If you’ve seen Hostages at 10 pm ET on CBS Mondays you might be saying to yourself—is this really a CBS show? Unlike other hits on the network like NCIS, Hostages is incredibly serialized and may even be a limited series—certainly not primed for 10 seasons.
To learn more about the show and plans for the rest of the season, I recently spoke with Mateus Ward who plays Jake Sanders on the show. He’s described as the “not-so-innocent son” taken hostage along with his family by a rogue FBI agent played by Dylan McDermott?
Why? Because McDermott’s character wants Jake’s mom to kill the President. (She’s his surgeon for an upcoming surgery.)
Mateus and I recently spoke via email. Here’s what we discussed.
How did you first get cast as Jake on ‘Hostages’?
I am so thankful for this part! When I got the script, I couldn’t put it down. I really didn’t want any other part after I read Jake. I auditioned in December of last year, and had to wait 4 weeks before I heard any news. I was obsessed with the project and wanted it and only it! I literally jumped off the walls when my agent called and told me I got it.
Where else have we seen you besides on Hostages?
I have been so lucky to work on really great projects with incredible roles. I was a bully who realized his horrible ways on Parenthood, found a dead body on NCIS, the son of a drug cartel in Weeds, a robot that shot lasers from his eyes and had super powers on Disney XD’s Lab Rates and portrayed a boy with schizophrenia in the feature film Lonely Boy.
Teenage characters on TV shows often are criticized as annoying or as weak characters by critics and fans alike. How do you think your character Jake is avoiding those typical issues?
I am very grateful to the writers that he’s not your typical, weak and annoying teenager who rolls his eyes and whines. He has all these secrets and these complicated relationships with his family. He just wants to be his own man. But he isn’t yet, and he’s young and in an extreme situation, so he makes mistakes.
In the episode when he calls home, a lot of fans wrote me and asked why would Jake be so stupid? But to me, that moment he showed he has a big heart. He cares about his family so much, but doesn’t know what the right thing to do is in this crazy situation. He’s still searching for that answer.
You work on a pretty intense show. Is it a bit lighter on set? How are you getting along with some of your other cast members?
The more intense it gets, the more ways we find to make each other laugh on set. Tate and I are always talking in foreign accents, and Quinn and I like to imitate Saturday night skits and write songs together.
What happens in the season finale? In other words—will there be a second season? And if so—would you or any of the other characters be "able" to make an appearance?
Wait, do you know something I don’t know? I don’t have any idea where the show is going or what will happen in the finale. In a series like this, the cast gets the script and we are just as surprised as the audience every week.
What's coming up in future episodes that we can look forward to?
I’m sworn to secrecy! Let’s just say it gets way crazier!