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Hunting Down “Mortal Instruments”‘ Lily Collins

When the words young adult novel are uttered in conversation there can be an incredibly mixed reaction. On one hand you have classics like Harry Potter and a Wrinkle in Time, but on the other you have divisive titles like Twilight and the Host. (Sorry Stephanie, you’re the other hand.) Occasionally, you’ll get a gem like Beautiful Creatures that reads well, but what’s good about it doesn’t translate properly to the screen (though you should see that movie for Emma Thompson’s performance alone). It seems the YA genre, if it is a genre unto itself, can’t seem to take the cheese out of their movie adaptations.

Mortal Instruments: City of Bones is hoping to put a stop to that. Based on the book series by Cassandra Claire, the story follows a girl who finds out she comes from a long line of “Shadow Hunters” that find demons living amongst us and kill them. Looking like a mix of Constantine and Buffy, the action heavy trailer had us inclined to give it a chance. Our conversation with the charming Lily Collins has us preordering a ticket on Fandango. We caught up to Lily at Wondercon recently and asked her to fill us in on what Mortal Instruments was all about, if she was going for a punk-puritan look with her outfit and how she’s acclimating to all of the genre hopping she’s been doing lately.

Nerdist:  Your outfit has a punk-rock pilgrim vibe to it.

Lily Collins: (Laughs) Oh my god. I’m totally taking that! (to publicist) Did you hear what he said? He called me a “punk-rock pilgrim.” Thank you.

Nerdist: What’s going on in Mortal Instruments for those of us not in the know?

LC: It’s a fantasy franchise about a young girl who thinks she’s living a normal life and comes to find that she’s a “Shadow Hunter” which is the child of an angel and a human. An epic adventure story about self-discovery, romance and action. It’s an action world. [The real world] is very based in reality and there’s this fantasy world element.

Nerdist: You’ve been popping up in a number of films across a number of genres, but all still in the fantasy realm to a degree. Is there a genre you’re looking to tackle next?

LC: I would love to do a comedy. I am filming a movie this summer called Love, Rosie which is a British film. I get to be pregnant in the movie. I get to be British and I get to age 10 years, so that in itself is again very different. British period drama and comedy I would love to do.

Mortal Instruments: City of Bones arrives in theaters on August 28th.


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  1. Kelli says:

    “Did you here what he said?” *hear*


  2. MischaD says:

    I actually read the Mortal Instruments books and what I loved about the books and Cassandra Clare’s writing was the fact that she really didn’t pander to the pressure of making the stories too PG. They were, at times, a bit melodramatic but they were also rather harsh and brutal. The violence and battles weren’t downplayed and there were some truly heartbreaking moments.

    I’m hoping this film does a better job at interpreting the novel than Beautiful Creatures which had SO much potential but just didn’t work on film (in spite of the amazing cast). I will definitely be seeing this!