Tipped hotly as the next Young Adult Franchise to break, The Mortal Instruments, adapted from Cassandra Clare‘s Series of bestselling Novels, soon will see a release on the Big Screen with first installment City of Bones having been shot in Toronto last Fall. Hence, it is absolutely full circle that Director Harald Zwart and Stars Lily Collins, Jamie Campbell Bower, Robert Sheehan and Kevin Zegers returned to where it all began last night, this time to promote the Blockbuster set to open next week. If the fact that a second installment already has been green-lit, beginning production in just five weeks’ time, we can expect nothing but for these Films to be a massive success.
The stage was set as a strip of Richmond Street was closed for the Canadian Red Carpet Premiere of The Mortal Instruments: City of Bones at Scotiabank Theatre, where Fans lined the barricades all day to get a glimpse of the Talent and perhaps maybe even get their books signed… and several succeeded!
Director Zwart has built an eclectic Résumé which has seen Box Office Hits like 2003’s Agent Cody Banks and 2010’s The Karate Kid Remake. The Norwegian Native was first to walk the Carpet tonight and I asked him what drew him most to the Franchise and he admits, “I think this is the Movie I’ve been looking for all my life – a bit of Fantasy and Sci-Fi. That’s really my favourite genre.”. On which Character he identifies most with, he reveals, “I think I like Luke (played by The Hobbit‘s Aidan Turner). He’s the Outsider who’s watching everyone from a distance, but still protecting them.”. Traveling solo last time around, he says “This time around I’m actually gonna bring my Family – my Kids and Wife – and it will be a great experience having them around!”.
BAFTA-nominated Robert Sheehan has risen to prominence in the UK for his work on the Series Misfits. Tackling the role of the nerdy but loveable Simon Lewis – Best Friend to Lily Collins‘ Clary Fray – the Irish Actor graced the Red Carpet in style tonight in a fitted suit with 3/4-length pants, complete with leopard-print shoes. On Simon‘s grappling with his unrequited feelings for Clary, I ask what romantic advice Sheehan would give his own Character. He jokes, “I’d tell him find the nearest table jump up on it, take your shirt off and claim your love as quickly as possible, because in 50 years’ time you might have a Hernia!”. In addition, he has nothing but praise for Torontonians, stating “People here are enduringly content with themselves. It’s infectious!”. His one regret? Sheehan wishes he got to do more “touristy” things during his last stay. “I’m gonna take my weekends and see some sights like Niagara Falls and Montreal”, as he gestures teasingly at an attractive female Journalist beside me, making a pretend date with her. Charming, indeed.
Despite being from Woodstock, Ontario originally, Toronto practically has become a second home for recently-wed Kevin Zegers. The Actor stars as Alec Lightwood, a Character who comes to be defined in this installment for his own struggles with his sexuality and jealousy towards Clary Fray, as she captures the attentions of Jace Wayland (Jamie Campbell Bower). I ask him what he drew upon in his own life for the role and he states, “I’m not a terrifically jealous person. I’m a little judgmental of people at first and I think that was one of my focuses – to be more renascent and distrustful rather than focusing on the jealousy and whether Clary‘s attached to Jace or not.”. And for those curious, his lovely Wife Jaime Feld walked the Carpet together with him, standing by his side supportively as he greeted Fans and Press.
Although we’ve seen him in both The Twilight Saga and Harry Potter Franchises, British Actor/Musician Jamie Campbell Bower finally gets his moment to shine in The Mortal Instruments in a Lead Role, which actually is rather physically-demanding especially late in the Film in some highly choreographed action sequences with Jonathan Rhys Meyers’ Valentine Morgenstern. Bower‘s Jace is seen widely as a bit of a “Bad Boy” and I asked him what influences he drew upon in crafting the role. He lists for me some of his influences – some more surprising than others, “James Hetfield (Metallica), Kurt Cobain, young Johnny (Depp), young Heath (Ledger) and River (Phoenix) as well”, he says. “I’ve always been interested in Keith Richards (The Rolling Stones) also.”.
It’s always a pleasure seeing Lily Collins, one of Hollywood’s most promising new faces. I still recall my shock spotting her out and about in the City last Summer while prepping for filming and to see her star rise so quickly fills me with a great sense of pride. Upon seeing each other on the Carpet, she came over gave me a big hug. An absolute vision in her white Houghton Dress, I had only a quick moment to chat, but asked her where in Toronto she’d take Clary Fray out on a date. “Oh my God! Well, it’s funny because I went bowling in that Bowling Alley (pointing down the road to The Ballroom Bowl) when I was creating Clary. I’d definitely have to go to Yamato for Sushi because Yorkville‘s my ‘hood’. We’d also just go hang-out on Queen Street and go Vintage Shopping.”. Reflecting on her meteoric rise, she says “Last time we came here no one knew who we were except you!”. I invite her to look behind me at her hoards of adoring Fans and she flashes a brilliant, animated smile. “I’m so thrilled to be here!”.
Watch Video Clips of my Chat with the Director and Cast of The Mortal Instruments: City of Bones below:
eOne Films releases The Mortal Instruments: City of Bones on Wednesday, August 21, 2013.