Following the release of the second theatrical trailer for The Host, author Stephenie Meyer spoke with the press today on a conference call to talk about the book and the film. Among the topics of discussion, Saoirse Ronan's otherworldliness, Meyer's future projects, including a sequel for The Host, how Hanna influenced her decision to go with Saoirse Ronan as the lead, and how the originally intended love triangle became a love square.
The Host is Meyer's non-Twilight novel, which trades vampires for aliens and focuses a bit less on romance and more on a story of survival, focusing on a young woman who is among what's left of the human resistance on earth after the world has been taken over by body-snatching aliens. Saoirse Ronan plays the lead character Melanie, who is captured and eventually occupied by an alien "Soul" called Wanderer ("Wanda"). Melanie refuses to abandon her own mind when Wanda takes over, which puts two characters into one body and two separate species eventually growing to understand one another.
In case you missed it, here's the new trailer.
Spoiler alert: The transcript from the press call with Meyer contains some spoilers from the book (at least one reference to the ending). So if you haven't read it, keep that in mind as you read on.
What's more fun, aliens or vampires?
Well they each obviously have their appeal. I don't know. Strictly fun - you can have a lot of fun with vampires. There's just a little bit more of a - I don't know what the right… I don't want to say goof factor because obviously they take themselves very seriously. But there's the whole super hero aspect. They have different abilities. They can run fast and lift heavy things. The aliens are limited to being very human. So I think, just purely on fun, probably vampires. But the aliens, to me, feel like a more realistic fantasy.
What do you think, in particular, will appeal to the Twilight fans about The Host?
I feel like, if they like my style of storytelling, that is still the same. The story is very different, but there's always going to be romance. I wrote it, so there's definitely some romantic scenes. But there's also some really stellar performances. You've got to see William Hurt as Jeb. It's just really awesome. And Saoirse - she's not a household name, probably because no one can read her name right now. They will though. She's unbelievable. Just to watch her get to do this great of a performance where she has to play two people and really run with that is worth the price of admission for sure.
Is there anyone from the movie - any of the actors - that pulled off the performance that you think is really closest to how you pictured the character when you wrote the book?
Yeah, all of them did a pretty great job. The top honors have to go to Saoirse, particularly for her portrayal of Wanda. I think Melanie was a little bit easier for her because she kind of relates to that girl, but Wanda's not even human. And wow, does she create this person, this entity. And it really did, for me, most encapsulate this character, who really could look like anyone. So the looks aren't such a big thing, but she just has that other-worldly persona, where she is just alien. It's amazing.