The Latest

Cassandra Clare raves about Jamie Campbell Bower in exclusive interview with Hollywood Crush

Cassandra Clare was moved to tears after watching Jamie Campbell Bower's audition.

It's been less than 24 hours since "Mortal Instruments" fans learned that Jamie Campbell Bower would take on the daunting role of snarky Shadowhunter Jace Wayland. The immediate fan reaction was mixed, with mostly negative comments floating around the Internet. But after some reassurance from the person that knows Jace better than anyone, author Cassandra Clare, fans started to come around. For those who still aren't on board, read this interview  our friends at Hollywood Crush did with Clare in which she delved into great detail about Bower's audition and how it made her cry (in a good way!). Oh, and Jamie and Lily Collins have chemistry that "blazed off the scene," in case you were wondering. Collins even campaigned for Bower.

"'It's Jamie," Clare recalls Collins saying to Screen Gems. "It's gotta be Jamie.'"

Check out the full interview below:

Hollywood Crush: You were uncharacteristically quiet on Twitter when the news broke yesterday that Jamie had been cast as Jace. What was up?

Cassandra Clare: I was asleep! I woke up actually because my agent called and said, 'Before you get online and check your email and get on Twitter, I have to tell you this.' So I was prepared. And I got on and was like, 'Oh my god.' Because, you know, thousands of tweets came in. I did not read them all. I was like, 'It's like a nuclear bomb went off.' So the first thing I did was call the studio, because I'm used to there being a lot of rumors floating around, and I wanted to like a) confirm this, and b) what do I need to say?

Let's get down to the nitty-gritties. Why is Jamie so perfect for Jace?

I have seen his audition tape. They sent it to me because they were so impressed with it, and they wanted to get my feedback. People have been asking me what scene he filmed. The answer is a bunch of different scenes. He did scenes where he had to be funny. He did scenes where he had to be romantic. He did scenes where he had to be angry and badass and he pulled the all of amazingly.

He auditioned with Lily, and he and Lily had incredible chemistry that sort of blazed off the scene. I’m just sitting here watching this on my computer, and you know, he was not the only person they’ve ever sent me to look at. I’ve gotten lots of headshots and this and that, and I’m watching the audition and I literally started crying because that was my Jace and Clary on the screen. And it’s an incredible feeling to see that even as an audition. This is amazing. He was snarky funny where he needed to be snarky funny, and he was badass where he needed to be badass. And he and Lily were incredible together.

In fact, after all the auditions, because she’s done auditions with a bunch of different actors, she wrote to the head of the studio, Clint Culpepper of Screen Gems, and she was like, ‘It’s Jamie. It’s gotta be Jamie.’ He told me that, this was before he had seen the audition, he told me that he wrote back and he was like, ‘He’s a rock star hipster kind of guy. Do you think he can be a badass warrior-dude, as well?’ And she wrote back and said, ‘That is Jace standing there. When you watch the audition you’ll see what I see.’

I’m sure fans are dying to know if there was a kissing scene involved in the audition.

You can tell the fans that one of the scenes they rehearsed is the greenhouse scene.

I think people will like that.

I did. [Laughs]

What does it feel like to finally have Jace cast? It’s been such a long process.

First, it’s an incredible relief. There have been so many… There is all this stuff that goes on behind the scenes and fans are like, ‘Nothing is happening.’ And I’m like, ‘Lots and lots of stuff is happening.’ They’re auditioning hundreds of guys and looking at all of these people, and nobody is quite right. It feels like the search for the Fountain of Youth—you’re never going to find it. So you can’t go forward with the project until Jace is signed off on.

I think another thing that people don’t realize is how many people have to sign-off on something like that. There’s like seven or eight producers on this movie. I don’t even know who they all are. And they all have to sign-off on this. And then it has to go to Sony and the head of the studio, Amy Pascal, and she has to sign-off on Jace. So everyone has to agree that this is the right guy. Getting everyone to agree—imagine trying to get a group of eight randomly selected people to agree on something. I really was starting to think that they were never going to find a guy that everyone agrees on. Then Jamie comes along and does this blow-you-away audition. So they were like, ‘Okay, this audition is amazing. We have to bring him back and test with Lily.’

Another thing that impressed me about him was that he asked—I got a message relayed to me through the studio, wanting to know what Jace would wear. He is the only actor who tested for this role who asked this.

Did he dress as Jace for his audition?

He wore exactly what I said: jeans, tight-fitting black T-shirt, boots, and he wears rings on his fingers.

I can definitely see Jamie having those pieces in his wardrobe already.

