it for a bit, but once again they don't tell you anything and there's no guarantee on the show. Hey, it's Ryan Murphy.
Steve: Now you are part of his family -- and he’s always good to the people he likes.
Taylor: That's an awesome feeling. He does seem like a very loyal guy. I wouldn't complain if he had another idea with me in mind.
Steve: Would you be open to doing American Horror Story if that were offered?
Taylor: As long as Ryan is behind it, I’m in!
Season 2 of “Scream Queens” premieres Tuesday, September 20 at 9 p.m. on Fox.
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