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Fans of Cassandra Clare's "The Mortal Instruments" series will agree that casting for the "City of Bones" movie has been one hellaciously long process. Consider this: The first actor announcement came down nearly two years ago.
However, as the spiffy new official movie website for "The Mortal Instruments: City of Bones" now shows, there are very few spaces left open on the casting roster. In fact, this week "The Tudors" star Jonathan Rhys Meyers might've nabbed the biggest opening left (he's reportedly in talks to star as Valentine Morgenstern, the brainy and sadistic arch-villain of the series).
The loose ends are really starting to tie up on the project, and it's about time seeing as production is expected to at long last begin on August 15. So, to give you a handy who's who in the newly developed "Mortal Instruments" cast family, we assembled the low-down on everyone — Shadowhunters, High Warlocks and human sidekicks-turned-rats alike.
Lily Collins (Clary Fray)
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Lily Collins was cast as Clary Fray all the way back in December 2010. Through studio debacles, a director switch-up and a lengthy period of production being on pause, Collins faithfully remained tethered to the world of the Shadowhunters. Why? This series is ripe to be the next big thing, of course! She told us back in May 2011, "to be able to have my own franchise, and one based on a girl heroine, it's a complete honor."
The scene she's been most looking forward to shooting, she once revealed to Hollywood Crush, is "the moment when she discovers she is the one -- there's this thing called the Mortal Cup, which is what everyone's searching for -- and she finds she's the only one who knows where it is because she draws it in a book."
Physical description: Clary is a red-haired, 15-year-old Brooklyn native and talented artist who discovers she's got some previously un-tapped demon-slaying talents in addition to having a nice brush stroke.
Cassie Clare's casting comments: "The producers and director have worked with her before and say great things ... She is completely adorable and looks right for Clary to me."
Jamie Campbell Bower (Jace Wayland)
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Jamie Campbell Bower has also been sitting on his part for quite a while now, having been announced for the dreamy role of Jace Wayland back in May 2011. He nabbed the gig, he admitted, by working his tail off for the audition. "I did a lot of preparation ... I sent an email out asking what the character would wear, how he would dress, and I really focused on it," he explained to Hollywood Crush.
What Bower is looking forward to most is a little stunt work, and "really, just getting to know who this guy is because he's very jovial, and he's a joker, but he also has this vulnerability about him and that's exciting for me to be able to do — he's got so many layers and a lot of depth."
Physical description: Jace is a blonde, golden-eyed dreamboat. He's strong, lean and nearly perfect-looking (save for a chipped tooth).
Cassie Clare's casting comments: "I am thoroughly, totally, extremely, and utterly delighted ... He was Jace, down to the snark, and the vulnerability, and the humor and the romantic side...."
Robert Sheehan (Simon Lewis)
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Physical description: Simon's a mousy (pun intended) brown-haired 16-year-old who plays the bass in a band. He's also Clary's BFF who gets dragged into her mess and turned into a rodent.
Cassie Clare's casting comments: "He's totally cute and adorable and HILARIOUS, and his chemistry with Lily and Jamie is off the charts. I've wanted him for Simon for ages so I am pretty much totally and entirely happy."
Jemima West (Isabelle Lightwood)
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Jemima West was tapped to be Isabelle Lightwood, the most lovable mean girl in YA lit-to-film since Rosalie Hale in "Twilight."
Physical description: This tall, raven-haired 16-year-old wields a whip and some stylish kicks, but she doesn't exactly wear her heart on her sleeve. Also, she's known to wear a snarl around perceived ordinary humans ("mundies").
Cassie Clare's casting comments: "She's beautiful (like whoa) and really talented ... She had a lot of Izzy's toughness and directness in her audition. I like her."
Kevin Zegers (Alec Lightwood)
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The confused and slightly embittered teen (and brother to Izzy) Alec Lightwood will be portrayed by "Gossip Girl" star Kevin Zegers. We just hope Zegers gets on well with Jamie Campbell Bower because they're going to have some mighty interesting scenes together.
