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Exclusive: Jamie Campbell Bower talks runes, fans and where Jace is headed in ‘CITY OF ASHES’


We had the pleasure of chatting with the one and only Jace Wayland, Jamie Campbell Bower at The Mortal Instruments: City of Bones press junket on August 9 in Los Angeles, along with Page to Premiere and TMI Examiner.

Jamie opened up to us about fan interaction, the long process of applying runes and where Jace is headed in City of Ashes.

Angelic Power Rune

What was the hardest thing you faced as an actor acting-wise in this movie as Jace?

Jamie Campbell Bower: I find acting very difficult. Always. I’m very very self-critical. Probably the hardest thing acting-wise was the first day was really tough. Just getting into Jace. Cause I knew who he was. I had intellectualized him. Like I knew, but it wasn’t that I wasn’t really connecting, it was that until you’re there it’s terrifying. And it’s terrifying every day.

What inspired you to ad lib, “Have a little faith,” in the movie?

JCB: Monster energy drink and the fact that it was four o’clock in the morning and all I wanted to do was go to bed. I don’t know. There’s lots of little moments in the movie that I threw in. There’s a line to Madame Dorothea that I say, I throw other references in. I guess it’s sort of my snarky nature coming out through Jace anyway. I thought that line – but I was like, ‘Can I say that?’ Harald was like, ‘Yeah, try it.’ I though it was going to really crap, but it was one of those lines everyone’s like, ‘I love that line!’ That was the thing, I was like, ‘I’m going to sound like such an idiot. I’m not James Bond, I’m not Pierce Brosnan. I can’t say these things. It’s not cool. And actually it ended working out quite well. Maybe it’s the things you think suck don’t.

What was your favorite line you say in the movie?

JCB: In the greenhouse, Clary asks about his father and the bird and Jace’s response to what she asks. ‘Did you ever forgive him?’ she says. I say, ‘I didn’t need to. He did it to make me stronger.’ And I like that. That sort of sums up Jace’s messed up sense of being anyway. Even the bad things that have happened to him that they’ve happened to him to shy him away from the world or something. I like that line.

How has your experience been like interacting with fans?

JCB: The last part of that question is, to me, shocking. I find it bizarre that anyone would want to go see anything that I’ve done. And then to see that they’re already so stoked about it. For me, it’s incredibly emotional. For me, being next door or doing a junket, that’s work and I understand that I have to do that. But to connect with the people that are going to see the movie and sit there and give them 30 seconds of my time just to say hello and thank them. That means more to me. Because they’re the people that made it possible for me to be sitting here talking and for me to be working. I really respect that. So, mall tour, yeah it’s very tiring, yeah you’re getting on planes every day. But am I going to be complaining about it when actually I’m a 24-year old guy and most of my friends have just come out of university and they have no idea what they’re going to be doing. These people that I can say thank you to, however many millions there are, I will try my hardest to say thank you to every one of them. There’s someone staying at the hotel here who has flown in from Austrailia for the premiere. I met her and she was like, ‘Can I have a picture?’ and I was like, ‘Yeah, absolutely.’ And she’s like, ‘We’ve flown in from Australia.’ That’s insane. Like you’re  insane. I said to her, ‘Write a note, leave your room number and your name at the front desk and I’ll write you a letter.’ So I’ve written her a letter just to say thank you because she’s flown all the way here from Australia.

What scene are you most excited for fans to see?

JCB: Greenhouse obviously. Midnight Flower. They’re going to flip their shit, of course they are. I’m also excited for them to see Hotel Dumort. And I’m also excited for them to see the end. I’m excited for them to see where the portal blows up. I think they might like that.

How was it like during the big reveal with Lily Collins?

JCB: Any form of romantic scene is never going to be the sexiest thing you do on set or the sexiest thing that’s ever going to happen in your life. Trust me. Having a boom like being swung around your face whilst you’re getting your pash on is not – and you’ve got like 400 people around you – it is awkward. But it was fun and Harald was fun with it. For Jace it’s an incredibly important moment in the movie. It’s an incredibly poignant moment in his character and his through line. It’s why I made him so dark so that when he does open up in the greenhouse that you understand that. So shooting that scene, that whole sequence – because we shot that over one night – was like the most nerve-wracking experience because all I wanted to do was make sure that it was right because otherwise if that wasn’t in there you’d end up walking out of the theater going, ‘I hate that guy. Like why was he such a prick? I don’t get it.’ And that point shows why he’s like that. It was scary, awkward and I have a thousand things going on in my head, like, ‘what am I trying to do? What am I trying to say?’ All I had to do was let go and everything was fine.

By the end of production were you comfortable with all the weapons?

