The central conflict of Stephenie Meyer's The Host stems not from vampires and werewolves, but something more intangible yet equally eerie. Depicted in the Andrew Niccol-directed film as a glowing organism of sorts, these parasitic alien "Souls," as they are called, gain access to humans through an incision made at the back of the victim's neck, where they override their host's human circuitry.
At least that's what's supposed to happen. In The Host, Melanie, played by Saoirse Ronan, does not relinquish control to her invader and eventually learns to coexist with her. Given this premise, Movieline thought that Cinema Society's screening of the movie, and the party that followed at Jimmy at The James Hotel in Tribeca, were good places to ask a single question of the VIPs and swells who attended: If your body was inhabited by a parasitic host, which celebrity would you want it to be and why?
There are some real provocative answers here, and if you want a really racy one, head straight for actress/model Meki Saldana's response:
Diane Kruger, actress, The Host: Michael Jackson. He's the coolest. He's my favorite singer. I cried when he died
Stephenie Meyer, author, The Host: If it's my body that's invaded, then I don’t get a choice. But, if I'm the invader, and I get to pick the body? I guess maybe Beyonce. I'd get the talent. I'd have the voice. She can do all that cool stuff. I could dance if I were her. My bones are not connected right; I can't do those moves. And I can't sing.
Saoirse Ronan, actress, The Host: A celebrity? I would want it to be…someone like Bill Murray or Jack Nicholson. They're fun and interesting and they've been around a long time. And maybe I could get some of their memories from all the things that they’ve done over the years.
Max Irons, actor, The Host: If my body was invaded? Stephen Hawking. If I said Jay-Z or something, he'd be in my body and he’d look in the mirror and go, What the fuck? Whereas, Stephen Hawking — he might be a little bit grateful. Just a little bit. We trade: I get his magnificent brain and he gets my body.
Jake Abel, actor, The Host: Somebody's coming in my body? I would say David Bowie, so I can sing and dance on stage.
Boyd Holbrook, actor, The Host: Larry Bird. Fantastic ball player. He'd be in my body. Final answer.
Lee Hardee, actor, The Host: Stephen Colbert! He's hilarious. The whole day would be entertaining. Everything you did, everything you said would be awesome.
Raeden Greer, actress, The Host: I think if I would have someone in my body, I think it would have to be…this is really hard. Maybe a guy. So, I could just, you know, see what it's like to think like a guy. I’ll go with Woody Allen.
Gabourey Sidibe, actress: You know what? I'm learning something about myself, because the first name that came to mind was Tony Danza. And I don’t know why. For some reason I see him tap dancing in there. What did I get into?!
Dylan McDermott, actor: My favorite celebrity of all time, Barbara Eden [from] I Dream of Jeannie.
Jason Wu, fashion designer: I want to be Diane Kruger. She's so glamorous. She's one of those girls I just love hanging out with. Amazing inside and out.
Tatiana Maslany, actress: Nicki Minaj. She’s amazing. I would love to have the guts that she has and her "whatever" [attitude].
Ve Neill, academy award winning makeup artist and reality TV judge: Would it have to be a female? Let's say Johnny Depp. I've worked with Johnny off and on for many years since I did Edward Scissorhands with him. He's fabulous and I adore him.
Meki Saldana, actress and model: Either Brad Pitt or Angelina Jolie or both. I want both of them inside me. Whoa, whoa. Hold on. Let me back up, let me back up. Oh my god, I just said something I shouldn't have said. No, no, I just think that they’re very strong personalities, but at the same time very humble. I would definitely want something that they have inside me. Still wrong.
Holly Kiser, Make Me a Supermodel: Joaquin Phoenix, because he's a crazy-ass motherfucker, or Robert Downey Jr. [They] have all these, like, demons inside of them, and they’re just trying to work with that as actors.
Nell Alk is an arts and entertainment writer and reporter based in New York City. Her work has been featured in The Wall Street Journal, Manhattan Magazine, Z!NK Magazine and on InterviewMagazine.com, PaperMag.com and RollingStone.com, among others. Learn more about her here.
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