Physical description: Like his sister, Alec's got dark hair and lean features and is often spotted with an otherworldly weapon at the ready. Unlike her, he's a lot less comfortable in his own skin and has long suffered self-confidence issues and initial discomfort over his own sexuality.
Cassie Clare's casting comments: "I’ve always liked Kevin ... Kevin played [the audition] with a quiet sort of intensity that grew through the scene so you could see through the cracks of the anger and think: wow, this guy is really scared and vulnerable. Because that is the Alec people love."
Lena Headey (Jocelyn Fray)
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"Game of Thrones" star Lena Headey will play the mom who desperately tries for a new, non-mystical life in New York but who's thrust back into the thick of it after being kidnapped. She's no ordinary damsel in distress, though.
Physical description: Jocelyn is the thirty-something version of her daughter, Clary. Like mother, like daughter, she also sports some fiery tresses and emerald eyes.
Cassie Clare's casting comments: "I have had an actress crush on Lena for years so when they told me she was cast I did a happy dance ... I think she will be amazing as Jocelyn. I am super-psyched."
Aidan Turner (Luke Garroway)
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Let's hope their previous experience working in fantasy lore breaks the ice because "The Hobbit" star Aidan Turner and Lena Headey are going to be working together pretty closely for "The Mortal Instruments." Lucian, known to Clary as Uncle Luke, has quite a soft spot for Miss Jocelyn, and he'll do anything to protect the ladies in his life.
Physical description: It's not immediately obvious — since he's got your typical brown hair and blue eyes features — but "Uncle Luke" is a werewolf.
Cassie Clare's casting comments: "Harald [Zwart, director] was so excited to work with him he was hopping around. I'm pretty excited about him playing Luke myself!"
CCH Pounder (Madame Dorothea)
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When it comes to magicians, nothing is ever as it seems. So is the case with Madame Dorothea, the downstairs neighbor of Jocelyn and Clary Fray. CCH Pounder, long-time Hollywood veteran and multiple Emmy nominee, will bring this vexing character to life.
Physical description: Elderly in appearance but tough as nails; also known to fancy excessive jewelry and house slippers.
Cassie Clare's casting comments: "Our director's wanted to work with her for ages and I think she will be amazing."
Godfrey Gao (Magnus Bane)
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Brooklyn's High Warlock and party planner extraordinaire Magnus Bane will be portrayed by relative newcomer Godfrey Gao.
Physical description: Magnus is flashy and not afraid to flaunt some make-up and nail polish. Also, his nationality is half Indonesian and Dutch, half demon. Now there's a combo.
Cassie Clare's casting comments: "Godfrey is, in addition to being all gorgeous and stuff, super-talented (his audition was awesome), loves the books, and is, like Magnus, ridiculously tall."
Jared Harris (Hodge Starkweather)
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"Mad Men" star Jared Harris is on tap to portray the perplexing tutor Hodge Starkweather, who lives in exile and is not very happy about it.
Physical description: Middle-aged with grey hair and a scar running up the right side of his face.
Cassie Clare's casting comments: "I think he’ll really nail Hodge's moral dilemma."
Valentine's cronies Emil Panborn and Samuel Blackwell will be portrayed by "Lost" mean-mug Kevin Durand and "Sherlock Holmes" brawn Robert Maillet. These two are trusted members of The Circle, who do Valentine's wicked bidding in "City of Bones." Meanwhile, Brother Jeremiah, who is eyeless and has his mouth sewn shut, will be portrayed by Stephen R. Hart, who, as Cassandra Clare put it, "seems appropriately creepy" for the part.
Apart from a confirmation on Jonathan Rhys Meyers as Valentine and announcements for two lingering roles — vampire Raphael Santiago and werewolf Alaric — this is your full "The Mortal Instruments" thesp line-up.
So, whaddya think, Shadowhunters?