Lily Collins on The Mortal Instruments: "It makes regular things in life seem more magical, and it brings fantasy to a whole new level"

Categories: Film and TV
Image courtesy of Sony Pictures
When Lily Collins, Jamie Campbell Bower, and Kevin Zegers visited the Mall of America earlier this month to promote their new film, The Mortal Instruments: City of Bones, City Pages stopped by to chat with the cast. The movie is based on the book series by author Cassandra Clare, which has more than 22 million copies in print worldwide. Needless to say, the series has a huge fan base, and expectations are high.

"Anyone who has read a book creates an image in their mind, so of course people have preconceived notions of what these people should look like and who they should be," Campbell Bower says. "We can't please everybody, and I think we have to be aware of that."

Photo couresy Sony Pictures
Kevin Zegers, Lily Collins, and Jamie Campbell Bower at the Mall of America
People familiar with the books know that supernatural elements -- such as demons, warlocks, vampires, and werewolves -- are present in the story, but the cast wants people to know that the movie is different than what's been seen in theaters recently.

"The elements of the supernatural are sort of secondary to the story," Campbell Bower says. "This isn't a world like Twilight or Beautiful Creatures where the supernatural elements are the crux of the story. You could probably remove those elements and the movie would stand on its own."

With the supernatural elements came intense fight scenes that the actors spent months preparing for.

"There are parts of the film that are full-on action. Not pittery-pattery action, but full-on action  fighting and stuff that we had to train for a really long time to learn," Zegers says. "As actors, we're proud of the film in terms of the story that we're telling. But for Jamie, Lily, and me, it's also pride in being able to go, 'Hey, that was me. I was part of that whole [action] aspect of the film.' For me, watching that was one of the cooler parts."

Training for the action scenes brought the cast together.

"We'd all go to the gym together and be drenched [in sweat]," Campbell Bower says. "It's not that attractive, but that was a real bonding experience for us. I don't think I was fully aware of that until I said it right now -- that those little things we did as a team really helped form friendships."

Filming for the second installment of the series, The Moral Instruments: City of Ashes, will start a little over a month from now, and the cast looks forward to spending more time together. In the meantime, they hope fans enjoy City of Bones.

"For all the people who think it's another teenage film, we show that you can have another formula for something that everyone has a preconceived idea of," says Collins. "Ours is very much a fantasy world, but it's very true and based in a reality as well. It makes regular things in life seem more magical, and it brings fantasy to a whole new level. There is this comedic undertone throughout the entire movie, and if anything gets too fantasy based it reminds the audience that it is a movie and we're not taking ourselves too seriously."

The Mortal Instruments: City of Bones opens in theaters Wednesday, August 21.

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