Jamie Campbell Bower Takes On Internet Trolls

Jamie Campbell Bower is one of the new stars of The Mortal Instruments City of Bones, playing brave shadow hunter Jace in the film adaptation of the bestselling fantasy novel by Cassandra Clare. However when news of his casting was first announced he found himself on the unwelcome end of a very vocal backlash from existing fans of the franchise. Speaking just days ahead of the film’s worldwide release at a press conference in London with co-stars Lily Collins and Robert Sheehan, Jamie opened up about just how much the internet campaigns against him affected him and how he feels about the worst kind of negativity and abuse actors can face:

I think upon being cast I was very aware of a negative reaction from the fandom. I’d be lying if I said that I wasn’t aware of that. That reaction was based on image and looks alone. That was two and a half years ago. As an actor and a performer I’m very much aware of the fact that my job is to change physically and emotionally. That was what hurt the most, because of the fact that people were judging me based on nothing. I’ve been told not to swear but when I talk about this I get  very…. It’s totally fine. I get it. I think sometimes with social media and the internet there is no brain to hand co-ordination. People don’t think, it’s like this continuous diarrhea. People don’t really understand that that affects people. I think particularly now with what’s happened in recent history should show the fact that particularly with young people, that’s not acceptable. I just don’t think that’s acceptable in any way shape or form. I’m not saying it affected me in that way necessarily because it didn’t. I mean it affected me somewhat for sure but not too much. Have I seen the reaction change, I think so. It’s always hard for anyone in our position I suppose as an actor to receive praise. Naturally as people we are quite self-deprecating. I think sometimes we do what we do as people because we’re looking for recognition.

However Jamie also credits the positive support of the wider fanbase with helping him to get through the ordeal:

I have seen a reaction, I was very fortunate to receive a book that had been made by fans that came together. That is something that I look at every day and I’m very grateful for.  I carry it with me everywhere and it’s in my bag. It’s a book of all these people who had pictures with posters saying Jamie is Jace around the world. I feel incredibly honoured to have that. If there’s one thing that someone can take form this monologue. Next time before you judge anyone just think, just use your brain. Don’t be an idiot! It’s annoying!

Speaking about how the angry and vocal response form fans affected the casting process, director Harold Zwart explained:

Jamie was always a hot candidate for Jace. I was aware of some of the chit chat out there and absolutely ignored that. I thought that was totally irrelevant. I thought he was perfect for the part. In my mind I always think about something I learned from advertising. You shouldn’t give people what they want they deserve so much better. I thought the two of them were already perfect. These guys were already the hottest candidates and I had conversations with Cassandra and we all looked at the chatter online and we thought, we’re going to go for the ones we think is best. So I felt all the way very confident in what I wanted and I had the support of the author. So we pretty much ignored what some of the fans thought. Overall there was a great response to Jamie, it wasn’t a lot of fans but it was just as he said that those few suddenly had a very powerful voice through the media. I guess so you just have to trust your own instincts.


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