Jake Abel: The Host Hottie

Mar 27, 2013

By: Lynn Barker

You might remember young actor Jake Abel from his roles as Luke in Percy Jackson and the Olympians: The Lightning Thief or as cocky school athlete Mark in I Am Number Four. Jake won the coveted role of Ian in the new sci-fi action/romance The Host, based upon the Stephenie Meyer novel and we are meeting with him in Bev Hills to hear funny stories from the set and learn why the three leads of the film (Saoirse Ronan, Max Irons and Jake) bonded as pals.

We learned that Jake wants to play an old West cowboy and that he’s also quite a musician, singer/songwriter.

Jake at our interview
Jake at our interview
Courtesy of Lynn Barker

Kidzworld: You had maybe the trickiest of the roles to play (his character Ian is in love with the being inside the body of Melanie (Saoirse), the alien called Wanda). What was the attraction to play Ian?

  • Jake: Andrew (Niccol, the director) had called me the day before I went to do the chemistry read with Saoirse and he said some things that I hadn’t really thought about. I initially went in for the Jared part. He said “There is something about this inter-species love that is interesting and I want to explore”. I liked that and caught on really quickly.
  • He said “Ian is one of the more evolved characters in this cave. He comes around quickly and observes her in such a way that is really cerebral”. These are all things where I was like “Yes, yes, yes. I love this. I haven’t played that before”. I needed something new so I just ran with it from there.

Kidzworld: Were you given the Stephenie Meyer novel to read after you got the part?

  • Jake: No. They didn’t give me the book. I had to go buy the book (he laughs). My fourteen dollars but that was my choice. I’ve done a few adaptations of novels to movies. This is the first time I decided to read the book, maybe just as an experiment more than anything. I was really glad I did it. It did inform me in a general way about the essence of him. Andrew made him stronger in the movie. That’s one thing I wanted myself. He took all the sensitive parts of Ian but made him stronger and I think that made for a more taunt relationship between him and Jared (Max Irons).

The poster of Jake as Ian
The poster of Jake as Ian

Kidzworld: Did you and Max know each other before the movie?

  • Jake: No. William Hurt (who plays Uncle Jeb) said “We are having two weeks of rehearsal”. I’ve never had that on a movie and I will always fight for it if I can from here on out. The things that were discovered that just weren’t lying on the surface, the relationships that were developed were great. Everyone was there. Diane Kruger (who plays invading “Soul” Seeker) was there and we were able to learn what she thought about us and us about her and what that meant. It made the movie something more than just thrown together.

Kidzworld: You had worked with Saoirse Ronan before on The Lovely Bones. You were both so young then. What was it like to work with her again?

  • Jake: She was 14. The funny thing about Saoirse is she’s been a 30-year-old since she was 13.  She was really precocious then but not that she’s an old curmudgeon now. She’s such a kid too. She’s very dynamic in that way. She’s incredibly professional when the cameras are rolling and incredibly unprofessional when they’re not. I adore that about her and it makes working with her so much fun.

Jake and Saoirse: a funny moment on set
Jake and Saoirse: a funny moment on set

Kidzworld: She claims that without being able to laugh, her kissing scenes would have been harder.

  • Jake: Yeah. We were lucky that we were all friends. It made it so much easier.

Kidzworld: Were you hesitant to take the role because of the pressures the “Twilight” films had on the actors?

  • Jake: To be honest, from the very beginning I said “This isn’t going to be Twilight because only Twilight is Twilight as a phenomenon”. That’s its own thing. What’s lucky about that is it allowed us to make The Host. Without that, nobody would have made the movie. We just got to focus on the movie and now are convincing people that it may not be what they think just looking at the poster. It’s more.

Ian and Wanda/Melanie grow closer
Ian and Wanda/Melanie grow closer

Kidzworld: What were your favorite Sci-Fi films? What did you grow up watching?

  • Jake: Close Encounters of the Third Kind was a big thing because I guess I don’t feel involved in sci-fi films where it’s just blowing up the White House but I did love Independence Day when I was a kid. That was a great movie. I loved it. But Close Encounters did something for me. It’s this really dramatic human tale. And we get to see it in The Host from the aliens’ perspective. They came and said “You need us” (We’re wrecking our planet). It you want escapism you can enjoy this movie as well. It’s a slower burn, trusting people’s attention spans with really great characters.

