The Wolf Pack

Jacob Black and his crew steal the spotlight from the vamps in New Moon

In New Moon, Taylor Lautner’s character Jacob Black has some growing pains—literally. He soon realizes his true destiny is to become a wolf, and Jacob—along with his Quileutetribe’s wolf pack, which includes its leader Sam (Chaske Spencer), Paul (Alex Meraz), Embry (Kiowa Gordon) and Jared (Bronson Pelletier)—takes on a much greater role in New Moon compared to Twilight.

“We’ve got Sam Uley, who leads the pack,” Lautner recently explained. “We all follow him. He’s the alpha. And then we’ve got Jared and Paul—Jared is a funny guy, a real jokester, and Bronson (Pelletier), who plays him, is the same way in real life, so he does that well. Paul is the hothead. He goes out with my girl, and I tear him to shreds. And then there’s Kiowa (Gordon) who plays Embry, and he’s my best friend.”

Director Chris Weitz also said that each of these characters had to have papers that proved their native heritage, which was important for authenticity. Plus, they had to be in good physical shape, not just Lautner.

“Our trainer was one of the warriors in 300,” Meraz told Tributeduring a phone interview from the Vancouver set of Eclipse. “You know, all of us threw up everyday because it was so intense. We only had two weeks really. We had to come into it with a good enough build and then just kind of mold it for the role, but it was good. It really helped bond the whole pack because we’re supporting each other and kind of teasing each other if you couldn’t lift the heavy weights. It helped mold the friendship and the brotherhood.”

But despite being a new member of the Twilight Saga crew, Meraz said they all eventually bonded in some way. “Well, most of my time was spent with the other newbies. We all shot together, trained together and we relied on each other for advice. Meeting the rest of the cast was great and they kind of warned us about some of the craziness.”

Although Twilightfans are hard-core in that they want the movies to stay true to the beloved novels, Meraz took it all in stride. “I was definitely nervous but in an anxious, anticipation sort of way. I really wanted to work on this.”

- Toni-Marie Ippolito