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Movie Monday: Should Jace have a British accent?

Every Monday here at The Mortal Instruments Source is Movie Monday, where we talk about one of the many topics involving the movie adaptation of “City of Bones.”

Should Jamie play Jace with a British or American accent?

Adapting is what actors do when they take on a role, whether it be physically, mentally or emotionally. So when Jamie Campbell Bower takes on the role of Jace Wayland in the upcoming film adpatiation of "The Mortal Instruments: City of Bones," he will adapt to the character of Jace. An intriguing question that has surfaced over the last few weeks is whether or not Bower should use his British accent. When Bower auditioned for the role with Lily Collins, Cassandra Clare, who saw the audition, said that he read the lines initially in a British accent and read one scene in an American accent and that he did both quite well.

"Well, he did it in his British accent," Clare said in an interview with Hollywood Crush. "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."

So, should Jace have an accent?

Besides the obvious swoon factor that comes with Bower’s accent, Clare has pointed out that Jace is in fact not American, as he grew up in Idris.

But on has to wonder, since he moved to the Institute in New York when he was young, if perhaps he lost his accent having spent time in America?

Better yet, do all Shadowhunters, who grew up and have lived in Idris, have an accent?

Perhaps we’re overlooking the accent issue. I doubt that people in the movie theater are going to be saying, “Why is he the only one with a British accent?”

Perhaps he could use a light British accent so that it’s not as prominent. Ultimately, it will be up to Director Scott Charles Stewart.

I guess we’ll find out in time but the most important thing, after all, is the acting. Let’s not forget that.

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

26 Comments on Movie Monday: Should Jace have a British accent?

  1. Natalia Belikov // June 20, 2011 at 11:58 AM // Reply

    OF FXCKING COURSE!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! Cassie said that in the audition they tried both accents XDDDDDDDDDDDDDDDD and Since Jace grew up in Idris he doesnt have to have the american accent hohoho! plus!! his family comes from England XDDDD Will Herondale and stuff!!! it would be awesome to hear sexy British accent! it would make him so much hotter! c’mon Ladies! we all love and drool over British accent! The fact that Jamie is British is another plus to the production 😉 . We, somehow, have some strange British fetish! XDDDD

    • But in the book it never says he hs an accent so that would totally throw things off i mean dont get me wrong accents are sexy an all but im saying that they should go by the book =o

    • JaceisAwesome // June 29, 2012 at 1:19 PM // Reply

      Hes lived in New York for 7 years though, his sarcastic comments wouldnt be the same with a British accent

      • Britain is MUCH more sarcastic than America!! Also im british and even I think his accent is AMAZING!! 😀

  2. I’m all for accents. Of course Clary would have to have an American accent, but for Jace, I think would probably work either way because of exactly what Natalia just said. Plus it was never really specified if he had an accent or not.

  3. No, I don’t think so. The majority of the characters in the book are from Idris. Jocelyn, Luke, Hodge, the Lightwoods, Vanentine, etc would have to fake an accent also to be accurate. Let’s just leve well enough alone on this on.

  4. Natalia Belikov // June 20, 2011 at 6:30 PM // Reply

    @Nicole: that’s so true!! or there is the option that only Valentine and Jace speak with British accent but it would still be out of place.

    However, since in the book is not really clear whether people in Idris does have an accent or not I wonder… why would they speak with American accent? In this case, Im all for a neutral accent. I think a neutral accent, not 100% American neither British would enrich a lot more the Shadowhunter characters in the movie =D. Because, we all know they are not British nor American. They come from somewhere else and they do not relate with Mundanes. So why would they have a 100% American accent? Not that I dont like!!! Hell! I do have it myself XDD So dont misunderstand me people! Is just that I think it would be pretty cool to give them an extra something to the Nephilim culture. Also, they do says stuff related only to Shadowhunters such as “By the Angel” which makes of Shadowhunter a richer culture in the books.

    Just my opinion 8)

  5. If Jace is going to have an accent, then all of the Lightwoods should as well. It’s obvious that none of them get out much since they don’t have any knowledge of pop culture, so they wouldn’t be interacting with very many new Yorkers to pick up an American accent. Luke and Joycelyn, however, could’ve picked up an American accent since they don’t spend all of their time in the institute. But in my honest opinion, I don’t think any of them should have accents (except maybe a Brooklyn one or something lol). And it can’t be just Jace, cuz that’s too confusing as to why he’s the only one.

  6. If we’re going on the logic that he’s not actually American then he probably shouldn’t have an English accent either lol. Not that I’d given it any thought until now, but seeing as Idris is between France and Germany I’d say their accents would be a mix of those haha. I can’t imagine it but my brain is saying that’s how it would be lol. Of course I wouldn’t think they were gonna invent a new accent for the movie. Although that would be awesome.

    When it comes down to it though I don’t mind what accent he’s gonna have. English ones are damn sexy so I’m all for that, but then he has been living in America long enough that he would have an American sounding accent at least. Then again I do like the idea that Natalia Belikov (love the name btw :)) had of a sort of mixed neutral accent.

