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Jan Thijs/Relativity Media

With a blockbuster doubleheader this month, Kellan Lutz is learning how hectic — and fun — life in the limelight can be.

If you find yourself seated next to actor Kellan Lutz on a plane, don’t wake him up. “I get my best sleep on an airplane, when my phone is off and I’m forced to sit still,” says the otherwise superfriendly star of this month’s Greek-god action flick, Immortals, as well as the highly anticipated penultimate installment of the Twilight series, Breaking Dawn. “Otherwise, I’m always going, going, going.”

He’s not kidding. When he’s not busy shooting stunts on set, he’s sky-diving, surfing, hiking with his dogs, designing Venice Beach–inspired gear for his Abbot + Main clothing line or stirring up trouble in his L.A. kitchen with his two roommates.

“I don’t follow recipes; I like to create things,” says the 26-year-old self-professed master chef. “By the time my chicken is done, it’s this purplish-pink flaky thing — but it tastes great.”

It was no different on the Twilight set, where he and his co-stars would bond over food. He recalls nights of culinary experimentation with ?Ashley Greene and Peter ?Facinelli whipping up Italian feasts for his fictional family. Lutz is used to the hustle and bustle of a full house, having grown up the fourth of eight kids — an experience that sometimes left him the odd man out. “The older ones were always in trouble, the younger ones needed the attention,” Lutz remembers. “So I just kept myself busy, drawing or playing with LEGOs or rocking the trombone in the marching band.”

Finding acting, Lutz says, was “like therapy” for him. He sees a lot of himself in his characters, including Twilight’s Emmett. “He’s just upbeat, outgoing, happy-go-lucky,” he says. “I even tried to bring some of that Emmett energy to Poseidon in Immortals — he’s the fun uncle of the gods.”

The part wasn't much of a stretch for Lutz, who says he loves the social perks of his newfound fame, even if it means having to catch z’s while on the go. “Hearing the fans hooting and hollering your name, it’s just captivating,” he says. “You can’t ask for a bigger rush.”