"I was bagging groceries."
Acting wasn’t Meraz’s first ambition: At eighteen, he left his home in Mesa, Arizona to join the circus. “Literally,” he insisted. “I was a dancer, and I wanted to train to be in Cirque de Soleil.” Things didn’t exactly go according to plan. “I moved to San Francisco, thinking that I would take the city by storm; cut to two weeks later, and I’m bagging groceries at Whole Foods.” Luckily, it wasn’t long before a chance meeting with an older actor who ultimately became his mentor led to a small role in Terrence Malick’s The New World. In Eclipse he plays Paul, a friend of Taylor Lautner’s Jacob. “On New Moon, we could hang out—go to dinner, go to the gym. But by the time we shot this movie, we had to do all this secret text messaging, and meet at abandoned restaurants. It was pretty bizarre, but I’m proud of him.”