Lily Collins Discusses City of Bones and how it differs from Hunger Games and Twilight
teen.com visited the set of the film and interviewed Lily Collins! Here's some of the interview below.
Teen: What was your reaction when you were first approached with this role? Lily: I was actually a fan of the series before I was cast. I’ve always loved fantasy books. Even just growing up, I’ve always kind of loved magic and fantasy. Having read the books and being really familiar with Clary, and just kind of admiring her as a character, when Screen Gems originally approached me for it, I had just done Priest. It was kind of some of the same team that was part of that project. I was thrilled. I was, like, a fan, so a fan being cast as a heroine that they admired. Then it took about almost two years for it to actually happen. I think it went through the process of changing hands and new people involved. I think everything happens for a reason because the team we got together for this is so amazing. Everyone has brought something new to the table. Harald [Zwart] is the ultimate director for this project because it’s so not really his genre, but he’s all about character and emotion. And it’s taking the project that could have been so CGI-based, and all based on the physicality and the way it looks, and he’s made it a story about real people in this fantasy world. It’s a story that can stand on its own, but also as an adaptation of a book. That’s been the nicest surprise as we’ve been filming, to see how it came to be. But yeah, just a fan cast. It’s pretty cool.
Teen: Since you’ve been attached for so long, has the script changed?
Lily: The script has changed multiple times. We get rewrites very frequently. One thing I wasn’t expecting on this project is how collaborative it is with the actors and Harald. If we get sides of a scene and we’re like, “I don’t know if this flows as well as we’d like it to in this emotional scene,” or “It’s a little sticky here,” he’s like, “Well, what do you want to say?” And it’s like, “Well, maybe something along these lines.” He’s like, “Great, let’s try it.” So we’re kind of able to reword our own scenes as we go to see how things flow in the moment, especially with new actors coming in like [Jonathan Rhys Meyers]. Lena [Headey] is coming in soon and Jared Harris. We’ve all been really collaborative in that sense. And then also having Cassandra [Clare, the author] here to help clean up things that need to be fine-tailored and stuff.
But I think Clary has become way more proactive since the beginning, since the first script. She really fuels a lot of the scenes. It’s less about being thrown all this information and floundering. She gets thrown a lot of information now and she’s actively pursuing an outcome. I really liked that about her in the books. I felt like she’s gotten stronger and stronger in the rewrites.
Teen: Obviously, there’s a lot of other young adult-based stories with female heroes. (i.e. The Hunger Games, Twilight, etc.) How is your character different? Lily: Because literally, every five minutes, she gets told something that she thought was true, was a lie. She’s thrown a new twist literally every five minutes and it’s this constant battle against herself of, “How do I overcome this?” The end result is to find her mom and her bond with her mom is what takes her through the entire story. No matter what gets thrown her way, nothing is stopping her. Because everything she is being told is based on her past and her family, I think it’s a really personal story for her to get to the end. She meets all these people along the way that end up helping her, but it’s really a story about self-discovery. And because it’s based on a series of books, really focusing on the first one, this is when she finds out that she’s not who she always thought she was. She’s dealing with creatures that she’s never even believed in or thought existed. She’s got this new superhero power with the runes and being able to see people that no one else can. She’s a teenager growing up trying to discover herself. That’s enough of a worry. Now she has to find out she’s a Shadowhunter. So I think what makes her different is just this sense she’s constantly finding out new information about herself that she thought was a lie. And it’s how she gets through those to find her mom in the end that makes this a self-discovery story. And she doesn’t rely on any guys, but the guys end up helping her discover herself more.