Movies

EXCLUSIVE: “I Went to the Toronto Set of ‘The Mortal Instruments’!”

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Screen Gems

Screen Gems

To say that working at Teen.com has its perks would be the understatement of the year. On a daily basis, I get to talk about all things related to teens, (which, despite resting comfortably in my early twenties, is a career highlight). On top of the list of opportunities: movie set visits; particularly when I went to Toronto and actually walked through — and touched! — the set of The Mortal Instruments: City of Bones.

As a fan of the Cassandra Clare book series, this wasn’t just a chance; this was the chance of a lifetime, as I’m sure all you Shadowhunters would agree. But, since I wasn’t able to pack you all in my suitcase, let me paint you a little picture as to what it was like from start to finish…

Arriving in Toronto. It wasn’t my first time in Canada — I went to Montreal for Warm Bodies! — but it was my first time in Toronto. After I touched down, this is what I saw on the boat ride over:

Instagram

Instagram

Okay, so the clouds are a little ominous looking. In fact, that’s exactly what I said about them on Instagram. But trust me when I say that the place is beautiful.

Meeting the press. That night and the following morning were spent getting to know the editors and writers from the other media outlets on the trip. Get this, there were 9 of us in total, not including the Screen Gems rep, and only two of us had read the first book. And only one ::cough cough:: me ::cough cough:: had read the whole series! So, needless to say, I was the only one fangirling. #notashamed

Heading to Cinespace studio. It was Day 40 of the Mortal Instruments shooting schedule, so a bunch of scenes, including those with Robert Sheehan, Kevin Zegers and Jemima West, had already been filmed (meaning they were off, so we didn’t meet them. Whomp whomp.). But we did meet Kevin Durand, the guy playing Emil Pangborn, right as we walked through the door. Funny guy, though I have to admit that my 5’1″ self was tremendously intimidated by his 6’6″ body.

WENN

WENN

The first set of interviews, plus scene. Producers Don Carmody and Robert Kulzer were up first, followed by Jared Harris (Hodge Starkweather), then author Cassie Clare. {INSERT FIRST BIT OF FANGIRLING HERE} But the real action came right after, when we got to watch as Lily Collins (Clary Fray) and Jamie Campbell Bower (Jace Wayland) came to blows with Jonathan Rhy Meyers (Valentine Morgenstern). Yes, I got to witness one of the most pivotal events in the book-to-movie in action. Don’t want to spoil too much for those who haven’t had a chance to read the novel, but this particular scene involves Valentine banging Clary’s head against a table, and Jace coming to her rescue. Literally, this is what we saw:

Tumblr (notextinctenough)

Tumblr (notextinctenough)

Following that, we interviewed Lily, who said of the head-banging experience: “On that last take, I actually did smack it against the table. It really helps, I have to say, because with a lot of the stunt stuff, something is bound to go a little ary, and most of my reactions have genuinely been me saying, “Ow” and screaming.”

Walking through the set. After lunch and a bit more of shooting the same scene, we met Director Harald Zwart and Jamie. (Have you read our interview with him yet??) Once again, the fangirl came out of me, and even moreso when we were taken to see the Institute library. We saw the Angel Raziel statue, the portal… Oh, and there are runes everywhere in the details, especially the windows.

Screen Gems

Screen Gems

Not too far away was Clary’s shared apartment with her mom. The Victorian-style home on top of Madame Dorothea’s abode is made out of brick with paintings inside that were created by the on-set designer’s wife. Inside, we saw Jocelyn’s bedroom, the bathroom (it’s blue in case you were dying to know), the kitchen, the living room, and Clary’s bedroom filled with her artwork and a couple skulls. See the staircase Cassie Clare tweeted? Yeah, I walked those. NBD.

Twitter (@cassieclare)

Twitter (@cassieclare)

Goodbye, TMI. On the way out, I noted Dorothea’s dwelling, and the greenhouse. (P.S. We saw the greenhouse kissing scene in the sizzle reel and OMG. I didn’t want to make a fool out of myself by crying in front of everyone, but I did let out a squeal.) Before we left, we were given three TMI bracelets and a signed copy of the first book in the series. Thanks, Cassandra!

Instagram

Instagram

What’d you think of my play-by-play? Are you just as much of a fangirl? Let me know your thoughts, then reveal the character you’re most looking forward to seeing on the big screen in the comments! If you’re still looking for more, check out the latest stills and posters from the movie in the gallery below. The Mortal Instruments: City of Bones hits theaters on August 23, 2013.

The TMI Cast Talks Lily & Jamie’s Chemistry