11:45 pm - 02/18/2013

Mad Men Actor Talks City of Bone

'The Mortal Instruments' Star Jared Harris On the Cults of YA and 'Mad Men'

Jared Harris knows a thing or two about pop culture occults and the cults of pop culture. The Emmy-nominated actor is perhaps best known to audiences for his roles on fervent fan favorite TV shows like Fringe and Mad Men. Harris will next be seen in The Mortal Instruments: City of Bones, the big screen adaptation of Cassandra Clare's popular fantasy YA series in which he plays Hodge Starkweather, a cursed tutor who teaches the Shadowhunters, a group of underground demon hunters.

"This year, I’ve done three, for f**k’s sake! What’s going on?" Harris told Hollywood.com on the Toronto set of The Mortal Instruments regarding his recent transition into the fantasy/horror genre, in which TMI certainly falls. "I did a movie called The Quiet Ones, which was about a guy who’s investigating paranormal events... and then I played the devil. And then now I’m in this film, which is all about demons and s**t, so yeah, it’s been a weird year for that."

RELATED: Hollywood.com Visits the Set of 'The Mortal Instruments'

Still, even after unintentionally finding himself in yet another supernatural film, he still found new and exciting challenges in playing the morally-conflicted Hodge. "He’s a fun character. You don’t know which side he’s playing on, which is always interesting to do," Harris said. "[He] is someone who knows what the right thing to do is, but for his own reasons, is making a different deal, because he’s trying to change his circumstances. But he knows the difference between the right thing and the wrong thing to do, and he’s not delusional in the sense that he doesn’t think that he’s doing something for the betterment of mankind or some bulls**t like that. He knows that what he’s doing is purely to get his own ass out of the situation that he’s stuck in."(OP: so....we don't know what side he's playing on and he's a bad guy? lol)

So what could be better than getting to play someone as unpredictable as Hodge? Getting to fight and dress up as someone like Hodge. "What’s great fun is I get to fight Dredger [Robert Maillet, who plays Samuel Blackwell, one of TMI's baddies] from Sherlock Holmes. He’s a f**king enormous man. So it’s been fun, because when you do all these fight scenes, you try and jazz ‘em up and everything. And then I sit there and I go, 'Listen, if this guy hit me, I’d collapse. I’d crumble if he actually managed to actually connect with me.' But I was really excited that I was fighting him, because I f**king loved him in that movie."

RELATED: 'The Mortal Instruments: City of Bones' Trailer

But don't put Harris — who memorably went fisticuffs-to-fisticuffs with Vincent Kartheiser's Pete Campbell in a classic episode of Mad Men — down for the count just yet. "I can still kick ass, man," the Brit assured us. Harris also got to do a physical transformation of his own, thanks to the fake Shadowhunter tattoos and the gothic aesthetics used to bring Hodge to life. "I have a scar, which I didn’t have before. A good prosthetic scar, a white wig....which is a bit shocking. You look in the mirror and you see what you might be like a couple years from now."

Still, the 51-year-old actor didn't feel old on the TMI set, which was largely comprised of young Hollywood up-and-comers like Lily Collins and Jamie Campbell Bower, thanks to their professionalism. "Nowadays you find that a lot of the youngsters have been doing it almost as long as you have, because they’ve been doing it since they were 6, you know?" Harris said, adding, "So they’re all pros."

RELATED: 'Mortal Instruments' Star Lily Collins On Working With Her Real-Life Beau

Harris also seem unphased by the much younger following TMI has as opposed to, say, Mad Men. The actor, who admitted he hadn't read Clare's books before signing on to the project, noted "This is slightly different than the Mad Men [fandom] because it exists in a literary form first, the fans have [it in their] imaginations already. But something like Mad Men, it exists in Matt Weiner’s mind. And no one can read what Season 6 and Season 7 is, because it’s in his head."He added, "So I would say in that sense, it’s probably a little freer, whereas in this one, you have an obligation to that mythology. And you don’t want to piss the fans off, you know?"

As any TMI fan would argue, oh do they know. But Harris assured that he, his TMI castmates and crew members have done everything in their powers to ensure that doesn't happen. As Harris put it, "You have to honor the mythology that’s been created in the books, which they have done."

[Photo credit: Jason Merritt/Getty Images]


I saw Beautiful Creatures. Not bad, but it flopped in the box office. Since this one has more action in it, maybe that'll stop it from being a flop? What say you ONTD
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angelmonster 19th-Feb-2013 04:49 am (UTC)
In doing YA research for my book I read this and I just don't get it...it was the worst writing and plot EVER. It was legit cliche after cliche, nothing original at all.
sugarbobbin 19th-Feb-2013 04:55 am (UTC)
The best research for me is reading all the 1-2 star reviews on Amazon. I learn better with examples of what not to do. Besides, it's really amusing.
finchroxxx 19th-Feb-2013 04:57 am (UTC)
One of my favorite pastimes is reading 1 and 2 star reviews on goodreads. It brings the hilarity.
angelmonster 19th-Feb-2013 04:58 am (UTC)
Right? Especially for popular books like this.
manaconda 19th-Feb-2013 04:59 am (UTC)
lol i don't understand why CC was ever popular, both as a fanfic writer and as a legit author. lbr she was never good and even the very secret diaries weren't very funny in retrospect.
cageyb 19th-Feb-2013 05:11 am (UTC)
I've honestly read much worse. It's not even bad, it's just very derivative. Like, the twists are predictable once you realize what the author's reference points are. It hits all the beats you would expect it to with no variation.
ladysherlock 19th-Feb-2013 04:49 am (UTC)
I am going to miss this sweet English prince so much on MM.
angi_is_altered 19th-Feb-2013 12:52 pm (UTC)
Me too! His character was so perfect!
trumpydoesmagic 19th-Feb-2013 04:51 am (UTC)
Is this the one with Godfrey?
finchroxxx 19th-Feb-2013 04:57 am (UTC)
noon 19th-Feb-2013 04:51 am (UTC)
nooo i miss lane so much
brokenseas 19th-Feb-2013 04:53 am (UTC)
They used a lot of makeup on him as Lane, didn't they?
sugarbobbin 19th-Feb-2013 04:54 am (UTC)
Now, I couldn't get through the first page of Mortal Instruments, that fight scene was BAD. But I saw the trailer for the movie...it's something I'd probably watch.

