Can you tell us about the audition and casting process?
This is going to sound weird, but I found this through a Craigslist ad. Apparently what happened was the producer figured it wouldn’t hurt to put up an ad on craigslist; but another listing, by another casting director, was put up on lacasting. I only saw the Craigslist one, I emailed her immediately and we exchanged emails until she finally called me and told me to audition. When I went to the audition and read the description of the character I was pretty sure i wouldn’t get the role. It seemed like they wanted a more feminine and frail guy for this, but then again here we are. The audition consisted of a lot of smoldering, turning dramatically, and other awkward things
What did you know about The Infernal Devices and what do you know now?
I knew nothing of any of the books, in fact when they told me it was a book trailer i was pretty confused, I didn’t know that books even have trailers. I know a lot more now, I did my research on the book and the character itself. I auditioned, was cast, did a fitting, and shot in within a couple of days. So I didn’t really have much time to research my character, usually I like to take my time on becoming the character, physically and emotionally.
How much were you told about Clockwork Princess and your character?
I wasn’t told too much about either, just that it was a big deal and that I was dying. Most of the info I learned, I learned because I am very inquisitive, I like to know what I’m getting into and who I am becoming. I was told bits and pieces by the people on set, the make up artist, Kiersten [Tessa], the producer, the director, and etc.
What was the biggest challenge portraying Jem?
I think the biggest challenge I had was the fact that I knew so little about the character and the fact that I don’t play the violin, sorry everyone! I watched a bunch of videos of people playing violins and learned from that, but even then I had to do it a certain way because the shot needed something very specific. Oh and the clothes were a bit big for me
How long did you shoot and what was it like shooting with the other actors?
I got to set, went into make up and wardrobe, jumped in front of the camera, and was done in a couple of hours. It was really cool working with Kiersten, she is stunning and has an amazing aura about her. Very sweet girl too, we didn’t have much time to talk, but that’s what I gathered from the little time we had to talk in between cuts. Sadly I did not get to work with Skyler Hart [Will], which is a HUGE bummer because we’re actually good friends in real life. In fact, I had JUST had lunch with him the day before the shoot and we got to talking about projects we have been doing, which is how I learned he played my opposite in the book trailer. It really would have been cool to work with him again, we just keep getting put in the same projects, meant to be friends I guess [: I guess they had shot the trailer with a different Jem beforehand, but decided they wanted an Asian guy for it, no complaints here. I hope the fans aren’t too upset with their decision on going with me as Jem.
Were you able to relate to Jem?
I was definitely able to relate to Jem, I am a huge romantic and the love he has for Tessa is extremely magnificent. In fact, I envy the guy, seems like he’s got a very exciting life; music, love, adventure, being an awesome shadowhunter, etc. Well…except for the whole demon blood dependency/dying thing…
Did you see the finished trailer/snippets before it was released? What did you think?
I saw the parts that had been filmed already with Skyler. It was pretty much done, just no backdrop and it wasn’t me in the thing that they showed me. I thought it was really cool, the music was intense and that ending, such a creepy but mind boggling ending.
Because of your role in the trailer do you think you will ever read the series? If yes: why? If no: why not?
I definitely want to read the series, seems really cool. From what I’ve seen, there are a lot of action in these books. I’m not sure if Jem is actually athletic or not, but I would imagine he is, what with being a shadowhunter and whatnot. I would love to be able to portray him moving and fending off demons! Also, an Asian guy as a lead, that just doesn’t happen much nowadays, so anyone who would write that must be an amazing writer
What was your favourite part about filming?
Favorite part about filming has got to be working with Charlie the director. He had so much energy, we were shooting early in the morning so it helped to wake us all up. Throughout the whole thing he was shouting encouragements and changes he needed to see in me. It helps when the director knows what he wants and can convey that to the actor. Definitely would love to work with the Dirty Robber crew again.
Check out our exclusive interview with director Charles Haine here.
Check out TMI Examiner’s ‘Tessa’ interview here.CLOCKWORK PRINCESS will be released in 23 days!