“I met with Lionsgate. I think Gary Ross is a great director,” Alex said. “I have [read the books]. I’m a very big fan. I just hope they can conquer the movie.”
With the rumors that Alex may ultimately sign on to yet another adaptation, “The Last Apprentice,” there’s a chance he won’t be available for either film. But, if you could play casting director for a minute, which part would you want Alex for: “TMI“‘s Jace or “Hunger Games”’ Peeta (or maybe even Gale!)?
Have you read The Hunger Games?
Can you see him like Peeta or Gale?
At this weekend’s press day for I Am Number Four, we got the opportunity to ask the actor (who was paired with director D.J. Caruso for the interview) if he is, indeed, interested in signing on for the fantasy film, based on the best-selling novel City of Bones (the first book in the series) by author Cassandra Clare.
Here’s what we asked him during a roundtable interview:
Question: It was just reported the other day that Clint Culpepper at Screen Gems said that he doesn’t want to go ahead with the Mortal Instruments film, unless you sign on for the male lead. Is that something you’re interested in doing? Are you close to signing on for that?
Alex Pettyfer: He said he won’t do it [without me]? When did he say that?
Question: It came out a couple days ago that he doesn’t want to do the film without you as Jace.
D.J. Caruso: Does your agent know that? That’s a really good thing.
Pettyfer: I’m a big fan of the books, and I’m just trying to figure out what I’m doing next.
With director Scott Stewart at the helm from a script by Jessica Postigo, and with Lily Collins already signed on for the lead female role, Screen Gems offers this synopsis of the first film of the series:
“In City of Bones, set in contemporary New York City, a seemingly ordinary teenager Clary Fray (Collins), discovers she is the descendant of a line of Shadowhunters, a secret cadre of warriors dedicated to driving demons out of our world. When Clary’s mother disappears, she must join a daring group of young Shadowhunters on an adventure, which leads her through a city filled with mischievous fairies, eccentric warlocks, werewolf gangs and other strange creatures.”
These past several months ‘Mortal Instruments’ have flooded the web with discussions on who they want to bring their favorite characters to the big screen in the movie adaptation of Cassandra Clare’s ‘City of Bones.’ Hollywood Crush even wrote a letter to the casting director pleading their case for why British actor Alex Pettyfer should be Jace. Now fans have fallen for another hopeful. A few weeks ago Cassandra Clare and VLC Productions introduced fans to the book trailer cast for the upcoming ‘City of Fallen Angels’ book. Many fans saw their perfect Simon in model and actor Maxwell Reed and many fans are taking action.
Many fans have begun a campaign to get letters to the ‘City of Bones’ director and casting director. Click here to see how you can join the campaign. Social media is also a major networking tool in the campaign. Below is a list of avenues where you can go discuss your hopes for Maxwell Reed to be cast as Simon.
Social media links on Maxwell Reed for Simon Campaign:
Reed is very flattered and amazed at the support of Cassandra Clare’s fans. “Cassie Clare’s ‘Mortal Instruments’ fans are totally extraordinary. I am preparing a demo to send to LA, because if the fans are going to this much trouble to push for me, I need to do my part and send in something for them to take a look at.” Says Reed. If you want to see Reed as Simon be sure to join the campaign just like many have done Alex Pettyfer.
Throughout her lengthy comments about Cassandra Clare’s supernatural series, Lily made clear she’s a big fan of the material. She knows the ins and outs of each character and can speak eloquently about each one’s motivation and story arc. And knowing the books as well as she does, Lily is keyed up for one scene in particular when she begins filming “City of Bones,” the first installment in the series, this spring
MTV: What’s the one scene you’re really excited to bring to the big screen?
Lily Collins: There are so many fight scenes that are amazing. But Clary’s journey is all about self-discovery. She’s finding out throughout the story what she’s actually capable of and figuring out her feelings toward two guys, as well as her mom, as well as when we find out who her dad is. There’s the moment when she discovers she is the one—there’s this thing called the Mortal Cup, which is what everyone’s searching for—and she finds she’s the only one who knows where it is because she draws it in a book.
MTV: How closely are you guys going to stick to the gritty tone of the books?
Lily: That’s what I’m so excited about. [Director] Scott [Stewart] is really taking the grittiness of the book into the film. There’s a party scene where we go to visit this warlock, and it’s very urban New York, but with a magical twist. I’m excited to become part of this gothic, dark world.
MTV: Were you a fan of the series before you got the part, or have you just recently discovered the books?
Lily: I was definitely aware of the series. I grew up loving “Harry Potter.” I loved magic. Growing up in England in the countryside, you run around a garden thinking there are fairies everywhere. I’ve always been into magic and gothic things and darker, grittier stuff. My mom is very into gothic things like that as well. When it came to reading, I tended to choose books that encompassed all those different characteristics. Along with “Harry Potter,” I loved “Mortal Instruments" and "Hunger Games.”
