What is it like to be the creator of one of the craziest phenomenon of this generation? Stephenie Meyer offered fans a look into her world of vampires, aliens and unsuspected youth as she shared her story on her recent press tour for “The Host” at The Free Library of Philadelphia on Feb. 22.
Over the past five years, Stephenie Meyer has made millions of dollars off her immensely popular series “The Twilight Saga.” The last film installment of the saga, “Breaking Dawn Part 2,” premiered this November, and Meyer has already begun with her next project.
Meyer’s book, “The Host,” is a sci-fi novel about an alien race that takes over the Earth, as one soul’s human host’s mind refuses to surrender. The novel was released in 2008 and didn’t gain as much attention as her Twilight Series, but now Meyer’s book-to-movie adaptation of “The Host” is set to release on March 29.
Meyer and two cast members of the movie, Jake Abel who plays Ian and Max Irons who plays Jared, set out on a national press tour, and one of their first stops was Philadelphia.
Meyer’s first venue in Philadelphia was a private screening of “The Host” at the Ritz on Thursday night. Meyer, Abel and Irons sat down with the audience for a post-movie Q&A.
Meyer acted as producer of “The Host.” She spoke of the benefits of being involved in the adaptions of her work. “It’s not difficult to see my books being adapted,” Meyer said. “It’s when I see the script that I think you end up missing the most [of the story]. I think it’s always easier as the author working on the adaptation. For this project, I was really involved. Each time there was a sacrifice they would say, ‘What do you think?’ I think that all of the best parts ended up in the movie”.
The Q&A also included several questions for actors Abel and Irons. “We were really lucky to have something that I’ve never had on a film before,” Abel said. “We had two weeks of rehearsal beforehand. That really allowed us to come together and create this cave mentality of survival, and those two weeks were really solid.” Irons jumped in by saying that costar William Hurt, who played the part of a spiritual leader and captain, helped push them through the movie. “He was quite an inspiration,” Irons said.
One attendee asked where Meyer found inspiration for the book. “I came up with the idea on a road trip when I was really bored,” Meyer said. “I was driving through the desert, and I started thinking about the complicated relationship that would happen here and ran with it.”
Meyer was also asked during the Q&A if she felt pressure for “The Host” to live up to the Twilight series. “I don’t think anything will be as big as the Twilight phenomenon,” Meyer said. “That went crazy. That doesn’t happen more than once in anyone’s lifetime. I feel pressure in that I hope people will give this movie a chance. I feel like it’s the most beautiful thing I’ve worked on. I’m really proud of it, and for me that is enough. I mean it would be great if it did well. I’m sure a lot of the financers would be happy about that. For me, it was just something I really wanted to feel good about, and it truly is. The results of the box office don’t really matter to me as much as that.”
That success didn’t come easily to Meyer, however, as she explained the difficult process she went through to get “Twilight” published. “I was really sure I was going to be rejected quite harshly, so I sent out one round of letters,” Meyer said. “I got nine rejections, and one ‘let’s have a look at it.’ I think if it had been ten rejections I probably would have not gotten anything out. Don’t write to impress someone else or to get published or to get famous. Those are all really bad reasons. Write because you are excited about the story, and it makes you happy.”
Alyssa McKendrick can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.