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Video/Q&A: 'The Host' stars Max Irons and Jake Abel

(Photo by: Sara Mays for RedEye )
March 26, 2013|Matt Pais, @mattpais | RedEye movie critic

Because their movie “The Host” comes from “Twilight” author Stephenie Meyer, Max Irons and Jake Abel have received plenty of questions about Team Edward and Team Jacob.

The new film’s story, however, isn’t as basic as, say, a love triangle involving a human, a werewolf and a vampire. The futuristic romance “The Host,” opening March 29, centers on Melanie (Saoirse Ronan), a human whose body is infiltrated by a peaceful alien being. Jared (Irons) has eyes for Melanie; but when the alien takes over, Melanie becomes Wanda, a different personality that captivates Ian (Abel).

Got that?

At the Waldorf-Astoria Hotel, 27-year-old Irons (son of Jeremy) and Abel, 25, talked about the power of baths, dangerous three-ways and monkey space travel.

I know you guys went to Second City last night—
Jake Abel: Yeah! He didn’t ‘cause he’s an idiot.
Max Irons: I didn’t because I’m professional. I like to be on point the next day.
Jake: Jerk. I went.

How difficult has it been traveling when each of you has such different perspectives--Max being professional and Jake being so amateur?
Max: I spend a lot of my time trying to drag him up to my level.
Jake: I’m a lot more fun. He sits in his room and tries to expand his brain.
Max: Education’s a big deal.
Jake: Sitting in a bathtub watching television, crying to “Billy Elliott.” How British of you!
Max: Yesterday I had a day where I found myself in the bath twice.
Jake: [Laughs.] That’s why he didn’t go to Second City, ‘cause it was the second bath he had to take. That’s why his skin looks so good.
Max: And then I watched “Billy Elliott,” which is a film I haven’t seen since I was a kid. I was crying like a baby ‘cause that film … the father-son relationship [affects me].
Jake: Meanwhile I was out eating deep-dish pizza, seeing Second City and taking in the city. Expanding myself that way.
Max: I did a bit of that too. But just punctuated with baths.
Jake: And Burberry.
Max: I did not go to Burberry.

I’m glad people will be able to separate British and American stereotypes and know they’re not true.
Max: We’re pansies, basically. The moral of the story is we’re pansies.
Jake: [Laughs.] Bath-taking pansies.
Max: [Effeminate tone] “Skin is so soft.”

How many people do you think, in a setting like “The Host,” would say, “So aliens can end violence and hunger and save the environment? Bring it on; humanity is struggling”?
Max: The price tag of losing your soul and mind [is] fairly hefty.
Jake: Oddly enough, I took a bath last night too before bed.
Max: See.
Jake: We had televisions in the mirrors and I was watching a science show on some history channel or whatever, and they talked about this theory that if aliens were able to come to us they must be so advanced that they had either evolved past war--otherwise they would have destroyed themselves--or they’d never even considered the concept of war.
Max: I spoke about that the other day.
Jake: Really?
Max: Yeah! In an interview. Glad you were paying attention. You’d think, if they could come this far, if they’d conquered the space travel, the intergalactic light speed travel thing, they must be able to destroy themselves. So the fact they haven’t, the fact they’ve come that far, they must be peaceful.

Do you think a lot of people would be in favor of it, seeing how many problems we have now?
Jake: The rub is once they invade, we disappear. So we wouldn’t even be here for it. We’re essentially killed in a very peaceful manner.
Max: Probably the way to do it would be saying, “Hang on. Let’s have a cup of tea, give us some tips, and then go on your merry way.”

Maybe if we have a gigantic bath where we can all soothe ourselves together.
Jake: I think the bath is really the clincher in all of this. Is if we all bathe together more—
Max: Really? OK.
Jake: We might find ourselves more harmonious.
Max: Maybe …

How many times have you romanced a girl and wondered if she had an alien inside? What gave it away?
Max: One instance I considered there might be something. She’s just full-on mental.

What do you mean?
Max: Just personality disorders, behavioral problems. Causing me to ask a lot of questions about her sanity.
Jake: She’s going to be at home pulling strands of hair out of her head while she watches this, waiting for you to return to London.

Or be like, “He’s talking about me!”
Max: She’s a bit too mental; she wouldn’t be able to connect the two I don’t think.

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