|Lily Collins, as Clary Fray, leads a team of Shadowhunters to find the truth about her mom in The Mortal Instruments.|
Sitting around talking with Cassie Clare fans about her books and movies is always fun. But when one of those fans is The Mortal Instruments: City of Bones star Lily Collins, it's a whole new level of excitement. I sat down in Los Angeles with other TMI bloggers, Mundie Moms, TMI Movie News and Fangirlish, to share with her our excitement about the film and got her insight.
|LILY COLLINS AT LA PREMIERE (photo by Amber Pruitt)|
(Blogger questions are in italics)Loved you in the movie.
Lily: Oh you finally saw it.
Lily: Oh my God, were you happy?
Ya, you did an awesome job with Clary. We were up until like three in the morning talking about it.
Oh we went home and dissected like everything.
Lily: That’s why I couldn’t sleep last night. Genuinely I was tossing and turning all night, and I was like what is going on, I think subconsciously I knew that people were talking about the movie and I was like Oh My God, I hope they like it.
We were sitting up in bed last night examining every single point of view. But you seriously do embody Clary. I think that anybody who was ever a naysayer is going to be like WOW. And your red hair looked amazing.
Lily: Thank you so much. Everyone has been like that’s the wrong color. I am like it was red.
It was great.
Lily: And how awesome was Jamie?
\We were just telling him that.
Lily: Oh you just saw him.
The entire thing was awesome. The acting, the chemistry, take the writing and put it aside – the chemistry you guys had just brought everything to life. Between you and Robbie and you and Jamie. Just everything. We loved it.
Lily: Oh thanks. And you guys are like the fans, so we want to make sure.
We were just telling Jamie we were assholes in the beginning, we are really sorry.
Lily: I knew from the second that he was cast and he started getting this backlash, I am telling you when he comes out, people are going to be like I am sorry. And that makes me happy.
We did our sorry’s after the set visit.
Lily: That’s right.
I think for us it was weird, because we have been fans of the book since it came out.
Lily: Of course.
And you know how when you read something you picture someone…
Lily: I was a fan too. With any book you read, you always have this person.
|Photo by Amber Pruitt|
Cassie’s the one, I was like I am going to take your word for it, I totally trust you, so if you say Jamie can do it. She was like why do you think he won’t be good. And ok, Alex Pettyfer – the younger version, was who at that time I had pictured as a Jace.
We won’t talk about his acting or anything.
Lily: But very different actors.
So when he was cast, she was like “Just wait, I promise.” And then seeing it and meeting him, I was like you totally brought book Jace to life. And you brought book Clary to life.
Lily: Ah, thank you.
|Photo by Amber Pruitt|
Lily: Thank you. That was the fear I had from the beginning. The fact that she is thrown these who, what, when, where, why, questions every five minutes. And in real life as a young girl its okay to be totally confused as to who you are. Young girls are all over the place with their emotions anyway. Its like you can be sad because you are literally angry, sad, or upset or frustrated or in love. There are so many reasons to be upset or annoyed or frustrated. And I didn’t want to play it one note, but I also didn’t want her to be this superhuman, girl power, never vulnerable girl. That’s why I think the scene where she breaks down in the rain is really necessary, because it allows Jace to say look we don’t have a choice here, so if you wanna get her back you have to come with me, you have to trust me. Otherwise this girl who is so opinionated in the first place just go on this journey with this guy she’s afraid of. We needed to show a vulnerability with Clary and the true essence of a young girl going through this stuff would be hesitant and nervous and scared. But at the same time she never allows herself to be defined by those emotions. She keeps going and toying with that, making her completely relatable, but at the same time, somewhat able to be on a pedestal of how to not victimize yourself. How to be a strong young woman. So thank you. That really was initially the biggest fear for me in playing her, and not even fear, it was kinda like I wanna be her in the best way possible.
You made her very relatable. We told Harald the same thing, that it is a movie with strong ideals and don’t falter for them. You know you see stuff sometimes where a girl will hit something and run away. But the scene with Jocelyn – she was like –
Lily: Oh my God, she keeps going.