JCB: Pretty much. I did four and half months of training before the movie even started and I did krav maga, I did a television show for Starz called Camelot. So I’d already been swinging swords about a bit before that. Pretty proficient. All of the stunts – I did every stunt but one in the movie, which is the table gag where Madame Dorothea smashes Jace across the face and he rolls backwards over the table. It was a wire gag. It was probably one of the only wire gags in the movie. Pretty proficient I’d say. I mean don’t ask me to fight anyone now though because it’s been a good six months. [You have to go back to it in September] I know, tell me about it. I’m like trying to get myself into the gym every day. Whilst we were still on tour I’m like, ‘Oh my God. Oh my God, I’m going to die.’ [laughs] We’ll see what happens. If Jace is now using a gun in movie two you’ll understand that I just didn’t have the time [laughs].

What song on the soundtrack do you feel most represents Jace and the movie?

JCB: Interesting question. I like Demi [Lovato]’s song. I think Demi’s song represents the movie and – the AFI track is pretty dope – Colbie’s song is pretty, too. Really pretty. Maybe that’s Jace’s vulnerable side coming through. [laughs] That’s like his sappy, teenage angsty side [laughs]. It would be hilarious if there was Blink 182 like from way back in the day because that would be so teenage angsty. Like something from take off your pants and jacket. That would insane. [laughs]

If you could make a rune which would you make?

JCB: I’d make the rune that would make it possible for me to be in three places at once. I actually designed it the other day with somebody. They made me draw it on their own. It was pretty cool. It looks a bit like a dollar sign put backwards.”

Was it a lengthening process to have all the runes put on?

JCB: I have my own tattoos so I get mine covered and then they get put on. It’s about three to three and a half hours, which is going to be more. I was just telling the guys next door that I’m trying to develop something that is like a cover up. You know how you have transfers, like tattoo transfers? They should make skin turn transfers so then all they have to do is blend it into the tone of the person’s skin. At the moment what they have to do is like paint it red and they slowly get it back up to skin tone and then they put the rune transfer on top. The painting part is the part that takes the longest. I’m no genius and I’m definitely no make-up artist so I’ll have to find somebody to help me with that. But we’ll see.

What have you learned from this experience that you’re going to use to bring even more to Jace in City of Ashes?

JCB: It’s a very good question, but it’s also a very hard question to answer because of the fact that I’m not entirely sure where City of Ashes is going. I haven’t even read a draft [script] yet because I don’t want to read a draft until we’re sort of close to getting there. I’m interested to see what happens with Jace and Clary in the next one because there’s one of two ways it could go. Either he can do what he does best, which is hide it and be even more sarcastic or he can actually just be at peace with it, but he thinks he’s at peace with it, but actually there’s inner turmoil going on. I think that’s what I’m thinking about right now. That’s what I’m sort of trying to figure out. But until I know exactly what the words are on the page and what I’m meant to be doing, I’m not sure.

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

17 Comments on Exclusive: Jamie Campbell Bower talks runes, fans and where Jace is headed in ‘CITY OF ASHES’

  1. lol someone other than me noticed it too!

  2. the movie was absolutely fantastic i’m so excited for city of ashes!!! 😀

  3. Much better! *off to read the interview*

  4. All of that was from Lily’s interview. I recognized the intro.

  5. teamedwardjace // August 22, 2013 at 1:24 PM // Reply

    love the interview and so excited and guys i think the budget will denfitely go up over the weeknds with people going to see it over and over again and in other coutnries, and there is the budget from the lucky people who got to to the priemere .

  6. teamedwardjace // August 22, 2013 at 1:26 PM // Reply

    i may not be able to see it friday as my friend may choose a different movei because its her birthday and it dpends on the time

  7. Lightwoodshadowhunterss // August 22, 2013 at 2:36 PM // Reply

    Jamie is just so cool! He is so lovely!

  8. Such a great interview. I know Jamie is a perfect Jace. I’m gonna see the movie on August 28th so I’m gonna be one of the frirst people to see the movie in my country. So excited. When I saw the ticket I cried.
    It’s just so amazing that it became painful.

  9. the movie was awsome love it

  10. Me too. ♥♥


  12. When will your next meet and greet in Minnesota mean

  13. Most blogs are written by individuals either for business or just for
    fun. Often times the best feedback you get is negative in nature therefore view it as constructive
    criticism. Are YOU a struggling, frustrated or just inquisitive small business owner.

  14. nephilim Tay // May 8, 2014 at 3:53 AM // Reply

    I love the TMI series and have read all the books Jamie Campbell Bower perfectly sums up Jace/Wayland/Morganstine/Herondale and he will do awesomely amazing in the movies to come. He is also amazing as an artist and I an and always will be a HUGE fan ❤

  15. hi i love the movie mortal insterment so i really want to meet u in person

  16. hi again i know all about your movies so u send me somthihg jamie campbell i love u alot

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