HOSTAGES: Mateus Ward on the Jake Twist and What Comes Next - Give Me My Remote : Give Me My Remote

HOSTAGES: Mateus Ward on the Jake Twist and What Comes Next

December 17, 2013 by  


HOSTAGES has had many twists and turns in its freshman season, and in last night’s episode, the Sanders family took their biggest stand: by teaming up with Duncan to “kill” Jake, they laid the groundwork for their eventual escape once the President’s surgery is completed.

I spoke with HOSTAGES star Mateus Ward (Jake) about the “acting INCEPTION” of playing a character faking their own death, what comes next, and more…

What was your reaction when you first read the script for last night’s episode?
Mateus Ward: Gosh, when I read the script, luckily I had been told beforehand that my death was fake, so I wasn’t going in reading going, “Wait, did they just kill me off?” So, luckily I had that.

But even then, it was just so shocking. You have Duncan locking up his own wife. You have Ellen going into agreement with Brian; they have so many relationship problems and they’re the ones who are starting to make up. And then I’m getting shot. And that’s insane.

Even knowing it was coming, it was a bit of an abrupt moment. When I watched it, there was a part of me that wondered how much of Duncan’s anger and frustration was real in that scene.
MW: Right. That’s exactly what I was thinking when we were shooting the scene: “Gosh, I wonder what’s going through his head. I wonder what he’s thinking about right now.”

Do you feel like that was your more difficult or intense day? Or do you feel other days in the shooting of season 1 were more challenging?
MW: Gosh, I don’t know. This one was definitely really difficult to do, because that fall has to be real enough for the audience to think that it’s real, but in like, I also have to think I’m not getting shot with any bullets. It’s kind of this thing where you have to show it to make it look real, but you have to think that if people go back and rewatch it knowing that it’s fake, they have to be able to see [that, too]. Plus, the fall was difficult. But the stunt guys were great and they really helped a lot. It was a lot of fun.

How was it trying to balance all of the levels of acting you had to do in that scene?
MW: It’s acting INCEPTION!

MW: A scene within a scene! This show, man. This show is crazy.

How much did you know about your character and his arc when you joined the show? Did you only have the pilot script, or did they sit you down and lay out his season journey?
MW: Well, when I first got the script, the pilot, I couldn’t put it down, it was such a page-turner. They didn’t tell us anything. We got some hints from [executive producers] Rick Eid and Jeffrey Nachmanoff, but we don’t know a lot about what’s happening. We get the episodes, and that’s pretty much all we know.

Do you prefer it that way? Or do you like knowing more?
MW: That’s a tough one, because for me personally, it’s like, I want to know. But I keep thinking it’s better that I don’t so I can figure it out when it comes.

That makes sense. If you know a twist is coming four episodes before you shoot it, you might over think everything you do in the meantime.
MW: It does. When you over think it, I think it just becomes too complicated. For me at least, to know as much as Jake knows, is good for me when I’m doing a scene. Because if I know too much, I’m thinking, “Do I play this? Is that something I need to worry about?” I think what everybody is doing is great. They told us what we need to know. Everything else is what we want to know.

Absolutely fair. What can you tease about what comes next?
MW: As you guys know now, I’m in the cabin, and we’re on the run, basically. And I don’t know what I can tease and what I can’t, but something unexpected is going to happen at the cabin.

Are we seeing him adjusting to life without his family, or are we more picking up with him when the
action dictates as much?
MW: I would say when the action comes in. I’ll tell you, I can say I’m not safe.

Fair. I don’t feel like anyone in the show is really safe.
MW: Nobody in the show is actually safe! That’s what makes the show so amazing, is that the stakes are so high. The body count is insane. You don’t know who is going to die in what episode. You don’t know who is going to get captured, which keeps you on the edge of your seat, which I think is just great.

Did you find there was a lot of resolution to the story by the end of the season? Or did it end with a massive cliffhanger?
MW: Well, the show was originally meant to be a limited series…I don’t want to give too much away about the ending, but I can say they ended the season really well…they had to wrap up a lot of stuff, but if everything’s resolved, what fun is it? [Laughs]

What was your favorite part about filming?
MW: Oh, man, my favorite part of filming was getting to work with all these amazing actors and directors; we get a new director every episode, so getting to see these different points of view have been really great. And of course, these scenes with the whole family and all the captors have been really fun, because when the director yells cut, we all get along really well, and we’re all joking and laughing, and then they say action and we’re back to our grim, brooding characters.

The adults on your show have had really extraordinarily long careers so far. Since you’re relatively new to the industry, have they been giving you advice or telling you stories about their past experiences?
MW: They have. We haven’t gotten a lot of chances to talk a lot because the schedule is so hectic, but just watching them has been an amazing acting experience. What better acting school can you think of?

HOSTAGES airs Mondays at 10 PM on CBS.

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