Kellan Lutz is an American actor and model, best known for his role in the Twilight series as well as his parts on Tarzan, The Legend of Hercules and most recently Extraction.

Kellan Lutz: Early Life and Career Overview

Lutz was born on March 15, 1985 in Dickinson, N.D. His family moved a lot when he was a child, so he spent his childhood in North Dakota, the Midwest and Arizona, where he attended high school. He started modeling as early as the age of 14 and eventually did commercial work as well. As a model, he was in campaigns for brands like Abercrombie & Fitch and Levi’s. Later he relocated to California where he went to college, initially pursuing a degree in Chemical Engineering at Chapman University, but quit to seek an acting career. When asked about why he chose to go into acting, Lutz told uInterview:

I feel like one day I woke up and I saw two lives. I saw the life of what my mother encouraged me to do, the safe route, the straight As and all my honor classes and going this way and doing the school route. But as soon as I left my mother’s nest – she only had my best interest – I got to spread my wings. I was able to check in with who I am and figure out that this doesn’t make me happy. . . And this acting thing was such a mystery and fascination to me that I would rather fail at acting and live on the streets than be successful in a career that I didn’t enjoy. . . And when you do what you are passionate about, success will come, money will come – it’s inevitable. It will because you love what you do. . . I just started auditioning and just really fell in love with acting because the deeper I fell into it and studied it, it just opened up my mind to who I was. . . When you get to become other characters, you study the psychology of them and then you impliment parts of yourself into each character, you’re kinda becoming best friends with parts of yourself in some ways and learning new aspects yourself, which I don’t know any other job that allows you to do that.

Kellan Lutz: Television and Other Early Projects

Some of Lutz’s early acting credits include the reality TV show Modern Citizens (2004) and the HBO comedy-drama The Comeback (2005), opposite Lisa Kudrow. He also landed minor episodic roles over the next years in shows like The Bold and the Beautiful, Six Feet Under, CSI: NY and Heroes. In 2006, Lutz appeared in the promo for Hilary Duff‘s fragrance “With Love” and a year later in the music video for the song of the same name. In 2008, Lutz was part of the HBO production Generation Kill, a seven-part miniseries based on the eponymous book by Evan Wright about his experience an embedded reporter with the United States Marine Corps’ 1st Reconnaissance Battalion during the 2003 invasion of Iraq. He had a recurring role in the first season CW spinoff of 90210 (2008-2013), where he played the role of lacrosse player George Evans, who takes drugs and is constantly in detention.

Kellan Lutz: Film Career

Early in his acting career, Lutz starred in movies like Stick It (2006), Accepted (2006) and Prom Night (2008). His big career break in cinema came in 2008 with playing the part of the physically intimidating vampire Emmett Cullen in the five films from the Twilight series, based on the novels by Stephenie Meyers. Lutz was originally considered for the role of the male lead Edward Cullen, played by Robert Pattinson, but could not commit to the part because he was still shooting the 2008 HBO miniseries Generation Kill. Even in a less central role, Lutz has appeared in all five films in the series and has been favorably accepted by the Twilight fandom. Lutz is still friends with Twilight co-stars Nikki Reed, Ashley Greene, Jackson Rathbone, Taylor Lautner and Pattinson.

In April 2010, Lutz appeared as the high school jock Dean in the remake of A Nightmare on Elm Street. In the same year, he also starred in the Calvin Klein X underwear campaign. In 2011, he appeared as the god of the seas Poseidon in epic fantasy-action film Immortals, reunited with Twilight co-star Ashley Greene in the romantic drama A Warrior’s Heart and was featured in a number of movies with minimal critical acclaim. In 2013 and 2014 Lutz was in several action films, in many of which he performed the stunts without a stunt double. Those include Java Heat, where he worked again with Immortals co-star Mickey RourkeTarzan, which used 3D computer-animated motion capture, and the blockbuster The Expendables 3.

Kellan Lutz: Recent Projects

Lutz’s most recent release is the 2015 action-thriller Extraction, directed by Steven C. Miller. He plays government analyst Harry Turner, who goes rogue in order to save his CIA operative father, played by Bruce Willis, who is kidnapped by a terrorist organization. Obstructed by his overly protective father, Harry Turner remains at his desk job, but when he sets out to save his father from the terrorist group and prevent their plot, his combat skills are put to the test. Ultimately, he proves himself worthy to follow in his father’s steps. Lutz told uInterview that working with Bruce Willis was easy and they had amazing conversations about their characters.

Lutz is set to appear in the Martin Rosete film Money alongside Jamie Bamber, Jesse Williams and Jess Weixler later in 2016.

Kellan Lutz: Personal Life

Kellan Lutz and actress Kayla Ewell dated for two years, both being involved in vampire film productions towards the end of their relationship. Lutz was later involved with 90210 co-star AnnaLynne McCord for a couple of years. He briefly dated ABC’s General Hospital actress Kelly Thiebaud in 2011. Most recently Lutz dated Australian actress Sharni Vinson for more than two years, but the couple split up in 2013.

Apart from acting, Lutz is involved in various charities and is an advocate of animal adoption. He starred in a PETA ad, proclaiming “Adopt, Don’t Buy.” Lutz himself has adopted a rescued dog named Kola. He has also endorsed the documentary film The Paw Project, which focuses on the declawing of exotic and domesticated cats in America. In addition, he is an advocate of the West African primate conservation charity “Ape Action.”