Some actors would make deals with the devil for Jamie Campbell Bower's resume. In only five years of theatrical work, the 22-year-old Englishman has already played bit parts in both the "Harry Potter" and the "Twilight" sagas (as wizard Gellert Grindelwald and vampire Caius, respectively), and is set to star as the lead in "The Mortal Instruments" series, which very well could be the next teen movie phenomenon.
But who is this guy, and why should you know who he is?
1. He's part of a young brigade of Brits invading Hollywood. Seriously, there's a major influx of talent crossing the pond, and Campbell Bower is near the top of the list. His first big-screen role was opposite Johnny Depp as Anthony, the lovestruck sailor with a beautiful voice in Tim Burton's "Sweeney Todd." Since then he's racked up plum parts in the "Potter" and "Twilight" as well as two British indies, Guy Ritchie's "RocknRolla" and his latest role as the young Earl of Oxford in the period drama "Anonymous." Television fans should also recognize him as the sexy (and often naked) King Arthur on Starz' "Camelot."
2. He's going to be a household name once the first "Mortal Instruments" installment comes out next year. If you aren't addicted to Young Adult novels like we are, you may not know that the multi-book series has all the elements that attract teen audiences. Campbell Bower will play Jace Wayland, a cocky and beautiful "Shadowhunter" who fights demons and falls for the mysterious heroine Clary (Lily Collins), a teenager who for some reason can see a host of supernatural creatures even when no other "regular person" around her can. With "Harry Potter" done and "Twilight" about to end next year, all eyes will be on "The Hunger Games" and "The Mortal Instruments" to see if they conjure the same level of fan loyalty.
"You're always tip-toeing into potentially blasphemous territory by calling anything 'The Next Twilight,'" says Hollywood Crush editor Amy Wilkinson. "That being said, 'The Mortal Instruments' is the kind of delicious, action-packed fantasy romance that will likely resonate with many 'Twilight' fans. I’ve been told by the series’ author, Cassandra Clare, that Jamie and Lily Collins have amazing on-screen chemistry, so I’m banking on them (at least partially) filling the star-crossed lovers void left by Rob [Pattinson] and Kristen [Stewart]."
3. He's ready to face celebrity mania. Unlike Daniel Radcliffe, who was cast as Harry Potter while a wee boy, and Robert Pattinson, who was catapulted to super-stardom nearly overnight after being tapped to play Edward Cullen, Jamie is no stranger to fame. Already a recognizable star to Potterheads and Twihards, Campbell Bower is also a frequent fixture in the British tabs for his engagement to "Potter" star Bonnie Wright (Ginny Weasley). Obviously he's not playing coy about his relationship like a certain other on-screen vampire.
"Jamie’s been a known entity in the entertainment industry for a while now, so he’s probably a bit better prepared for the rigors of fame," Wilkinson adds. "However, I wouldn’t be surprised if he took a page from the Robert Pattinson Playbook and shrugged the whole thing off with his British wit."
4. He's more than a pretty face. There are plenty of gorgeous young actors who are pretty (very pretty) to look at but who sadly can't really act. That's not the case with Campbell Bower. He's got the boyish face and lean build of a young Leonardo DiCaprio, and like a 20-something Leo, his boyishness belies an intensity that should take him far in Hollywood. As Wilkinson says: "He's proven his acting chops time and time again, and leading what could potentially be a huge YA franchise seems the next logical step in the 22-year-old’s career trajectory."
There you have it. We expect Jamie Campbell Bower kick ass literally and figuratively in "The Mortal Instruments," and in the meantime, we can't wait to see him all pasty and dazzling as a Volturi vampire in "Breaking Dawn: Parts 1 & 2." If you've yet to get acquainted with Mr. Franchise, you can also pop in the DVD of "Deathly Hallows," catch "Camelot" on Netflix, or check out his surprisingly sweet singing voice in "Sweeney Todd." We promise you won't be disappointed.