Team Taylor Lautner, along with our sister site Team Twilight, was able to ask some questions of Denzel Whitaker, one of Taylor’s costars in Abduction! Denzel talked about working with Taylor, filming Abduction and his current project!
TTL: You started in the business at a fairly young age. What made you want to get into the business? Where do you see your career in the next 10 years?
Well, I first got started kind of by luck and chance. I was recommended by a family member to a kids agency looking for new talent. I made the mistake of paying for representation and unfortunately my parents lost a large sum of money trying to see if I liked it. Haha. Well I did, as it sparked my imagination on a whole other level so I decided to continue acting. I wasn’t sure how long I was going to stick with it but fell in love with the craft over the years. Definitely within the next 10 years I want to be directing and/or acting in films that I produce from the ground up. It’s one thing to be casted for a script but it’s another to fully oversee production, invest when no one else has the slightest interest and make it come alive.
TTL: You play Gilly in Abduction. Can you tell us a little about your character? I have not seen the film yet but I believe that you have quite a few scenes with Taylor. What was it like working with Taylor? Did you know Taylor prior to the film?
My character Gilly is Nathan (Taylor Lautners) best friend. Gilly is just that all-around chill dude who likes to have fun. Working with Taylor was fun! I’d known Taylor prior to this film back from our Nickelodeon days when we were younger. It’s always good to act with a homie because you already have a friendship that doesn’t need to be forced on screen.
TTL: You tweeted some comments during filming Abduction about all the fan support on set. What was that like for you?
It was awesome. My buddy Barnaby had just signed me up on twitter right when we went into production on Abduction. “He was like, dude you have to tweet about the film while your in Pittsburgh. It’s gonna be EPIC lol” Twitter was cool and actually added a level of excitement to working on the film because it was direct contact with the fans. The locals of Pittsburgh were also great as they had recommended some cool hang out spots and restaurants. Cool town with lots of good people! I’d definitely like to go back and film something there.
TTL: This movie is obviously a total action film. I know Taylor does a ton of action work. We talked with Antonique Smith a few weeks ago and she mentioned she also did a lot of action work. Were you required to do any action work? Had you done this before and do you hope to do more?
I wish I could say Gilly nearly escapes bad-ass explosions and takes down an army of goons but he doesn’t. I did get to do a little action work but I consider it a fraction of what you’re going to see. However, working on an action set and doing fun little stunts is always great because no matter how many safety measures they have in place, there’s always that rush of doing something you never really get to do at your leisure. Hell ya I want to do more!
TTL: This movie has an amazing all star cast including John Singleton directing. Had you worked with John before and what was the experience like in this film?
I hadn’t worked with John before but we had known each other before this film. It was like a mini reunion seeing John and Taylor in the audition room. It was great working with John as he had given me a lot of insight about directing and crafting a scene.
TTL: You had a role in The Great Debaters. That film had an amazing cast also with Denzel Washington, Forest Whitaker and more. What was that project like for you and how did it affect you professionally working with all those amazing actors?
The Great Debaters is still my favorite project that I’ve worked on to-date; with Abduction in second place. It was my first major motion film and also a chance to work with many of the people I’ve always looked up to in this business. Honestly, I wasn’t affected much at all. It only made me a better actor as I was able to surround myself with amazing talent.
TTL: Taylor has such a global fan base and I anticipate this film (Abduction) will be huge globally? Are you excited for this and the exposure it will have? What are your hopes for it?
I’m not sure I still fully comprehend his global impact. Lol! By this I mean I don’t know what to expect when the film hits the theaters! I’m just really excited about it as it’s looking like it’ll be the most globally known project I’ve been apart of to date. I just hope people really enjoy it as much as we had fun making it. This is also a great opportunity for Taylor’s fans to see him try on a new darker role.
TTL: Any other projects that are coming up we should know about?
I’m in development working on an indie-drama called Killing Familiar. It’ll be the first feature that I direct. Myself and the team have been dropping little insights on the project through Twitter. It’s a project I’m really excited about because like I mentioned above, it’s something I’m a part of from the absolute roots to it’s presentation.
We want to give a HUGE thanks to Denzel for taking the time to answer our questions!
Be sure to check out Denzel, Taylor and the cast in Abduction on September 23rd!
Interview completed by Angie