Kidzworld: And, for fans that want all action, you have those cool chrome cars!

  • Jake: (laughing) Exactly. We’re not boring. We’ve got some cool s**t!  I didn’t get to drive one though. That’s probably for the best.

Kidzworld: So you pranked Max Irons?

  • Jake: Yeah, Max made the mistake of letting me know he had a fear of bugs. I had to come save him from a moth in his trailer and I’ve exploited that ever since.

Jake as Ian with Saoirse as Melanie/Wanda
Jake as Ian with Saoirse as Melanie/Wanda

Kidzworld: You evil devil..(wink). We asked Saoirse too, could you survive if stranded alone in the desert like Melanie is in the movie?

  • Jake: Probably not very long but if I had William Hurt (who plays Jeb in the film) I could survive. He IS Jeb. He lives far from civilization. His gasoline has to be trucked out to him. Max went hiking in New Mexico and William told him “If you get hurt, call me. I WILL find you”. I felt like he was Liam Neeson in Taken.  If I was hurt and about to cut off my arm, William would be like “Stop! I’m here!”.  He’s a father-figure, a leader, incredibly intelligent.

Kidzworld: Do you know anything about the future of Ian in any new books or movies?

  • Jake: I told Stephenie, “Would you just let me drive a cool car or shoot a gun once?” But, I haven’t really thought about where Ian should go. I think it would be kinda cool if he got captured and got an alien inserted. That would be fun to play.

Jake as Mark in I Am Number Four
Jake as Mark in I Am Number Four

Kidzworld: But Ian has Emily Browning as his girl now. I didn’t even know she was in the movie.

  • Jake: Emily blew me away! Saoirse and I had developed such a specific relationship with each other with her playing Wanda and to know that this new actress was going to have to come in and recreate what this wonderful actress has done, that was hard. That first scene with Emily I was like “How did you do that?” She just said “Oh, I watched some dailies yesterday and picked it up”. Ian says “Oh, you do the same thing with your hair”..(that Saoirse did). But she stands like her. It’s everything Saoirse did. It’s the tone.

Kidzworld: I read that you studied with the comedy group “The Groundlings” in L.A. so when are you going to do a big comedy film?

  • Jake: I don’t know. If you watch any of my work there’s some kind of levity in it. I don’t reach for it but it always ends up coming up. For me, it’s always script and filmmaker; if those two things make sense, it doesn’t matter the genre.

A sad Jake as Ian
A sad Jake as Ian

Kidzworld: Is there some type of film that you haven’t gotten to be in yet that you would really like to?

  • Jake: I really want to be in a Western. I love Westerns. I write too and I just wrote a Western in three and a half weeks. I write things I want to see that aren’t being made. People aren’t as impressed by Westerns as they once were but I am. I love riding horses. I haven’t done it in a couple of years but used to ride quite a bit.

Kidzworld: Who do you listen to in music?

  • Jake: I play a lot of music. It’s my break. It’s a different outlet for me. I’m a songwriter as well. I just wrote an EP at my house and it was all inspired by Southern Booty Rock. I spent a lot of time in Louisiana last year. My fiancée (Allie Wood, NYC fashion blogger) and I listen to movie soundtracks in the car. We go see John Williams every year at the Hollywood Bowl.

Jake at a book signing
Jake at a book signing

Kidzworld: We were told you were going to do some music in the movie but it got cut?

  • Jake: Yeah. The guy who scored the movie wrote a very lovely nylon string score and I started to learn it and Stephenie said “No, you can’t do that. There might be music in the second one!”  My guitar is in my room here. We thought, “We live in a cave. What would we do? We’d play music and sing campfire stuff”. Hopefully, if we get to do another one, music will be there.

Kidzworld: You are in the next Percy Jackson movie Percy Jackson: Sea of Monsters?

  • Jake: Yeah, still playing Luke. It comes out in August. We just spent 10 million dollars to re-shoot the ending. The producers screened it and thought the ending wasn’t right. It was too much like the ending of the first movie. We went back to New Orleans to re-do it. It’s soooo much better.

