Lautner a big fan hit at UK ‘Abduction’ premiere

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LONDON (AP) - Taylor Lautner kept his shirt on but still whipped his U.K. fans into a frenzy at the European premiere of his latest film, “Abduction.”

The heartthrob from the “Twilight Saga” series was greeted with a very noisy welcome _ mostly shrieking teenage girls _ as he stepped onto the red carpet Monday night at the British Film Institute’s IMAX theater in London.

Despite the heavy rain, the 19-year-old Lautner made sure to sign autographs and pose for pictures with fans.

After all, it’s thanks to them that he was in London at all. They set up a Facebook campaign to ensure he’d promote the film in the U.K. _ an effort that resulted in 79,000 people “liking” the page on the social-networking site.

There was nothing for Lautner to do but hop on a plane to Britain.

Lautner broke into the big time as werewolf Jacob Black in the “Twilight” vampire film series, a role that required him to be shirtless even in the coldest temperatures. His finely toned abs created a legion of “Team Jacob” fans who wanted him to get the girl _ Bella Swan played by Kristen Stewart _ instead of her vampire boyfriend Edward Cullen (actor Robert Pattinson).

Lautner told The Associated Press that he’s still surprised by the reaction he gets from fans.

“It’s absolutely unreal and it continues to blow my mind every time I see it,” he said.

Directed by John Singleton, “Abduction” finds Lautner in the lead role of a teenager who discovers his parents aren’t really who he thought they were. The action-packed film required Lautner to do some of his own stunts, but he escaped with only minor injuries.

“Thankfully, a few bumps and bruises and that’s about it. I made it out pretty safe,” he explained.

Joining Lautner at the premiere was his co-star Lily Collins, daughter of British music star Phil Collins.

Rumors have been flying that the 22-year-old Collins and Lautner are an item, but Collins remained tight-lipped when asked about a possible romance.

“I just hope everyone goes and sees the movie and focuses on the acting. He’s a great young man,” she said.

“Abduction” is released in the U.K. on Wednesday. It hit U.S. theaters on Sept. 23.

Copyright 2014 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

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