It seems that since the film adaption of City of Bones was announced, Alex Pettyfer was the lead contender for the role of Jace Wayland. Few can argue that Pettyfer resembles the description of Jace. He looks like he could’ve posed for the cover of the book, but I’d like to move past the physical likeness and discuss the problems with Pettyfer. Before I begin, I’d like to preface by saying that I was once a major Alex supporter, but the last two months have really sent me in the opposite direction. Now, I’m pleading with fans to throw their support behind another more deserving actor and I’ll explain why.
Alex has an attitude problem. He’s had some well documented issues on movie sets. Most notably, the Hollywood Reporter and other news sources reported multiple issues during the filming of I am Number Four. Apparently, Alex was miffed that another actor was making more money than he was. That led to him refusing to cash his paychecks for two months which gives me the mental picture of a toddler stomping his feet. During that same period of time, he also had issues with the director and the situation got so bad that a DreamWorks CEO had to intervene. The bad behavior continued when he missed marketing meetings for Beastly and left producers waiting for more than two hours. Recently, he was late to his own premier. Reports initially said it was because of the house fire, but the actor wasn’t home during the fire. Alex was late due to personal issues, but his PR company tried unsuccessfully to sweep additional bad press under the rug. In addition, the fire was limited to the garage and very little damage was done. Some have said that the press is picking on him, but too many people have come out with detailed accounts of this behavior. At some point, you have to use common sense. If it walks like a spoiled brat and acts like a spoiled brat then he’s probably a spoiled brat.
Alex has shown no passion for the role when he should be grateful. Jace Wayland is an incredible character and every actor in town seems to know that except for Pettyfer. Alex was offered the role, but insisted on a 10 million dollar paycheck when he only received 250K for his previous role in I Am Number Four. So what constitutes the huge raise? Surely it’s not tickets sales because both of his 2010 movies have under-achieved at the box office. So why does he deserve it? The answer is he doesn’t. He’s banking on the fact that fans want him in this role. His priority is the money. My guess is that he will land with whichever franchise is willing to pay out whether it’s City of Bones, The Last Apprentice, or Hunger Games. In addition to poor tickets sales, I wasn’t impressed with his acting talent and I’m not alone. Most of the extremely poor critical reviews of both movies have said that Alex has failed to deliver any emotion in either role. Mortal Instruments fans know that Jace is a complicated character who requires an actor with range. Alex is unproven, if not disappointing.
This is where I am hoping the book fans pay attention. I love this series and I want to see all the books brought to life. Jace is the essential role and everyone knows it. Do you really want to take a chance on an actor with obvious issues? An actor who hasn’t delivered on talent or ticket sales. What do you think will happen if City of Bones is the success that I expect it will be? Do you think his ego will get bigger or smaller? The answer is bigger which means he could mess up the entire chemistry on set. Is this the chance you’re willing to take with your beloved series because Alex happens to look like the Jace your mind? I’d prefer to have an unknown come in with acting talent who can give us the Jace we deserve. An actor who wants the role and would bite off his own arm to get it. That’s the commitment I’m looking for and certainly what Cassandra Clare deserves for writing such an outstanding series.
On a personal note, I’d like to thank everyone who’s participated in my articles or has spoken about it on the Mortal Instruments message boards. Whether you agree with me or not, I am truly honored to be part of your discussions. You can find me on my website, the YA Fantasy Guide or on Twitter.