Jake as Luke in the first Percy Jackson film
Jake as Luke in the first Percy Jackson film






readers voted!


uh no hes ugly! 1d soo wayy hotter!
commented: Tue Apr 30, 2013


singingstar25 wrote:

He's sorta cute... :/ One Direction Are hot :D
commented: Tue Apr 30, 2013


karissaLC wrote:

oh no honey he's ughliee
commented: Wed Apr 17, 2013

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Iss Pyaar Ko Kya Naam Doon – Ek Baar Phir 23rd April 2014 The episode starts with Astha telling Shlok that she came to get a pen. Shlok looks in his laptop. Employee comes and asks him to come for the board meeting. Shlok leaves from his cabin. Shlok gives the presentation. Astha smiles looking at him. Shlok is surprised to see I love you Astha with Astha’s photo on the projector. He gets shocked and asks his employee to go. They smile. Astha tells Shlok that he confesses his feelings infront of everyone. Well done. Shlok gets angry at her. He says, those three words are not important for me. Astha says, it matters to me a lot. When you don’t know these three words then how will you know my feelings. Shlok says, it is waste to talk to you. Astha says, ok don’t tell me anything. She says sorry and leaves. Astha is walking on the road and thinks to take an auto. She says, he won’t confess his feelings. She is about to take an auto. Shlok comes and takes her in his car. Astha says, I don’t want to go with you. She gets sad thinking he will not say I love you. Shlok looks at her and stops the car. He gets down and Astha follows him. Astha asks him to come. Shlok shouts Astha I love you……………….. I love you so much……………………Astha gets surprised and happy. Shlok smiles. Saiyaave Ab Raasta Dikhade Tu…………………plays. Astha gets shy. Shlok asks, why are you feeling shy? Astha hugs him happily. Shlok too is happy and smiles. They close their eyes while the hug continues to be everlasting. They are standing on the middle of the road while the song Iss Pyaar Ko Kya Naam Doon plays……….. Anjali is waiting for Astha. She wonders where they might be stuck. Sojal says, Astha don’t care about time. Anjali thinks to call Astha. Shlok is driving the car and holding Astha’s hand. Astha gets Anjali’s call. She asks him to leave her hand. Shlok says, no. You won’t talk to anybody and switches off the phone. Anjali gets annoyed as she thinks Astha rejected her call. Shlok gets romantic and says I hold your hand for life. Astha gets shy again. Shlol says, you looks cute when you gets shy. Iss Pyaar Ko Plays………………………………………………… Shlok looks lovingly at her. Astha and Shlok come home. Shlok holds her again and gets romantic. Astha asks him to leave her hand. Shlok says, I didn’t hold your hand to leave you. What is your problem. When I am loving you, you are not liking it. He says, I am loving you infront of everyone. Astha says, not infront of everyone. Shlok asks her to give him a book about the dos and donts. They come inside. Anjali asks Astha where is your phone. Astha says it was lost. Anjali looks at her phone. Astha says, battery was low. Niranjan asks Anjali to do the rituals first. Anjali asks Astha to do the grah pravesh. Astha looks at Shlok. They enter together while Shlok holding her hand. Anjali makes her wear veil and asks her to be in veil until morning. She says, everyone can see you except Shlok. Shlok gets angry. Anjali asks her to change her saree and wear the given saree. She asks her to stay in the guest room tonight, to be away from Shlok. Astha says ok. She goes inside with Anjali. Astha gets ready and thinks what is this ritual. Today Shlok confessed his feeling and I have to be away from him. Shlok looks at Astha’s photo in his laptop. He recalls saying I love you Astha. He comes out of his room. Varad stops her. Shlok says, I want to see Astha. Varad says, Aayi said you can’t see her. Shlok says, I will see her anyhow. Varad says, all the best. Astha is in the guest room and is restless. She thinks to send voice message to Shlok. She messages him I miss you Shlok. Anjali comes and asks her to come for the Moon Puja. Shlok thinks how to see Astha’s one glimpse. Astha looks at moon in the water and do the puja with Anjali and Sojal. Servant comes and informs Anjali that Niranjan is calling her. Anjali goes. Astha is doing the puja and prays for Shlok’s long life. Shlok comes there and says I will see my moon. Astha covers her face under the veil and runs. Shlok runs after her. Astha veil gets removed. Shlok is standing behind her. Astha hugs him and says you can’t see my face. Shlok says, I came to meet you alone. I will see your face at any cost. Astha runs. Precap: Shlok sees Astha’s face in the water. He says I am happy. Astha smiles. Neither your ritual have break nor my wish.
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