Twilight star Taylor Lautner as you've never seen him before in BBC3 comedy Cuckoo
The teen heartthrob - best known for playing werewolf Jacob Black in the Twilight films - replaces Andy Samberg in series two of the comedy
Kristen Stewart may be surprised when she sees her friend and Twilight co-star Taylor Lautner in his new British comedy, Cuckoo. Not that it is bad – it’s actually rather good - but the vomit-fuelled antics of series two may not be something she's used to seeing him in...
A few eyebrows were raised when Lautner, best known for playing the werewolf Jacob Black in the teenage franchise alongside Stewart, took on the role of Dale, replacing Andy Samberg as the fish-out-of-water character in the low-budget BBC3 comedy which returns for a second series this August.
But fans of series one will be pleased to learn that the next instalment has plenty more set-piece moments of broad, silly comedy including a sequence at the end of episode two in which a house-party turns into a massive vomit fest. “It was ridiculous. I thought when I read it it would be a bit contained but it wasn’t,” revealed Lautner at last night's series two launch. “I knew this show would have so many less restrictions that we have had in the US.“
And he says he remains “excited" by the prospect of showing Stewart the work he has been doing in the UK when they next meet.
In Cuckoo, Lautner takes over from Samberg who was unavailable thanks to the huge success of his US comedy Brooklyn Nine-Nine which won him a Golden Globe for lead actor and is set to air its second series in the States later this year.
“We were hoping that it would be a failure and it wasn’t,” joked Cuckoo executive producer Ash Atalla.
In series one Samburg played the BBC comedy's eponymous American hippy Cuckoo who, to the horror of husband and wife duo Greg Davies and Helen Baxendale, wins the heart of their daughter Rachel.
In series two, Cuckoo has gone missing, presumed dead in the Himalayas. Enter Lautner as his long lost son Dale in what is admittedly a rather far-fetched bit of story lining that just about works (Samburg’s character apparently conceived the child in an Ashram when he was barely 13, we are told).
Dale comes to live with the Thompson family which is itself not exempt from a cast switchover as West Midland’s girl Esther Smith replaces Tamla Kari as Rachel, a character who finds herself uncomfortably attracted to the new arrival who calls her "Mom"…
Tonally there is less friction between the parvenu and the family, and it seems a lot sweeter and more tender than series one.
In fact, Greg Davies who plays Thompson patriarch Ken described Lautner’s Dale as a "lovable dog” and quipped at last night’s screening about working with the Twilight actor: “It’s very rare you meet a body double in life”.
Lautner joked back that he will try and get Davies (the 6 foot 7 inch actor who is more than happy to make fun of his own portly physique) a role in an action film in Hollywood…
Whatever you think of Cuckoo, it sounds a lot of fun to make.