MTV: In your mind, how does “Mortal Instruments” differ from those other series?
Lily: I feel the “Mortal Instruments” series is so different, because it’s set in New York, it’s urban, but it’s also got that underground, trance-y feel. It’s a series that based on a girl heroine. She’s not just a girl that’s there for the guy. A lot of girls can relate to her because she’s a regular girl who finds out she has these amazing powers and can do more than she expected. I’m in the process of finishing all the books, because I want to make sure to read them over and over and over, just to be able to know the way that Cassandra has written her and to go back and collaborate with Scott. They want me to be involved in it, which is something that not a lot of people at this stage can say—that filmmakers want their advice.
Though she’s still sharpening her acting teeth in Hollywood, Lily, surprisingly, didn’t have to audition for the role of Clary. "I had just done ‘Priest,’ which is from Screen Gems and directed by Scott Stewart, and this project is being directed by Scott Stewart at Screen Gems. There are many of that character’s traits that I can also find in Clary," she revealed. "I guess they felt passionate that they saw certain characteristics as well, and they felt confident and really believed in me. I’m still in awe."
As lucky as she felt landing the potential blockbuster, Lily felt equally blessed with fan response to her casting. “When I found out I was cast, I found out that people were tweeting about me getting cast as their heroine. I know that I’m playing a character in a book that is very popular, but I forget that books have so many fans, that if they don’t agree with the casting, it could go terribly wrong. I was so grateful that all these people were tweeting like, ‘Oh, we’re so excited. We totally see her as Clary and we can’t wait to see what she’ll do.’ I don’t know what I would have done if people responded negatively.”
But before the Shadowhunter world comes to life (Lily said filming should begin in April), producers must cast arguably the most bad-ass Nephilim of all: the dreamy Jace Wayland. While we’ve already made our plea to hire hottie Alex Pettyfer for the part, it seems Lily has some ideas of her own about the character. "Jace is an interesting one," she said. “He’s incredibly charming. He’s savvy in that he knows he’s charming and he works that charm, and he knows he’s attractive and can work his way into any situation. But at the same time, he does have insecurities. A lot of actors may not want to show a side of themselves being insecure. That’s what Jace does, and I feel a lot of people can relate to him. A lot of guys do feel insecure, but don’t want to admit it. A lot of the fans have been tweeting that [they want] Alex Pettyfer.”
So does Lily agree that Alex would be a good fit for the role? "Yeah! He’s also going to have a great 2011. The fans of a series like this have such a strong opinion on who they feel would be great as a character, and I feel that’s very backed up because they know the characters in and out. I trust a lot of the fans in their opinions. I’ve heard Logan Lerman thrown out for Simon. I’ve also heard about actors I may never have heard of, because they’re more on the independent side. That brings a whole other thing, because an unknown doesn’t bring in a whole lot of background. Hey, I was an unknown not too long ago and I was like, ‘Let me do it; I can prove it to you!’”
Dear “City of Bones" Casting Directors,
Kudos on a great selection for “The Mortal Instruments" protagonist Clary Fray. We’re excited to see what magic 21-year-old Lily Collins can bring to the coveted role. Now that the series’ leading lady has been found, you’ll no doubt be turning your attention to casting the cavalcade of secondary characters. Arguably the most important “secondary” character is Clary’s boy wonder, super-dreamy Shadowhunter Jace Wayland. You better believe that if we could jump into a portal and land in your offices, we’d campaign for Alex Pettyfer in person. But since we can’t, we hope this letter will suffice. Here are just a few of the reasons the 20-year-old actor should wear the runes.
1. The resemblance
Sure, everyone has their own image of Jace in their heads, but it’s hard to deny Alex embodies so many of the traits author Cassandra Clare describes in the series: blond, tall, lanky yet muscular. He’s the complete package.
2. A fan favorite
Even before the news broke back in October that there would be a film adaptation of the YA fantasy novel, fans were clamoring for the “Beastly” star to play Clary’s love interest. And while the studio doesn’t necessarily have to listen to fans when making these decisions, it’s nice to think they’d take our opinions into consideration—we are the ones buying the movie tickets, after all!
3. Action adventure experience
You don’t need to look far to see that Alex has the action chops to play a demon-hunting Nephilim; just watch the “I Am Number Four" trailer. Alex has some major moves!
4. Again, the resemblance
Can we, but for a moment (or maybe longer!), take a look at this side-by-side of the “City of Bones” cover and a still of Alex shirtless from the movie “Beastly”? Um, anyone else think Alex must have posed for the cover illustrator? They’re twinsies!
So there you have it, casting directors: just a few of the reasons Alex Pettyfer must play Jace Wayland. We hope you can make this happen.
Okay, “City of Bones” fans. Do you agree that Alex Pettyfer should play Jace? Or do you have another suggestion? Weigh in in the comments and on Twitter. Don’t forget to follow editor Amy Wilkinson, too!