Junket Interview: Jake Abel Talks ‘The Host,’ ‘Twilight’ Comparisons and More
We’re so close! The Host, the latest-book-from Stephenie Meyer-turned-movie, hits the big screen on Friday and we have a new interview for you!
We had the chance to sit down with Jake Abel at the junket for the movie to chat all about taking on the role of Ian O’Shea who is one corner of a love square. Yep, a love square.
Jake also chatted about re-teaming with Saoirse Ronan, his bromance with Max Irons and much more. Check it out!
What was the best part of the role for you? The best part was working with everybody involved. Getting to know Stephenie, working with Andrew Niccol who I’ve wanted to work with for a little why…Saoirse Ronan again finally in a bigger format. Not every movie has such a solid group of actors from all around.
Was it fun getting to work with Saoirse again? It was incredible. In ‘Lovely Bones’ I didn’t really get to work with her. We were in scenes together but I didn’t get to have an interaction with her which is what you want. I got that in a really grand scale on this one and it was everything I thought it would be.
Who do you feel from the cast is most like the character they play? William Hurt as Jeb. He is Jeb through and through. He’s a father figure and he’s a leader and he could survive under any circumstance. When people ask what we would bring to a cave, we all say William Hurt.
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I feel like he’d be full of good advice. Did he give you any on set? He said never watch the monitor. Never go back and watch the monitor which was always a fickle temptress for me anyway. I never knew how I felt about going and watching playback after a scene. He made a decision for us and was like Andrew, no actors behind the monitor. At first I was like, no I’m going to go look if I want to look. Then I was like fine I’ll try it. Ever since then I stay far far away from the monitor. It really does change your performance. You’re not so worried about your performance.
There’s a lot of kissing scenes. How did you prepare? A lot of gum, a lot of mints [laughs]. Having known Saoirse a little bit because we spent time together off camera in ‘The Lovely Bones.’ Just kind of having that past even though we didn’t really “know” each other and it had been a couple years, it makes it easier. It makes it easier that she’s really professional and we’re all buds.
You and Max Irons seem to have an awesome bromance going on. What was it like when you weren’t working out & filming? Max has become a pretty close friend of mine. You never know what to expect going into any film whether they’re a young actor or an older actor. I think we both kind of felt that way about each other. I had heard from a confidant in the industry, a casting director, that …she said “I love Max, he’s so great. You’re going to get along so well.” She was absolutely right. Apparently he was really nervous to meet me he said. I could tell, the first few times we hung out, I’m like, what’s wrong with this guy? Just hang out with me! I’m trying to call him to hang out [laughs]. We have a similar sense of humor and we ended up getting along very well.
Is there an aspect of Ian that really drew you to the role? Andrew and I had a conversation before I ever read with Saoirse on the phone. He mentioned how he really loved this interspecies romance and how it was interesting to him and in a really strange way I understood what he was saying. He also talked about how Ian is evolved, one of the more evolved in the cave. Him and Jeb and Jamie’s innocence, those are the three that come around first. I really thought that was something interesting to explore that I hadn’t got to do before. I like characters that have arcs. I tend to play characters that either start good end bad or start bad end good. It’s great to have that travel. It’s always really fun to play. Ian started bad and went to good quickly which was really nice to experience as well through observation. He doesn’t speak very much in the first introduction of him. You see him watching Wanda and figuring her out and sort of putting pieces together which is a good challenge.
Was it weird for you and Max to kiss the same girl on set? There was one scene in particular where I kiss her…at least I get to kiss her first. I had to kiss her then I had to go out and call Max over and he had to kiss her. I imagine it was much more strange for Saoirse than it was for me. Some days you go to the office and you do a normal scene and some days you go in and you gotta kiss a girl and have your friend do it to.
How do you feel about the comparisons that are made to ‘Twilight’? I don’t personally find these movies comparable other than that there’s young actors in it and there’s a love story but young actors and love stories have been around since the age of story telling. At this day in age where young adult films are, it’s inevitable. ‘Percy Jackson’ gets compared to ‘Twilight.’ Everyone wanted that to be ‘Twilight.’ ‘I Am Number Four,’ anything I’ve done really, it’s kind of silly. Everyone wants it to be that next thing because it was an amazing thing. It was a phenomenon. It’s an exciting thing to witness but you can’t recreate it and it has to be organic. I guess if people like the work we did, that’s all we can really hope.
What’s next? The ‘Percy Jackson’ sequel comes out in August. We just finished that one, fresh off of that one. Now…I tend to be really picky for better or for worse. Now it’s kind of that search for that next thing that gives me the feeling I had going into ‘The Host.’ It feels right, there’s something right about this. It’s just being patient.