Yeah, I don’t think it was too much of a problem for him. [Laughs] But honestly, you can wear whatever you want to an audition. This isn’t a dress rehearsal. He could have worn a striped circus tent if he wanted to. But he wanted to get in character as much as possible.

I already liked him. I liked him from ‘Camelot.’ I’ve liked him since I saw ‘Sweeney Todd.’ [At the time I thought] Jamie seems like a really good option. I’m glad that you’re looking at him. I hope it goes well. As he started to the audition, I started getting responses from producers that were like, ‘This is a blow-you-away audition—a knock-you-out-of-the-park audition.’ So I asked if I could see it. And they sent it over to me, and like I said, I watched it and started to cry. And I sent a letter back to the studio saying, ‘Wow.’ And I think I said the real version of unfreakingbelievable.

Has Jamie read the books or was he going strictly off the script?

I know he’s read at least the first book, and he’s also read the script.

It sounds like he really did his homework for this role.

The audition [process] is not short. It’s, do this scene, do it over, do it over, do it over. It’s one of those things when you realize how tiring it is to be an actor. Every time he was told to do a tiny adjustment, he did it perfectly. He clearly had some thoughts about Jace that were really smart.

It was quite funny, in the greenhouse scene, there’s a line where he says something to Clary about, ‘You should have thought about that before you kissed me,’ and she says, ‘I kissed you?’ Meaning I started it? And he says, ‘Yeah, it wasn’t that memorable for me either,’ and walks off doing the Jace walk-off, which he did great. Then he’d say something off-screen to make Lily laugh! And she would try not to laugh, and it was unbelievably cute. Like, he’d walk off and say, [affecting a British accent], ‘Yeah, you were rubbish anyway.’ [Laughs]

How is his American accent?

Well, he did it in his British accent. And we’ve actually gone back and forth about whether to leave the accent or not have the accent. He did one scene in an American accent, which he does perfectly fine. Either one is fine with me. I think it’s going to be up to the director because Jace is, in fact, not American, so if he decided to do it with his British accent it would be fine.

Have you talked with him yet?

I haven’t yet had a chance to talk with him. I’m looking forward to it. That’s sort of how I talk to Lily—getting messages relayed between us and the studio. I think once they actually start filming, and are in the process, I’m going to end up talking to them more to give them feedback.

One of the issues some fans seem to have is that Jamie is a bit…slight. What sort of makeover do you think he’ll have to undergo to embody Jace?

One thing is that he is less slight now than he used to be just form watching the audition. He has certainly buffed up for ‘Camelot.’ I think he was slighter before he did that, and I know he had to do some months of boot camp, which is like, you work out and you ride horses and you life heavy weights. I talked briefly to the producer today, and basically he said,’ He has the right build for it. He’s tall. He’s got broad shoulders. We’re going to put some more muscle onto him, so he’s more built. And, you know, we’re going to cut his hair and give him the golden eyes, and he’s going to be perfect.’ I’m not particularly worried because he’s got a beautiful face. I mean, yeah, he’ll probably have to drink protein shakes and life weights for a while. [Laughs] I’m pretty sure he’s down with it.

What’s your take on the deluge of fan reactions?

I think it’s a mix. People obviously have favorites before a movie is cast. And so there’s the Alex Pettyfer for Jace camp, and there’s the Max Irons for Jace camp, and there’s the Ed Speleers for Jace camp, and they’re all going to be disappointed because it wasn’t the guy they wanted. But mostly I’ve gotten a lot of positive responses, especially after I mentioned I saw the audition and he was really great. I think they just wanted to be reassured.

I think this is sort of inevitable. This is what happened with ‘The Hunger Games’ casting. This is what happened with ‘Twilight’ casting. I’m old enough to remember this is what happened with the ‘Harry Potter’ casting. The reaction is always worried because people feel very passionately about the books, and they just don’t want to see something that is going to mess it up for them. It’s good because what you want is to know that people are passionate and excited about this project.

When they see him on the cover of a magazine, dressed up as Jace, with the runes, with the hair, with the build, they’re going to be pleasantly shocked and surprised and happy.

Oddly enough, this will be his third big YA franchise after ‘Twilight’ and ‘Harry Potter,’ yet his first leading role.

That is one of the things I liked about him, actually. To me, he has really worked for this. He’s been a working actor for years now. And he’s been in a lot of good projects. He seem to be choosy about the projects he takes, but smart about the projects he takes. He’ll take smaller parts good movies to build his resume. And now he’s ready to play a lead role. And I think this is a big one for him.

What do you guys think? For the doubters, are you reassured? For the supporters, are you justified?

And who else wants to get their hands on Jamie’s audition tape?

