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Collider: Jamie Campbell Bower Interview from on the Set of THE MORTAL INSTRUMENTS: CITY OF BONES

February 14, 2013


On Being Cast As Jace Wayland and Negativity Surrounding It:

“I think at the beginning I was very much aware of what was being said, whether it be positive or negative; predominately negative. I have to appreciate the fact that this is a series of books that people have already encountered and people will already have preconceived notions about who the characters are. Did it affect me? Fuck yeah, of course it affected me. I’d be a cold, heartless and self-absorbed person to have it not, but it made me want to prove to these people that say I can’t do this that I really can. If I can win over 50% of the people who said that I couldn’t do this or didn’t want me to do this, then I feel like I’ve done my job.”

Question: I’m curious because you’ve been involved in some franchises before and this obviously could be a franchise. Were you a little bit nervous to sign on or were you more excited to sign on since you’ve been part of these other successful ones?

BOWER: I think I’m nervous to sign on to any job. I think when I was first approached about this, I wasn’t made aware of the fact that they were possibly thinking about making it into a franchise, so for me, it was — this was a one-film deal. If it goes for another two, if it goes for another three, however many, that’s great, but right now we’re focusing on this one and doing this one and getting that as good as I can make it rather than focus on it as a brand and making it into a brand.

Are you drawn to these fantasy roles specifically?

BOWER: [Laughs] Maybe it’s just the way I look. I think I’m always drawn to a good story. I’m always drawn to something, you know – nowadays, I think it’d be foolish; it would be ignorant to believe that something that a studio has to make; something that they know is going to be successful or make money and Mortal Instruments is a great series of books that taps into a genre that is very popular and I think that a lot of studios are making those kinds of movies now, so is it that there’s opportunities? Yeah, of course there’s opportunities. This is a great story and that’s why I’m interested in it ultimately.

How did you physically prepare for this role and what’s the deal with the tattoos?

BOWER: These are all real and terribly made.  No. Physically, I’ve trained really hard for it. It was sort of — I started training four months — three months before we started shooting, and I sort of toyed around with different physical forms and at the end of it, what I wanted was to get to a point whereby we’ve seen this sort of big jock kind of character before and I didn’t want that and I didn’t really think that that was something that I believe, particularly, you know, with my younger cousins or whatever being girls that they’re really into — you know, the 15-year-old markets — I don’t know if that’s as sexy as it once was anymore. I think it’s more about the rock star or the girls that I, you know, the 15-year-old girls they’re into, like, skinny motherfuckers from bands and the sort of lost souls and all that kind of shit and I love that and I think that’s really cool. Ultimately, at the end of that, what I wanted to do is I built up the muscle, and then I just trimmed everything down and just got super lean and it was really tough; really, really hardcore. I did a lot of stunt training; a lot of fight training and physically kind of ruined myself but in the best way possible. It wasn’t like I was doing stupid shit because I was doing stuff that was good for me, but, you know, you wake up at 5 o’clock every morning, and do three hours of training, then you have a half an hour to eat, and then you go back and do another two hours, then half an hour to go and sleep, and maybe have a shower if you’re lucky, and then go through lines or learn the piano and all this kind of stuff. Yes, it’s exhausting, but it’s part of what I enjoy about it.

 

And the tattoos?

BOWER: The tattoos — these are runes, so each tattoo has a specific power so I’m covered in them and I have real tattoos as well, so my real tattoos have to get covered and then runes get put on top of my real tattoos. I think I should just get runes tattooed all over me, then at least I wouldn’t have to spend three hours in the makeup chair because I’d spend fifteen hours in the tattoo parlor and be done with it for the rest of my life.

A lot of people we talked to today, including Lily, talked about the connection that you guys had right from the first audition, so I’m just curious if you felt that when you walked away.

BOWER: Absolutely. I think I walked into that audition; I walked into that camera test knowing that I wasn’t necessarily the person that they wanted to go for and that’s a hard room to walk into. That’s fucking tough. So I had to go in there and I had to be able to a) prove myself and b) there had to be something more; there had to be this, like — it was funny because it happened without sort of looking for it. Like, Lily and I just automatically clicked and these two characters just came out of us and it was like we had known each other for years, it was so weird. We watched back the camera tests… gosh, when we first started shooting, so maybe three months ago. And we both looked — I was bloated, I was fat, I’m surprised anybody wanted me to walk into that room and we’re both in completely different places, but this connection was there and that’s an amazing, amazing thing to have. I think that’s great for the movie and I think above anything what I was really drawn to in this story is… this is ultimately this love story and I think that’s a lot of things we see in popular culture nowadays, and things that have succeeded throughout time, I think that’s what’s happened here, like Romeo and Juliet and, you know, well you’ve heard of movies, not to mention one but Twilight. That was so successful because people invested in the love between these two characters and that’s what I want them to have with this. Yes there’s a lot of other shit that’s going on, but that’s what I want them to.

Read the rest of this interview at Collider here.

 

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