Robert Sheehan Interview The Mortal Instruments City of Bones

The Mortal Instruments City of Bones opens on 21st August, based on the bestselling fantasy book series by Cassandra Clare. Stars Lily Collins, Jamie Campbell Bower and Robert Sheehan joined director Harold Zwart in London for a press conference with fans. Check out what Misfits star Robert Sheehan in particular had to say about his role as Clary’s Mundane best friend Simon.

Was Simon a fun character for you to play?

There’s always comedy to be juiced from being the guy at the back of the group who isn’t doing any of the slaying, who’s doing all the cowering. Also tumbling into this world and being the normal eyes on this very very abnormal world. You get to frown and ask “What the hell is going on?” every five or ten minutes. The audience do in truth need someone like that. It’s my character and it’s also Lily’s character Clary. We’re very much the normal people tumbling into this crazy world. But yeah it was lovely fun. The good thing about Simon was Harold (the director) saying it’s got to be real. My instinct tends to be towards performance (gives crazy jazz hands), towards gesticulating wildly in every other direction. You may have seen it in my other works…  But it was the director reining me back saying it has got to be absolutely real. This guy is very normal, somewhat elitist and bookish. It was a new discovery for me; it was very fun and very enjoyable.

What kind of training did you have to do to get into shape for the film?

My training was very much sleep… just sleep in. Have a good sleep. The rest of them are going to go and do some stunt choreography for a bit. You just show up for the filming bit and put a t-shirt on, or take it off. Ladies that also happened!

What’s it like being part of such a popular franchise that already has a big fanbase?

The others have been on more of a promotional tour than me, because I’ve been working on a small film. But I was at comic con and then the LA press, then Toronto. Even just that has turned me upside down, it’s been fairly hysterical. There’s been a feverish anticipation among the fans and whenever we show up for a premiere there’s been hundreds of fans who have been waiting there for like 12 hours camped out. It absolutely bowls me over. I remember we were in Toronto and we’d done some stuff then the next day we did morning television and I promptly went back to bed afterwards. I got back up and having done a premiere the night before the thoughts of another one ahead was…just the thought of mustering the enthusiasm. But the thing was once I got there the fanaticism and the energy just coasted me along, it was infectious due to the fans.  For me thankfully adrenaline has kicked in in the key moments. Like right now for example. It’s been a an absolute eye opener.

Comic con was my first direct experience of the expectation. I’m not a very savvy social media person. I’m not on checking the traffic. I don’t know how to use Twitter very well. So it was there that I first realised wow the anticipation is huge. Since then it’s been building and building. When we show up to premieres it’s almost like Beatlemanina. We get out of our cars and there’s like hundreds of people there screaming. It’s very hard to compute at times.

Rob what’s the reaction been to your latest project Love Hate?

Well to be honest since Love Hate has come on English TV I’ve not been here I’ve been on the continent. I’ve been away working. So all the reaction I’ve been hearing about has been remote.  But certainly as regards to the show being an honest depiction of the Irish gangster underworld, honestly even though I’m in the show I’m not an authority to ask on that subject. I didn’t approach the role in any methodical way; I didn’t spend any time with real members of the Irish criminal underworld. What is is.. it’s fairly honest in the sense that a lot of the storylines that Love Hate has, have been taken somewhat form the Irish media about stories that have happened and modified slightly. They’ve changed and been dramatized but there is a basis of honesty for a lot of the crime the characters undergo. There’s a lot of honesty in what they do because these things have actually happened and been reported in the media. The rest is just good writing by one man who straps himself to the beats and writes the whole thing. It’s one man who’s written all three series. But that’s about as much evidence as I can give about that.

There’s a lot of elaborate CGI and special effects in the film what was it like to work with that?

That was a luxury of being a mundane in this movie. I wasn’t laboured down with any of the shadow hunter technology in this movie. Though if Harold ever writes a book there’ll be a whole chapter on how to scare an actor, without using too much CGI.

If you could choose to draw a rune in real life what would it be?

I’d make the get up in the morning rune. To be completely awake! That’s one thing I could really do with, to get my motor running in the morning without heavy amounts of caffeine. If I could draw that on myself every morning! Even after eight hours of sleep I’ll wake up and for the first few hours I’ll have one eye closed and nearly be hit by a bus. If I could be one of those morning people that would be a great rune to have.

What was your favourite costume to wear?

My Nike high tops! Grey, pink very cool and very vintage.

At the heart of this big fantasy adventure is quite a relatable love triangle. What was it like to work on that aspect of the story as Simon?

I think the thing with Simon is that even as he’s tumbling into this crazy other world, in a way Clary is very much his focus. She’s the hand that he’s holding onto. It’s funny that as he’s experiencing this world the thing which irks him the most isn’t the downworlders and the demonic forces, it’s the fact that Clary is falling for this other guy. That’s the thing for Simon, because he’s probably I think an old romantic, the he’s seeing this happen and that’s the subtext for his journey, until he puts his hand to the fire and declares his love for her. So that was nice because that’s his focus and that’s his thread throughout this world.

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