There was lots of talk about The Mortal Instruments: City Of Bones movie during a panel with author Cassandra Clare. Beautiful Creatures authors Margaret Stohl and Kami Garcia were also in the panel.
Cassie was involved in the casting process. They had a meeting and the process for choosing cast members would be like,
"What do you think about this guy?"
"That guy is very ugly, I don't think that probably it would be a good idea to cast him."
"Well, fine. You don't like him, what about the hottest guy in the world?" and Cassie would say, "Well, alright"
That kept on happening, and then for Valentine, they'd say "Well, what about this guy?" And Cassie would say that they looked 20-30 years older than Valentine is supposed to be. And so they'd go through different options until she said "Yeah, alright," Then she comments on how perfect the cast is and how perfect Jonathan Rhys Meyers is as Valentine.
Technically they weren't supposed to give Cassie the casting director number, because she knew she'd be hassling them about who they'd be casting. But then she would discuss ideas for actors.
There would be, say, 11 people watching the auditions of each person. In terms of Simon, she loved Robert Sheehan from Misfits, but the director hadn't heard of him. So Cassie had to explain about him. The director was saying how they couldn't watch the show, but Cassie said "Well, I'm not sure what to do about that, but his acting is f**king good!" On commenting about Robbie's audition, one of the casting people said he was "really good, and he's really good looking!"
Some of the actors barely auditioned at all. They talk to the director about the project, because they know they can deliver. Such as Jared Harris (Hodge). They didn't need to see him audition to know he's a great actor. They would talk to Harald on Skype and then put the call up on the server so they could all watch it. At the dinner, one of them would say "I watched your Skype call. It was great.  You do know they record that so that everyone can watch it." They said "No, I had no idea. I never saw it."
A comment about it was great. It's not like they did it naked. [A lot of fast talking happened next so I didn't get all of that part of the discussion.]
The casting would be down to the top 4 and then finally chosen. But over all, Jamie and Lily were the toughest to choose, who had to have chemistry. Cassie wasn't allowed to go into the room and watch the auditions to "manhandle the actors,".
She talked about details in the films compared to the book and how not every little thing is going to be exact. She wasn't permitted to look at the screen play and also she had no choice in choosing the director but she did get some ground rules set in. She was very adamant they couldn't change the relationships. Other than that, Cassie would give her input and thankfully the crew took them into consideration, but to let the director get their interpretation of the book onto screen as well.
Jamie knows everything about the TMI series. He's read all of the books and even memorized the runes. When he got one rune he said "It's a wedding rune. I'm not married! Get it off." Jamie would also play music off set. He would even correct people on set. The director did a lot of research on the books as well.
Asked if she'd go to the premiere, Cassie says yes but right now she's not thinking about it.
When asked if Jewish tradition played a part in TMI, Cassie says there is. She did a lot of research into mythology and incorporate that as well as Christian mythology and other mythologies that she wanted to have. She didn't want a specific religion so she incorporated all of them together.
How much thought do they put into characters?
Cassie collected names from hotel registries and found names on patient logs at hospitals. One of her co-panelists joked that they mentally picture her going through the hospital taking down name boards.
Were you scrutinised for writing a gay relationship in your books?
Not by the publishers, but definitely by reviewers. There were people writing in. There will be people that pick up books and know it's not for them or they'll read it and just slowly catch on. She feels lucky that she's not had anything bad from any school libraries or things like that. She knows that the relationship is preserved in the movie. She thinks there's a real value in having a book where there's characters and they're happy to be gay and they go on to have relationships just like straight characters have relationships and it's completely normal lives.
Afraid of criticism for the movie?
Cassie doesn't read book reviews. All the reviews that she gets sent go to her husband. Movie wise: she finds it pretty freaky, the idea of getting attention on that level of concentration that people pay because books are rarely reviewed in newspapers so you don't get that intensity. Her plan is to not to read any of the reviews and just carry on and act normal as much as possible.