    This is a hard one lol. I’m glad I’m not the one who actually has to decide 😀

  7. NO ACCENT. 1. it will help separate Jamie from Camelot/Twilight etc and help transform him into Jace. 2. i agree with others that it would be weird if he just had an english accent and no one else did 3. he wont really sound american cause no matter how good actors are at disguising their native tongue it still won’t sound authentically american, WHICH IS GREAT, cause then he wont be american or english – he’ll be an interesting hybrid – which fits cause Idris isn’t in the UK and then it will I kind of have it’s own accent (just think of rpatz in twilight – his accent is muddled and it totally works. it makes him sound different, and intriguing )

  8. no accent!! not that i’m not completely wooed by a british accent, but who knows if shadowhunters from idris HAVE british accents. and it does make sense knowing that jace lives in the new york institute with isabelle and alec who both grew up mainly in new york. the only main characters who i think should have accents are hodge and valentine

  9. i love british accents. i just think that it dose not matches jaces charcter

  10. No, he should not have a British accent, due to the fact that from Infernal Devices, Will has a British accent (because he was born in Wales), if they make a film. And as mentioned before, it completely does not match his character, how weird will it sound when his cocky remarks come out in a British dialect.

  11. I hate that Jamie Campbell is going to play that part. He looks nothing like jace! I see jace hot and 17 not 30 and look like he does drugs!!!!!!!!!!! They need a new jace for that movie. I hate Jamie I don’t see him hot or the one to play in the movie. He just doesn’t fit the part.

    • They’re not asking if you like Jamie or not and I don’t really want your opinion on that topic.

  12. No Accent! I agree, I think what goes for one should go for all. If Jace has an accent, then all Shadowhunters born and raised in Idris should as well. Remember, this includes just about all the Lightwoods, Jocelyn, Luke, Valentine, the Inquisitor etc.. I think it would be out of place if just Jace had one.

  13. I’m a big JCB fan and I love his british accent but I don’t think it fits Jace. I hope Jamie does his american accent. It doesn’t sound totally american anyway which will work perfectly in this case. I hope the other actors who are chosen do the same if they don’t already have american accents. There needs to be a fairly uniform sound for it to work correctly.

  14. No accent.. I mean.. I love british .. it amazing! But It doesn’t fit jace’s character. . his amazing comments and remarks are gonna come off wrong, so I have to say I will be rather annoyed if he has a british accent.. it’ll distract me too much. Besides, if they have an accent.. it should be some sort of idris-accent, but it would complicated. They should definitely keep an american accent, due to the fact that they live in the states, and they’re supposed to hide their real identity, and the lightwoods and jace have spent most of their lives within the states.. it’s obvious. Jamie’s accent is perfect, but I think the director will let down the audience if he lets jamie keep it.

    And you do pick up on accents.. pretty easily, especially if you’re very good at languages. I know this from own experience, and the shadowhunters are pretty much experts when it comes to languages.. they speak fluent latin.. I mean c’mon! it would only seem natural for them to have an american accent!

  15. JaceisAwesome // June 25, 2012 at 3:13 PM // Reply


  16. JaceisAwesome // June 25, 2012 at 3:27 PM // Reply

    The smart comments would just sound ridiculous in a Britsish accent! Keep it American!

    • JaceIsAwesome // June 28, 2012 at 5:25 PM // Reply

      He’s lived in New York since he was 10 years old, he should have an American accent definitely, Dont change it, whats the point?? just Leave it as it is,

  17. i am sorry but the image i got of jace was this sexy god, with muscles and a chizzled face, more along the lines of alex pettyfer, jamie campbell bower is… not the jace. not at all for me. sorry. honislty they should look at fan choosen actors and decide from there cause WE know what WE want to see. and no, jace does NOT have an accent, not at all.

  18. That’s what I was thinking! The entire cast of The Infernal Devices will have British accents (exept for Tessa) not to mention that Sebastion will, so Jace should not be British!

  19. Laurta Herondale // August 7, 2012 at 7:12 AM // Reply

    Firstly, British accents are SEXY. And Jace is a sex God (Don’t even get me started, WHY are you not Jace Alex Pettyfer!?!?!?!?!?!??!!?!?!??!!?!?). So a sexy accent = A sex God. It’s that easy!!

  20. They cast pretty much all the adult Shadowhunter’s with British actors specifically because of their accents, because the characters are all technically European. THEY are using their British accents in the movie, so if I’m gonna be honest, so should Jace, or at least maybe his accent should be a muddle of both, as it would be. I moved countries at a young age (via England to New Zealand) and my accent has never completely changed, realistically, neither would Jaces. of course they’ll probably only use one or the other, but if Jamie uses his normal accent it would show both that he didn’t grow up in New York like Alec and Izzy, and that he is different to the Lightwoods.

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