Andrew Niccol, the director of The Host, spoke a little about Saoirse Ronan and finding the right chemistry between her and her two male leads.
“There’s one thing I always think about movies,” says Niccol, “you can change the anatomy of a movie — you can change its skeleton and move scenes around and take scenes out — but you cannot fix the chemistry. If you do not have chemistry between actors, then you’re dead.”
Niccol admits that it was an “extensive process to find electricity,” but he found it in British actor (and son of the legendary Jeremy Irons), Max Irons.
“I remember Paul — Saoirse’s dad — was with me in the casting session with Saoirse and Max,” Niccol recalls. “He’s an actor as well, and I looked at him and he looked at me and went ‘Yeah…’ cause you could just feel it — something that’s not tangible, but you know it when you see it.”
Audiences have apparently felt that electricity as well, as Niccol admits to altering one particular scene due to fan reaction.
“What I’ve noticed with Stephenie Meyer movies, especially when it’s a packed house, there’s such audible reactions — shrieks — that I’ve actually had to expand scenes,” Niccol explains. “When Jake [Abel]’s character says ‘Kiss her’ to Max’s character, there’s such a big shriek that I actually added frames to the reaction so you could hear the next line of dialogue.”
I find it funny that the people behind the film actually accommodated for when the fangirls start squeeing.
Some may find that too much has changed, but here’s one reason why Andrew changed the outcome of a couple of the characters, which makes sense.
In one memorable scene, which finds humans sacrificing themselves to save their brothers and sisters, Niccol veered away from Meyer’s original story. “I did it in a more dramatic way so that guys would show up to the movie,” Niccol says with a laugh. “Of course it’s an alien love story, but there’s enough action that it’s OK guys, you can go to the movie. It’s going to be OK.”
Obviously, they wanted a movie that would appeal to both the females and the males, and that’s one thing as a filmmaker that you really have to adjust for. The movie opens tonight for most of you, so I hope you go and check it out!