About Alyssa Barbieri (2800 Articles)
Alyssa is the Managing Editor for Bears Wire. You can reach her at or follow her on Twitter @AlyssaBarbieri

19 Comments on Cassandra Clare raves about Jamie Campbell Bower in exclusive interview with Hollywood Crush

  1. i don’t like this news…… i really don’t see him as jace…… i hate this…..

  2. I’m pretty much emotionally bipolar about all this. Trusting in Cassie’s vision.

  3. i think this is like the RPattz casting issue years ago. Some twi-hards got really angry that he got cast but once the trailer got out the haters went CRAAAAZYY! Honestly, i prefer Ben J Stone/Ed Speleers/ MAx Irons for Jace but I’m jumping on the JCB bandwagon. Hey! If he’s good enough for Queen Cassie then he’s good enough for me. I just wish JCB would have more volume in his hair. 🙂

    • I think that it’s like an initiation into a YA movie franchise. The fans hate you and then months later they’re bowing down to you. The doubters will come around eventually.

  4. OMG after hearing Cassie.. Im convinced!!! I LIKE IT! I LIKE IT! I LIKE IT!.. can’t wait to see that magazine cover!!

  5. Tintenzauberin // June 2, 2011 at 4:06 AM // Reply

    Wow, now I’m happy! I had mixed feelings about him being cast at first, but this convinced me. He’ll make a great Jace!

  6. At first I was a little disappointed. But after reading this, it seems that one he gets a Jace-over he’ll be perfect-the looks and acting bit.(=

  7. I’m so excited and happy! I’ve always said that if there were going to be a movie of The Mortal Instruments, I would want Jamie to play Jace. I never thought of it as an actual possibility until now!

  8. the dissapointed one // June 10, 2011 at 11:02 PM // Reply

    I get a little dissapointed with cassie´s choice I don see him as jace at all!!! jace is supposed to be the golden boy,the angel!!! this guy just looks like they collected him out of the street!!!! i mean he´s got the looks, but if i had to vote for one i would totally go for alex pettyfer.I´m sooo dissapointed with cassie´s choice:( sooooo please i´m begging you cassie;think it threw and considder your fans!!!pick alex,max or ed!!!please think it threw:(:(

  9. he shouldn´t be jace // June 10, 2011 at 11:09 PM // Reply


  10. optimistic // July 14, 2011 at 4:19 AM // Reply

    personally, I was really hoping for alex pettyfer for the role of Jace. after hearing that it is going to be jamie bower, i was a little bit disappointed because i saw pictures of him and he didn’t look like a “Jace” but now that i know they’re going to “fix” him up a bit and that cassie is all for it, i’m really looking forward to how this will end up 🙂

  11. becca is excited!! // August 31, 2011 at 5:10 PM // Reply

    so i think this is good news lol i at first was on the alex and eddy boat but wat i really want is a guy who could play it and i could close my eyes and just listen to him talk and say to myself, “yea, this is jace alright.” anyone could fix a look and i hav faith in this jamie dude he seems competent lol and i seriously cannot wait for the magazine cover…i will b waiting lol those two will do an awesome job together and it’s gonna b an awesome flick!!!

    as for the other characters, im worried…..who the heck is even remotely fit to be chairman meow!!!!

  12. I totally want to see his audition tape. Does anyone now if it’s coming out?

  13. meh, I’m a skeptic. Or maybe hoefupl is a better word. My first thought was he looks girly. He’s kind of scrawny and he looks delicate and feminine. I can’t really picture him pulling off Jace’s attitude…and if he pulls off his shirt, well, I can’t say I’m all that excited about the idea. I’m open to seeing what he does with the role before passing judgement though. But those other guys? Wow. Yes please!

9 Trackbacks / Pingbacks

  1. ‘Mortal Instruments’ experts react to Jamie Campbell Bower casting « The Mortal Instruments Source
  2. Lily Collins on Jamie Campbell Bower: “Just wait and see” « The Mortal Instruments Source
  3. Screen Gems gives us an idea of how Jamie will look as Jace « The Mortal Instruments Source
  4. The Week In Review « The Mortal Instruments Source
  5. Movie Monday: Bringing Clary and Jace’s chemistry to life on the big screen « The Mortal Instruments Source
  6. Movie Monday: Should Jace have an accent? « The Mortal Instruments Source
  7. Movie Monday: Translating the infamous greenhouse scene to film « The Mortal Instruments Source
  8. Top ‘Mortal Instruments-Infernal Devices’ Storylines of 2011 | The Mortal Instruments Source
  9. What Constantin Film can learn from Lionsgate in adapting ‘City of Bones’ | The Mortal Instruments Source

Leave a Reply to Tintenzauberin Cancel reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

%d bloggers like this: