It was announced yesterday that Jamie Campbell-Bower has been cast to play Jace Wayland in the upcoming (and I think) one of the most anticipated book-into-movie adaptations to hit the big screen since Harry Potter.
As a die-hard lover of the Immortal Instruments series I have been following updates on the movie for a while on Cassie Clare's website and on Twitter. There have been many names tossed back and forth for the 'perfect' Jace, but Clary was cast first, months back so it was a matter of finding that perfect guy to place off the heroine of the much loved novels.
Alex Pettyfer was mentioned along with Max Irons and Ed Speelers. Honestly I think in looks and build, Alex Pettyfer came the closest, but I wasn't wholeheartedly convinced that he could pull off the complexities of a character like Jace. He's a young actor and has only recently started landing leading roles. After having seen Beastly I also wasn't that enamoured of Pettfyer's acting abilities. He has potential, but he's not there yet and I seriously didn't want this amazing series to become another Twilight when it hit the big screen. Talk about an awful movie adaptation - full of kids who can't act (with the possible exception of Robert Pattinson, who is proving he also has potential to move on past Edward).
When I heard today that Jamie Campbell Bower was the final pick I have to ray my first reaction was disappointment. I've seen Campell in the tv show Camelot where he plays Arthur. On the show he comes across as a whiny, spoiled baby who needs to grow up and be a man. Harsh, but he turned me off the character compeltely. I also wasn't that impressed with his looks, but I have to say that after reading a great interview from Cassandra Clare herself, who said she was sent the audition tapes and cried when she saw Campbell pulling off Jace, my worries have been put at ease.
Here's pieces from the interview, for the full interview visit MTV:
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 that all off 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.
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.
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 from 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 lift 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 lift weights for a while. [Laughs] I'm pretty sure he's down with it.
I have to say that after having read the interview and understanding how much faith Clare has in Jamie and the rest of the already cast-cast I am at ease with Campbell and think that *fingers crossed* he will do Jaace a lot of justice. You can't mess up a character loved by so many who've fallen hard for this series and I think that with Campbell's clear interest and enthusiam in the role he will do an amazing job. And these two look pretty darn cute together. They fit - which I guess explains the chemistry Clare mentioned!
It must be such and amazing but also terrifying experience to see your beloved written work go up on the big screen, up to other people's interpretation. I love that the entire movie crew have been supportive of Clare's role in the process and have been diligent in asking her opinions and advice. For an author who is letting her work go into the hands of others it's so important I think for the novelist to be a part of the movie making adventure.
Here's to casting the other beloved characters - Alec, Isabelle, Magnus, Simon and Valentine - Woot!
Let's just say I'm even more excited for this movie to finally be released in 2012!