It was the same thing with Clary too. You see the broken relationships, you see the stuff and they go through things, and they still fight. I love that we have a movie with strong girls. Because I don’t think that gets portrayed enough.
Lily: No, Jemima is kick ass as well.
Oh Izzy is amazing. But, how fun was it on the mall tour?
Lily: It has been the most surreal experience. It is so strange, because we have this reaction without the movie even coming out yet, without it being a sequel, without any footage beyond the footage that we have been showing them for the first time as they are already there. It’s like t-shirts with our faces on, people fainting, and crying. It’s been amazing to be one on one with the people buying the tickets and parents who brought their kids to sleep over the night before. You kinda are going oh my God, this means so much to them. There was this one girl that Jamie and I were watching during the Miami mall tour and we were like okay here’s the new footage and the footage goes and she was just crying and getting so into it. And Jamie and I went over to her after and were like you are the most genuinely excited person we have seen – what’s your name, where are you from. Because genuinely this was her life and every time someone would come on screen she would just light up. To see that first hand and to go speak to people. They waited overnight for two seconds of our time.
That to me is the true essence of the story, to feel for the characters. And that’s what Harald wanted. Character and emotion and for them to be able to connect with something and not just have a characture of the story. Seeing their passion and all these people’s enthusiasm for Clary, just clarified the fact that I always saw Clary as being something that every young girl has in them. Every young girl can be a Clary. Just because I am the actress playing her doesn’t mean that I actually define Clary anymore. Obviously if you watch a movie based on books, and you weren’t a fan and you read it, but see the movie first, you are going to imagine the actress playing it. But I felt for the fans, I didn’t ever want to take their vision of who Clary was and I just wanted to be the actress being able to play her. And I think if everyone can relate to her that way when watching the movie, everyone’s got these emotions flowing through them.
Everyone gets confused as a teenager about who they are and are you my parents – I don’t know if this is my name. I totally had that where I was like I wonder if I really came from here. You always go through these weird kind of adolescent thing, because you watch weird movies, and you are like her past isn’t the same and maybe I was lied to. And I think it’s just like you relate to characters in stories and I really wanted Clary to be one of those characters that people could relate to and go, maybe that’s my story, and if it’s not my story, what would I do if I was in that. I am so close to my Mom and that’s what I related to the most with her – I wanted it to be a journey that even if she was in New York finding her Mom, it could be the same as in this fantasy. Cause yes there are warlocks and demons, and yes, she is floating about a tombstone, that’s obviously something that wouldn’t happen in New York, but the essence of the story, and going through these trials and tribulations to get to her, and having to dress the part to meet somebody – that’s all stuff that you totally go through. And you feel uncomfortable, but your friends are like you won’t get to see him unless you dress like this. And you are like ok, that is so wrong, but if I gotta do it, I gotta do it.
And Clary’s morals don’t change. Like you said Jocelyn and her are kick ass women but their morals never change. Like Clary is still Clary in a tight dress and heels. Clary’s relationship with Jace is the same as when they are in an alleyway as it is when they are at the piano and she’s all “You play that like you lost your only love.” And its rejection and they still are very at each other. That’s what they respect, because they find a combater in each other. That never changes, even in the emotional things, even in the romantic things, they still push and pull. She never changes herself for the story.
As a fan of the series yourself, what was the scene that you were really excited to film?
Lily: Genuinely the greenhouse. Just because as a reader you are like, FINALLY THEY GET TOGETHER. It’s magical and it’s beautiful and it’s that young girl in me being like I want a romantic scene now. And it was the moment where you see Jace’s vulnerability. It’s kinda a calmness in the mayhem and craziness of the action story. I just wanted to see Clary and Jace get together. So filming that was kind of a bonus I think. To have someone that you get along with so well – I mean, it’s always an awkward situation in those moments. But to have such a supportive crew and co-star in moments like that, it’s kinda like wow, this is actually translating exactly as it is from the book. I know all the young girls – literally all we had to say on tour was ‘Greenhouse’ and they would scream. And it became a running joke where Jamie and I would be like now, okay now, “Greenhouse.” It literally was the moment that the girls went crazy, so we wanted to make it perfect.