New Photos From The Host Show Us Jake Abel's Ian O'Shea

By Kelly West 2012-06-13 17:18:45discussion comments
It's a good day to be a Stephenie Meyer fan. Earlier today, we shared a few new photos from the upcoming second part of the final installment to The Twilight Saga, and now we have a couple of new looks at the feature adaptation of Meyer's non-vampire related novel The Host. Check them out ahead and get to know Jake Abel's character Ian O'Shea a little bit better.

The Host takes place on earth after aliens have invaded the planet and inhabited the bodies and minds of most of the humans. The story follows Melanie Stryder and the "Soul" that's taken over her body, Wanderer. While Wanderer is in control, Melanie hasn't exactly left and Wanderer soon comes to learn the emotional challenges that come with being a human. She and Melanie eventually team up to seek out Melanie's family, who are hiding somewhere in the desert. If you haven't read the book, Stephenie Meyer recently wrote a new forward to the novel that lays out the setting for the story pretty well.

Meanwhile, Entertainment Weekly posted a couple of new photos featuring Jake Abel, who plays Ian O'Shea in the story. Check them out below.





In case your memory of the book is rusty (and if you haven't read it, some mild spoilers ahead!), Ian is the man who falls for Wanderer. While Melanie (Saoirse Ronan) is in love with her boyfriend Jared (Max Irons), Wanderer begins to develop feelings for Ian. The situation is obviously complicated, considering Wanderer and Melanie share a body, but that's part of what makes the story interesting. I think Wanderer's interest in Ian is one of the best examples of the line that's drawn between Wanderer and Melanie as a mindset. Wanderer taking an interest in another man while inside Melanie's body adds an intriguing layer of conflict to the story.

On Ian's side of things, he isn't exactly a fan of the Souls at first. Like any rebel human, he's trying to survive, but his exposure to Wanderer soon changes his perspective on the aliens. EW's article includes an interview with Jake Abel, in which he discusses the evolved mindset of his character.
I was really lucky. It was much easier for me than for Max and Saoirse, because my scenes with Saoirse were mostly with her as Wanda. So the physicality we created for both of us was just that: For me, that entity was just Wanda. Andrew Niccol and I [discussed] that Ian was much more evolved than most people in the cave, second to Jeb. His biggest muscles were his heart and his brain. Hes able to understand that yes, Jared may love the human, but he hates the alien. [Ian] has grown to understand [the alien], and through understanding, grown to love her.

In addition to giving us some insight into his character, he also raises a pretty interesting issue, and probably one of the major aspects of the story that could potentially make or break the film. Saoirse Ronan is essentially playing two people. In the book, Wanderer has the first person narrative, while Melanie is more or less just a voice inside her head. It's fairly easy to follow in the novel, but how will it work on screen? Are we in for a lot of echoey voice-overs? Possibly. As far as how it will work on Ronan's end, she's proven herself adept enough as an actor that I think she'll be able to pull off playing a two people at once.

This won't be the first time Jake Abel and Saoirse Ronan are in a film together. Abel played a small role in the film adaptation of The Lovely Bones, in which Ronan starred. But it should be interesting to see how they work on screen. You can read EW's full interview with Abel here. The Host arrives in theaters March 29, 2013. More information, photos and video can be found in our Blend Film Database.
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