“If I cannot move Heaven, I will raise Hell.” –Jonathan Christopher Morgenstern
Jonathan Christopher Morgenstern makes his debut in the third Mortal Instruments book, City of Glass by Cassandra Clare. With The Mortal Instruments: City of Bones coming to theaters August 21st 2013, the characters are coming to life in my mind as I re-read my favorite book series for the umpteenth time. I see Jace on the pages that I’m reading and think of Jamie Campbell Bower, Clary’s name has me seeing Lily Collins, and Valentine brings to mind Jonathan Rhys Meyers. What about Clary’s brother- who is the real Jonathan Christopher Morgenstern? According to many fans, Sebastian Verlac’s doppelgänger is Conor McLain.
Unlike the character that Conor McLain has been fan casted as, this 20 year-old young man is quite the gentleman. The Mortal Institute had the opportunity to talk to Conor, and learn a little bit more about our fan casted Jonathan Christopher Morgenstern - and what better time for this interview to come out, than during the weeks revealing TMI set exclusives!
The Mortal Institute: As you very well know, you have been fan casted as Sebastian Verlac aka Jonathan Christopher Morgenstern from The Mortal Instrument series. You told me that so far you have recently finished reading the first book City of Bones. Sebastian doesn't show up until the third book City of Glass. Have you been spoiled as to who Sebastian is in the series? If you do know the character, is there anything you can relate to with him? When did you learn about the fan casting, and how does it make you feel?
Conor McLain: Unfortunately, I have been spoiled as to Sebastian's identity crisis. Jonathon uses this alias to fool his long lost sister into a heart wrenching and devious love affair remnant of a Luke and Lea debacle. I have not been exposed to any information pertaining to his characteristics other than (quoting my mother who is currently reading The City of Glass) "He is an asshole." I was turned on to the fan casting by my partner, Taylor's friend Brenna. She found a fan's artistic blog explaining the fandoms calling, and I plan on answering. You, lovelies, have made such a thing possible. I feel honored to have been chosen by the fans, and therefore ten fold if by Cassandra.
The Mortal Institute: What made you decided to pick up Cassandra Clare's City of Bones and read it (a wise decision I might add!)?
Conor McLain: I actually picked up The City of Bones back in 2007 at age 14 when it came to stores. I recall the day perfectly for some reason. I was in the Barnes and Noble's Teen Read section when I saw Jace's glimmering chest. LOL! I read the synopsis and I was instantaneously hooked!
The Mortal Institute: What is your overall reaction/impression after reading The Mortal Instruments: City of Bones? Do you have a favorite character? Why?
Conor McLain: Exquisitely written, the novel kept me on my toes. I love all the references to other classic novels, paintings, and fairytales. The light humor, riddled in the darkest parts of the tale, was perfect. Now, I am itching to start City of Ashes! My favorite character, after careful consideration, would definitely have to be Bane. He is so glamorous, with a touchy temper and no patience for nonsense. I aspire to be that rad!
The Mortal Institute: What is your favorite quote?
Conor McLain: "How could anything so deadly be so beautiful?"
When Clary is watching Valentine raise his kindjal over Luke. I can't wait to see the realization of that glorious Circassian dagger.
The Mortal Institute: What kind of books do you like?
Conor McLain: The answer to this is plain and simple- dark romance novels that are mainly mystical in background. I love a book with some good menacing monsters. Also, I enjoy action and drama!
The Mortal Institute: What are your hobbies?
Conor McLain: I am a dancer, choreography, artist, sculptor, and avid Pokemon Master!
The Mortal Institute: How did you fall into the modeling scene?
Conor McLain: I was at a dance convention called The Pulse. One night after class my mother and I went out to dinner and we walked by a group of people having cocktails, when a woman looked up at me and said, "You must have just arrived." By the end of our time together, that weekend I was scheduled to meet with the top ten men's agencies in New York City. I met the team at Soul Artist Management, and I felt like I had found long lost family. Before I knew it, I was shooting with photographers like Arnaldo Anaya Lucca, John Akehurst, and Steven Klien.
The Mortal Institute: Who inspires you?
Conor McLain: My inspirations range from my parents, to a choreographer and creative director- Brian Friedman, to my life partner-Taylor Kelly. My father taught me how to be a man and is constantly working, repairing, and remodeling our house. He also is always planning outings that bring our whole family closer and closer together. My mother taught me that it is always okay for me to be myself 110% of the time. She is my #1 fan. Most of all, she has shown me how to persevere through just about anything.
I have continuously been inspired by the directors of The Studio Dance Company, Nick and Lisa. Lisa is the reason I am the performer I am today. I aspire to be as strong willed, professional, and passionate as she. Nick is a man who introduced me to mixing and music production. Additionally, I aspire to be as well rounded, humble, and efficient as he.
Brian Friedman is exactly the kind of man and professional that I am working to be. He has a clear vision for every project for which he works. Wether he is being the creative director of shows like the X-Factor, America's Got Talent, Justin Bieber's tour or choreographing numbers for performers at The Pulse.
Taylor inspires me in every way, shape, and form. From his academic achievements in The Future Business Leaders of America-Phi Beta Lambda, Inc., to his powerful understanding of right and wrong. He is constantly keeping himself on his toes and looking for a new challenge to conquer. He never stops growing as an individual, and the more I learn about him the more I fall madly and deeply in love.
The Mortal Institute: What have you always wanted to be asked during an interview, and how would you answer it?
Conor McLain: "What is your hidden talent?"
I am good at impersonations- silly accents, including: Donald Duck, The Grinch, Stewie, and Stitch.
The Mortal Institute: Who is your fictional crush?
Conor McLain: Spike aka William the Bloody, from Buffy the Vampire Slayer, is my fictional crush and has been since I was little!
The Mortal Institute: Describe yourself in 5 words.
Conor McLain: I would use the words passionate, determined, humble, silly, and creative.
The Mortal Institute: Are you going to school? If so, for what?
Conor McLain: I am currently enrolled at Dubspot. I am taking music production courses.
The Mortal Institute: What is your favorite color?
Conor McLain: My favorite color is purple.
The Mortal Institute: What is your ideal date?
Conor McLain: My ideal date would be Taylor and I at the top of the Eiffel Tower, at a round table with a black table cloth, and a single candle; eating Italian food, listening to 90's pop records from about eleven to midnight, so that when we kiss at the stroke of 12 the tower's lights begin to sparkle.
The Mortal Institute: What are your dreams?
Conor McLain: My dreams are too many to list, but to give you a few…
I would like to become a headlining choreographer, creative director, producer, singer/songwriter, and an actor.
Jamie IS Jace, but after talking with Conor, he is most definitely not Sebastian - I think we can all be thankful for that! Conor is charismatic, charming, and quite handsome - wait, that sounds a lot like Sebastian, maybe I should have asked Conor if he had the urge to burn down the world.
Follow Conor McLain on twitter and check out these amazing Sebastian/Jonathan fan edits below: