We conclude our three part interview with Lily Collins, Kevin Zegers and Jamie Campbell Bower from The Mortal Instruments: City of Bones. Much like we started, with getting them to reconfirm their commitment to taking this long journey with the fans. In this last installment we talk about what it was like to be Hall H at Comic Con and getting a standing ovation from 6,000 people, whether or not they are committed to the full duration (the book series is at 7 and is projected to have 9 installments) and we talk a bit about possible casting options for fan favorite Tessa Grey (who first appears in Book 3, City of Glass).
What was it like sitting in Hall H at San Diego Comic in front of that audience and getting that kind of reaction/ovation?
Zegers – It’s all a bit surreal. We were all sort of cast to shoot a film, which is something we all love to do and you go about making the film and you shoot it and you do your best and you create a character and then you finish and then this whole, that ComicCon thing included, is a completely separate side of things. It’s a little overwhelming.
Certainly for me, it’s something I’ve never experienced before, so seeing a billboard that’s the whole length of the side of a building with your face on it and 6,000 people in a hall watching exclusive; it’s all a bit strange. It feels like something that if I were involved in watching I would go, oh, how cool would that be, except you’re sort of a part of it, so it’s a strange dichotomy of being involved in something, being proud of it, but also feeling slightly detached in the machine that is sort of putting it out there.
So, we’re just trying to have fun. You can’t take it all too seriously. It’s sort of great and we’re excited that people are excited about the movie, but it sort of becomes a machine in and of itself. The film kind of sells itself and I think even when the film comes out, certainly the three of us have seen it and you saw some footage and stuff, but the movie would really kind of sell itself. It’s a good movie and I think we’re just excited to kind of be part of it, not to speak for all of us, but I just did.
Jamie – One has to detach oneself from it at that point. I think we’re all smart enough and we’re all mature enough to know that this may not last forever. The industry that we’re involved in is incredibly fickle. So, we take pride in every single thing that we do and we’re also very objective about it I think and we have to be.
It’s amazing to sit in a room like Hall H and also we did WonderCon as well in Anaheim and it’s amazing to sit there and get to show something that a lot of people are excited about and to show parts of the movie and to talk to people about it because I think we’re all very aware of the fact that without those fans we would not be in the position we are.
We would not be here in Minneapolis doing a tour, going around the world and getting to go back and shoot another movie. So, in that sense we’re incredibly grateful, but it’s also a little bit silly. Sometimes you have to be able to laugh at yourself and go this is mental.
Lily – For me, I’ve been attached to this project for about three years now, so it’s been something I’ve believed in from the moment I read it and I’ve felt passion about it and I think every single step of the way during this process has ignited my passion more and more and to finally have it come to fruition and to be coming out in three weeks and to go to a place like ComicCon and share footage with people and have them be as excited as I was the first day I read the script is just the best feeling.
I’m just so proud of all of us and the work that we’ve done and I can’t wait for more people to see it. And it excites me to, hopefully, go back next year with the sequel and just continue the excitement because I know that I get more and more excited as we get closer to opening.
We’re closing in on volume seven of the series with a projected nine books. With so many books in The Mortal Instruments series, are you ready to commit to something of that duration and, as an aside, does it affect casting considerations when looking at someone like Tessa Grey and City of Glass?
Jamie – Yeah, we are committed to be committed. I think when I got into this I, obviously, was aware that it’s a series, I was aware that it could go on, but you have to focus on job by job, you have to focus on it movie by movie. While we were shooting the first one we didn’t even know if we were going to go back for the second movie.
If we do end up, you say projected possibly; we’re closing in on seven, like you say, who knows how many more castings. We’ve got to get a move on, because most of us are in our mid-20s and I don’t know if I can be playing Jace at 19 when I’m 34. Maybe I can, that would be awesome and maybe that would do me a favor. But I doubt it. I sort of think I might look like the back end of Keith Richards by that point.
So, in that sense we have to focus on it job by job, but I’m committed to being committed. Kevin, are you committed to being committed?
Kevin – Yes, of course. It seems like people are really excited about the first movie, and they’ve told us they’re doing the second movie and so we’re getting prepared to do that.But, aside from that, who knows? There’s a saying that goes “We plan, God laughs.” As far as I’m concerned, all I know is that we’re on this great press tour, I’m spending time with my good friends and I hope this is the beginning of a long thing, but as far as I know; the only thing I know for sure is that we’re starting filming the second movie in September and I’m excited about that.
People could decide that they hate me in this movie and they could recast me for the third movie. It’s not; we’ll picket and Lily says she’ll picket, I doubt it. But I think allthree of us come from the same place of just being grateful that they’re even considering doing a second movie before this first one comes out. So, we’re just excited.
Lily – As long as people will have me as Clary I’d love to continue her journey. I was a fan of the books before I was cast and there’s just too much in the story to not continue I think. It would be a shame to stop prematurely. And it’s already so difficult introducing ideas and kind of wrapping them up in a way that makes people want to learn more, but also makes them feel like they’ve not been gypped of certain things in one movie, let alone a series.
You don’t sign onto something like this without the hope that it will continue on past one movie, maybe two. You also don’t focus on that when you’re shooting the first, because the most important thing is to make yourself proud with the first one and go from there. But, yeah, we’re all there.
J. Bower – And what was your question about casting?
Given that people know all the interactions of the characters between the different books and the two different series I’m just imagining the scream that’s going to go up when Tessa Grey makes an appearance in that third movie and I just don’t know if that would start rumors of people talking about a series of the internal devices or if they’re even thinking that far ahead.
J. Bower: There was an article that came out not too long ago about the acquisition of the prequels by a company, which you can read. I suppose we’re going on to movie two now, so looking at the introduction of characters and that. Do we have any say? Some of us, but I guess there just has to be that connection, you know.