Since Eclipse is getting closer and closer, and since I have a past of Twi-obsessive behavior, I figured it would be a good idea to have a few blog entries to lead up to the big opening at the end of June. And you KNOW I love any reason to go to a midnight showing and dress the heck up. I'll be putting this new bright red hair to good use and showing up to the premiere as Victoria. Get ready.
Because Eclipse is the CRUX of the whole Team Edward vs Team Jake thing, and as an avid Team Jake member, I figure I should go ahead and be proactive about presenting a Pro-Jacob perspective. Now, I am Team Jake because he is my favorite character in the series, but that doesn't mean that I necessarily want him with Bella (though she'd be SO LUCKY to have him). I just want people to give him more credit and cut him some slack because he's AWESOME. There are so many great things about him that I think a lot of you Team Ed-heads overlook. (Yeah, and that's me in that pic with BOTH shirts. I don't have to ALWAYS choose. <3)
First, let's talk Taylor Lautner. I’ve always loved him as Jake. I’ve been so excited about him. Even before the movie hit theaters and Breaking Dawn, the book, came out the summer I read through Eclipse, I was watching interviews with this young boy and there was this moment in one of the interviews where he did the famous Jake line from Eclipse and winked, (This very moment! Click for the video! "Does my being half-naked bother you?") and I KNEW at that moment that he sold me on his interpretation of Jacob. Others didn’t know what to think about him. They didn’t know if he could pull it off, but I always wanted to see him try. Twilight didn’t give him that opportunity to show us the real Jake, and I couldn’t wait to see him bust out with it in New Moon.
However, the spring of 2009, Summit was negotiating recasting Jacob Black’s role and tossing Taylor out because they believed he was too small to fill the role of the post-transformation Jake. I was SO upset! I really believed in this kid and I had really grown attached to him while getting ready for him to be my Jacob. I couldn’t picture anyone else playing him, especially not the arrogant guy they had in mind to replace him (His name was Michael Copon, and he did an AWFUL interview when he was in talks with Summit that basically bashed TayLau and talked MC up, even though he admitted never having read the books). Luckily, Summit heard the outcry of the fans, the only Twilight outcry I believe was actually a legit concern (besides the complaints about BD, the book), and kept Taylor on.
So, going into that theater the night New Moon opened, I was ready for Tay to prove to everyone what I had always believed about him: He was going to make you love Jacob Black and he was going to play him the way he was supposed to be played. He was going to SHOW all the Team Edward people what they were blind to in the books as they read: Jake is a sweet, charismatic kid who deserves a chance. A chance with Bella maybe, but definitely a chance to be liked by even some Edward-Exclusive lovers.
Afterward, the biggest response from this movie that I witnessed was tons and tons of people jumping ship from Team Edward to Team Jacob. As a die-hard Team Jake member, it’s been satisfying, to say the least. However, I understand a lot of it has to do with young girls thinking Taylor Lautner is hotter than Robert Pattinson. Yet at the same time, I think one thing needs to pointed out. Some viewers have said they like Movie!Jake because he’s not the same as Book!Jake. HOWEVER, I say Book!Jake and Movie!Jake are almost exactly the same. (Yeah that's me with Jake... so what? Jealous.)
If you go back and reread New Moon, you may notice that the Jacob you saw in the film is very much the Jacob you are reading in the pages. The only difference is the way SOME people see Jake now. Before, when Jacob was nothing but an annoying kid, killing time before Edward came back into the book, it was easy to overlook the fact that Jacob is actually very sweet and charming throughout the book, New Moon. However, with a sweet face and portrayal from the movie slapping you in the face, it's hard to deny that Jake is kind of awesome. The original image of Jake created in the minds of some Team Edward people may change to be more human and more likable because of this. But that doesn't mean movie!Jake and book!Jake are different. It's just the way they are both perceived or interpreted in these different mediums.
When you read, your brain will decode things the way your emotions and preferences sway your interpretations. Most of us were in agony waiting for Edward to return while reading New Moon, instead of trying to get to know Jacob when we should have, which is why his character may have been skewed for some readers into someone annoying and unnecessary. However, the movie is a different experience. It’s harder to deny what kind of character he is when you are watching it on a screen and it’s all right there in your face. The positive energy, the charisma, the chemistry that he and Bella share, the hurt he feels when Bella leaves him. I can understand that many readers probably didn’t even care if Jake was hurt when Bella left in the book because they just wanted to make sure Edward ended up safe, but during the film you can’t help but care when you’re forced to come face to face with that situation on screen. You can’t help but see the unashamed way Bella used Jake to get through a hard time, lead him on, and then discarded him. It’s all much more obvious on screen.
With that being said, I think perhaps some people will enter Eclipse with a different outlook on Jacob than the one they had before. At least I hope this will happen, because I don’t see Taylor playing him any differently than he played New Moon Jake, ie. nearly exactly as he is in the book. Eclipse is the book many people have a problem with Jake, but maybe, with this new vision of what Jake has gone through, more people will be understanding of him. We got a taste of Eclipse!Jake at the end of New Moon. Can’t wait to see more!