Major hangover: Meeting Taylor Lautner

Sam Oh
Rappler columnist Sam Oh tells us about her Taylor Lautner experience

OH, HI, TAYLOR! A more composed Sam Oh with Taylor Lautner backstage at a Bench show. All photos except those with credits courtesy of Sam Oh

MANILA, Philippines – The truth is, I was never a “Twilight” fan.

Halt! Before you drive a stake through my heart to express disapproval, disgust, wrath, all of the above or whatever it is you Twi-hards are inclined to do, hear me out.

It’s not like I didn’t try: I was given all 4 “Twilight” books when they were selling like hotcakes and I was open to finding out what the fuss was about.

I read the first book and, by the 3rd chapter, my eyes hurt because I was rolling them so hard. I grudgingly finished the first book, thanked God I didn’t actually spend on the books and promptly gave all 4 away.

I don’t like damsels in distress and I don’t get the vampire thing to this day because I’m really un-hip like that.

But that’s not to say I wasn’t excited when I was told I’ll be hosting the Taylor Lautner For Bench events last August 17 and 18 . I’m not immune to yummy Hollywood boys, after all.

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As with any time I have to host an event, I was very nervous on the day of the press conference, August 16. I happened to be lurking outside the ballroom where the one-on-one interviews were being done pre-presscon. To my relief, every journalist who came out gushed about how nice he was.

I knew that he had landed in Manila at 4am that day and that he had been on-the-go and non-stop since. I just hoped he wasn’t too tired and understandably a little cranky by the time we had to hit the stage — a full 12 hours after he had arrived.

My moment with Taylor finally came and I remember being struck by how nice and white his teeth were. He had a great, warm smile and he was smiling. At me.

His first words to me were, “I like your shoes!”

I wish I replied, “I like your face!” but I said something lame about liking his, too.

I cringe.

The press conference is a bit of a blur to me now but I do recall him being very laid-back, gracious and modest. He seemed genuinely thankful to be there and laughed a lot. 

THE TL EFFECT. My legs were shaking I had to un-cross them mid-way

TL'S REQUEST. When it was all over, he came over to me and asked for a hug. Photo by Mark Sablan

EKSKLUSIBO! That’s when I was utterly reduced to a lowly fan girl as evidenced  on this never-before-seen photo

Having confirmed that he was, indeed, a really nice guy, I was much more relaxed during my second encounter with him at the mall events.

In fact, when our paths crossed backstage before the show, I was able to steady my cardiac arrest and ask for a picture. He gamely agreed, of course. [See lead photo above]

The night of the mall shows was also the night he was to hop on a plane to head back home and he clearly wanted to milk every moment he had with his fans.

The initial plan for these mall shows was pretty straight up: Taylor appears, Taylor meets 50 fans, Taylor signs 50 posters, Taylor leaves.

But Taylor insisted on taking a picture with each fan and even decided in the last minute to step off the stage to take more pictures and autograph random things thrust his way. I’m sure it was a bit of a nightmare for his security team but the fans were ecstatic.

NICE GUY. This shot makes me melt! Photo by Pia Campos

It all felt much too short.

While watching him on stage, I remember being really moved by how he had the warmest smile for every single one of his fans that came up to meet him. I worried for the welfare of his cheeks, I really did.

But his smile never faded.

It was obvious that he truly appreciated his fans. He really SAW them.

And that, I believe, is the magic of Taylor Lautner.

I feel privileged to have made his acquaintance even if it was for a short while and I would really like to thank everyone at Bench for making it happen.

Also, it is with great pleasure that I second the motion below:

FAN GIRL PROPOSAL. Sharing IS a great idea!

I hope he has wonderful things ahead of him. I still don’t know about Team Jacob but I’m definitely Team Taylor all the way! –

Sam Oh is Rappler’s foodie columnist at #SamLikesItHot. Watch out for her recipes every Friday under Best Eats.

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