Anyway, I breezed through writing about 7000 words this weekend. Woot!

eta: I shouldn't post when I'm half asleep.

Edited at 2013-02-19 05:00 am (UTC)
welurklate 19th-Feb-2013 04:54 am (UTC)
I need TMI to flop. Hard. Like Osmosis Jones flop.
finchroxxx 19th-Feb-2013 04:58 am (UTC)
Beautiful Creatures had a lot of buzz (more than TMI, imo) and it flopped pretty hard. So there is hope.
welurklate 19th-Feb-2013 05:02 am (UTC)
Do you think BC doing poorly will put a end to all the YA adaptions or - ?
severalstories 19th-Feb-2013 05:01 am (UTC)
Fingers crossed.
saltireflower 19th-Feb-2013 05:09 am (UTC)
lmao Osmosis Jones
poisonedsky 19th-Feb-2013 05:11 am (UTC)
Prayer circle for it to flop really bad
manaconda 19th-Feb-2013 05:11 am (UTC)
praying for this rn
pastelstar 19th-Feb-2013 05:28 am (UTC)
HDU osmosis jones is amazing!

But yeah. Lol
iamtheliquorr 19th-Feb-2013 06:00 am (UTC)
ikr something has to restore my faith in the human race, at least partially
offinlahlahland 19th-Feb-2013 01:32 pm (UTC)
Its being released in late august a week before the One Direction film opens.

It doesn't stand a fucking chance :)
notoriousreign 19th-Feb-2013 05:51 pm (UTC)
God, me too. Praying for it tbh.
r_a_black 19th-Feb-2013 09:12 pm (UTC)
Right there with you, and I think it's chances for flopping are high.
manaconda 19th-Feb-2013 04:55 am (UTC)
i was hoping this movie would go the way of atuk.
qwicksilva88 19th-Feb-2013 04:56 am (UTC)
I'm praying this movie will be good. The trailer really didn't impress me much tbh.

I'm actually starting to get more excited for The Vampire Academy movie now that it seems to be moving forward even though it'll probably be a low budget mess.
tryxkittie 19th-Feb-2013 06:03 am (UTC)
it's weird but I think they're trying to turn VA into a comedy...
guccipostagurl 19th-Feb-2013 04:57 am (UTC)
All I see is an old Ronald Weasley
tuggernuts 19th-Feb-2013 04:57 am (UTC)
just give me an official still of aidan already dammmmmmmmit
andromakhe001 19th-Feb-2013 05:11 am (UTC)
That's where I'm at. LOL I don't give a damn, just give me some new Aidan!!! I re-watched Desperate Romantics this past weekend. But he hasn't done all that much so I've gone through everything again in the last couple of weeks. LOL I'm sure he'll do as fine a job as possible in this film considering the source material so I'll live with it for him. :)
xandy_candyx 19th-Feb-2013 10:39 am (UTC)
chimbleysweep 19th-Feb-2013 04:58 am (UTC)
sugarbobbin 19th-Feb-2013 04:58 am (UTC)
Anyway, I discovered Kiera Cass has a youtube channel over the weekend....and I can't with her acting out the characters in her book, damn, doesn't she have anything else better to do? Like go to picket an Obama rally or something?
welurklate 19th-Feb-2013 05:05 am (UTC)
sugarbobbin 19th-Feb-2013 05:14 am (UTC)
chimbleysweep 19th-Feb-2013 05:06 am (UTC)
omg I don't think I could subject myself to that.
squirrels_oh_no 19th-Feb-2013 05:25 am (UTC)
Kiera Cass just makes me facepalm.
julietislimited 19th-Feb-2013 05:01 am (UTC)
the only thing I care about when it comes to TMI is Magnus and Alec. I can't wait to see Magnus in those sexy clothes. And him hitting Alec for the first time.

I won't be paying to see it of course but I will be there for the tumblr gif sets.
fionaapple 19th-Feb-2013 12:05 pm (UTC)
I really hope the screenplay kept the gay subplots, that was one of the only interesting things going for TMI.
lovealwaysliana 19th-Feb-2013 05:11 am (UTC)
I wanna see beautiful creatures. but I wanna read the book first. so I will probably never see it
fionaapple 19th-Feb-2013 12:04 pm (UTC)
lol mte. I might see it on redbox in a few months and be like "oh yeah, didn't I want to see that"
notoriousreign 19th-Feb-2013 05:54 pm (UTC)
lol same.
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