Here is part two of our interview with Lily Collins, Jamie Campbell Bower, and Kevin Zegers from The Mortal Instruments: City of Bones. In this installment they Lily talks about her love of the books and they also confirm that a sequel has already been greenlit.
Obviously, coming into this project this is a series that is extremely well beloved by a number of people. What kind of pressure do you feel when portraying a character that so many people have already envisioned in their minds?
Lily – Well, I think coming into this situation, I was a fan of the books before I was cast because of any actress who would have played Clary, I would have definitely had expectations and my own idea of who and how Clary should be played. I just think there comes a certain point at which I had to separate myself as an actor and realize that I’m going to put little bits of myself in there and really play honor to the way that Cassandra wrote Clary, but also take on a life of its own by making her a little bit more Lily.
So, I tried not to think about all the pressures of playing Clary when I was playing her because I think that would only really distract me. I think once we got on set none of us were really thinking about what expectations were put on us, other than the ones we were putting on ourselves.
Jamie – Yeah, obviously, there’s preconceived notions of who these characters are. The fact of the matter is we’re not going to be able to please everybody. But here’s the thing we were cast in the movie. In that sense somebody had to see something in us that stuck out that they believed in. So, with that we take elements of ourselves, like Lily just said, and we also take the bible that casting has given us, the books, and you work out who you want these people to be in just over worth of two hours worth of visage.
What is it about this story that drew you in and made you know that it was something you wanted to do?
Kevin – My first instinct when I read the script was; I hadn’t read the books either, so I was not; Lily had, obviously, read the books and was a big fan so I think she had her own kind of, the reason why she wanted to do it. I, myself, had just read the script and it was a really good script. I think it’s, I think people’s instinct is to try to group this film in with other books that have been made into films, especially sort of young adult things.
And, to be honest, that was my idea when I was reading it. I was sort of thinking it’s probably going to be just another one of those kind of things and there probably won’t be a lot to do in terms of character stuff. And I found myself really surprised at how character-driven this movie is. The emphasis on the supernatural stuff, it’s certainly in there, but it’s definitely not a movie relying on werewolves and vampires and stuff like that.
This is a story about a girl in search for her mother and sort of finding out who she is and so I think any pre-conceived notion you would have having not heard of the books or not read the books, this is just a good film. It’s certainly the reason why I wanted to get involved is because I liked the character and the script was great.
Jamie – For me, what I was excited about was I guess throughout recent history we’ve seen the male superhero or the male, I don’t know, love interest be this big beefcake, jockey kind of, a bit untouchable, yeah, a bit like Kevin; you know, and I was really excited to be able to try and redefine that and make him into a bit of a wily rock star.
That’s what I wanted to do and that’s what I think I was able to do. And that’s cool, because from my experience of young girls and teenage girls, that’s what their into. My cousins like that. And that’s what they dig.
Lily – I was a fan of the books before I was cast and what I loved so much about it is that for the first time I really felt like a reality and a fantasy world were married together in such a great way that the second you think we’re taking ourselves too seriously in this magical fantasy world, we have a moment of humor and realness that brings it back down to earth.
And I mean, yeah, sure, there’s romance, but it doesn’t define Clary’s story. There’s drama, there’s action; the work that these guys did, and I trained with them, but my potential as a shadow hunter only shows in the second book; I mean, it shows now, but it’s mainly in the second and third and continuing on. The action is some of the best action I’ve seen in a film in a long time, let alone a teen franchise. And I think there’s something for absolutely everyone in this story that you’ll walk away just feeling like you’ve seen a good film. It doesn’t matter that it’s maybe geared more towards teenagers. I think it goes way beyond that.
Kevin – Which is why I think they’ve greenlit the second movie. They would have sort of waiting to see; I think we were focused on making a good film and I think because we’ve done that they’ve sort of had the confidence to go ahead and let us start making the second one. So, certainly for me that instilled a lot of confidence. Clearly they liked what they saw with the first film.
In tomorrow’s last installment the talk about their crazy Comic Con experience and committing to being on this wild roller coaster.