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Cassandra Clare Talks Movie and Casting

I can’t even begin to imagine how many questions that Cassandra Clare gets a day about the Mortal Instruments movie and casting. But I can imagine it is a lot.

She took to Tumblr to discuss a few of what is surely thousands of movie-related questions, including the surprisingly still-popular mentions about Alex Pettyfer.

On some fans’ attachment to Pettyfer:

People got very attached to Alex Pettyfer as Jace very early on — years ago, when he looked quite different. And when you’ve seen enough fanvids and graphics of someone they actually do become that character in your mind, which I think is actually a lot of what the “Jamie doesn’t look like Jace” stuff is. It’s not that he doesn’t look like Jace, it’s that he doesn’t look like Alex. If Jace looks like a particular person to you, a fixed image in your mind, then no, no one else will look like Jace to you. No one who isn’t in online fandom ever mentions Alex Pettyfer to me. And while I have absolutely nothing against Alex Pettyfer, and wish him entirely the best, he turned down the part of Jace (and Peeta in THG, and the lead in The Seventh Son) because he didn’t want to play teenagers any more; he felt he was too old. And I agree. Mostly when I see people use his image in .gifs as Jace, they’re many years old. He’s grown up from being a pretty boy into being a good-looking man — and that photo is a year old), but Jace, to me, is more boyish — and needs to be someone who can stay boyish-looking for potentially many more years. So no, I don’t think Alex Pettyfer would be the right choice for the role any more. You can feel free to disagree!

On Jamie Campbell Bower’s Jaceness and why he was cast:

Fancasting is about finding people who fit a sort of general consensus about what the characters look like. Casting is about finding someone who can be the character. Sure, Jace is described as hotter than a recordly hot day in Hottsville, but there are a lot of hot characters in books. Hopefully what makes him different is his Jaceness, and that’s what casting is supposed to capture. Jace has to be able to deliver those lines about how darn sexy he is in a self-deprecating way, or he doesn’t come off as funny, he comes off as an asshole. And what looks good in a still photo isn’t necessarily what works on screen, because what actors have to have is charisma and that means that they can convey beauty with the way they move, an expression, the flick of an eyelash. I see people on my tumblr dash every day going ga-ga over actors who would never make it as models because in still photos they just don’t look like much. But when they’re acting, they project it — they, as my screenwriter says, “shine.”

And that’s why Jamie was picked — out of literally hundreds of actors who auditioned — because he really did shine. Not that none of the other actors are/were good actors; different actors suit different parts, but his audition was the best. It was the most Jace. And this is why they don’t just randomly cast the guy from the front of the book.

Clare revealed that while she’s not a good source for casting news, she does know that the studio has sent offers out to actors for the role of Valentine.

Sure. They haven’t cast Valentine yet. I believe they have offers out to people. I wouldn’t even know which people. I am a terrible source of movie casting news. I am totally unlikely to know anything before, say, Deadline knows it. I’m not the person who announced either Jamie or Lily’s casting — newspapers did that. If you google for the info and you can’t find it, there’s a zero chance I’m going to know it. I understand why it seems like I ought to, but that’s not how movies work.

I promise to tell you when I have casting news I can share. That’s all I can promise. Believe me, if you’re eager for casting news, so am I. We will have to be patient together.

But she did promise some “interesting” news within the next few days:

I should have some other, interesting news for you in the next few days though (non casting related.) Stay tuned for that. 🙂

Read Clare’s full post over at Tumblr.

Stay tuned to TMI Source for all of the latest news regarding Cassandra Clare, her books and City of Bones film news. Follow us on Twitter, like us on Facebook, follow us on Tumblror email us at

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

16 Comments on Cassandra Clare Talks Movie and Casting

  1. TeamEdwardJace // April 16, 2012 at 10:59 AM // Reply

    well there you have it guys. straight from cassie’s mouth. I’d been on the jamie and jamie as jace bandwagon for some time now. I love him as Jace and cassie is right. alex might have been great but maybe cassie is right but that. and plus now we know why it was turned down by alex.

  2. Technicly she typed the words

  3. What I love most about Jamie is his commitment to the role. The fact that he started working out weeks ago even though he doesn’t start filming until August. He’s passionate about the role and wants to meet fan expectations. Plus, I’ve heard (from sources other than Cassie & Lily) that he really did BLOW THEM AWAY during the auditions. He’s a great actor with major chemistry with Lily. I have no doubt that he’s our guy and I wish the haters would give him a chance before they judge.

  4. sharon murphy // April 16, 2012 at 12:58 PM // Reply

    Stacey, I agree with you 100%, Alex always looked too old to me and obviously Cassie too. Jamie will be freakin’ awesome.

    • I agree with you guys.
      People who still have a problem with Jamie should really read Cassie’s post a few times if they don’t understand the concept of “just looks vs looks and talent (aka the whole package thing)”. I’m not wasting any more words on this topic because EVERYTHING’s been said in the above post.

  5. Jamie is and will be a horrible Jace, he has nothing Jace-like and his acting abilities are more than questionable after he has ruined a whole show with his horrible acting (camelot).
    We will see in the end who was wrong and who was right.

    • Jamie didn’t not ruin Camelot The three lead actors walked off the show which included Eva Green,Joseph Finnes & Starz the net work that aired Camelot couldn’t keep affording the shows costumes & set pieces,so Starz cancelled it,even though it had good ratings.Camelot was the highest debut Staz had ever had 1.13million if I’m correct.

    • Oh & another thing finfa,I know I shouldn’t say it but I will anyway F*** you, there I rest
      my case 🙂

  6. In my opinion Jamie is also a slightly better actor….

  7. I should learn control my temper.I also think Jamie is ok an actor,better then Alex but not by much. I still luv Jamie though.

    • Kayla mark // May 15, 2012 at 1:24 AM // Reply

      I think if Alex were to be younger then he would have been a good actor for Jace. I know Jamie is a good actor, but I just don’t see that guy as Jace.

  8. I just want him to look good in the movie and have the looks of Jace, because too often are movies made based off books with really cute main characters just to have the actors the complete opposite. I think he’ll make a good Jace though and I can’t wait for the film to come to theaters!

  9. All of you who have decided to give Jamie a chance, you have become my new best friends. I watched Camelot and I thought Jamie was a good actor. What’s great about him being Jace is that he captured the character perfectly. If he could make Cassie cry during his audition, then I think that Jamie is the Jace we’re looking for. Another thing I really liked about Jamie was that he is dedicated to the role. He is working out, trying to shape himself up for the role, he’s really trying to capture the character just right for the fans. All you haters, you don’t know what you’re talking about!!
    Can’t wait for the movie!!

  10. Mortal Instruments movie and casting. But I can imagine it is a lot.

  11. I was looking around for trailers and most of them had alex in them so i started to really imagine him as jace, i was dissapointed that he wasn’t going to take the the role, now that jamie is i just can’t imagine him as jace, but either way i’m looking forward to the movie

  12. By the name of the angel GIVE HIM A CHANCE // June 15, 2012 at 4:05 PM // Reply

    I hope this post knocked some sence into people. You cant judge Jamie yet wait to see him act as Jace and then Talk s**t. After all Cassandra knows better than anyone how jace should be and if he made her and BLEW HER AWAY then im putting my trust in her. Stop fangirling over alex pettyfer . God.

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