Just this week fans of Cassandra Clare’s novels received some super exciting news about The Infernal Devices films. Even though we still have five months until The Mortal Instruments: City of Bones hits theaters on August 23rd, Constantin Films is quite confident that the series will succeed, and have already picked the screenwirter to adapt Clare’s prequel series for the big screen. You can view the article about the screenwriter here.
With that being said, I (Natasha Polis, long time fan of shadowhunters and downworlders alike) have decided to start a series of fancasting articles for our beloved Clockwork characters. With a few of my opinions, and few of our twitter follower’s choices we will be calling it: “Casting Clockwork”. First up is our heroine – The Clockwork Princess herself, Theresa (Tessa) Gray. Tessa is a mystery to herself and everyone around her when she makes the trip from her home in New York to London following her brother’s, Nathan Gray, guidance during the Victorian era. Little does she know she is the key to an entire scheme of terrible events to bring down the London Shadowhunters.
I’ve always had a difficult time nailing down a specific face for Tessa in my head. For some reason I tend to forget that she is a New Yorker and has an American accent, yet her heritage lies with Great Britain. It’s a bit confusing don’t you think? I’m pulled between wanting a fresh face or a better known actress, but I think with the direction book-to-movie adaptations are heading towards a better known actress for the heroine. On the list today is an assortment of American, Canadian, British, and Spanish actresses who all fit the part! Now onto my fan casting picks…
Emma Rigby – My Top Pick
Emma is my favorite actress for Tessa. Come on, SHE IS TESSA! Probably the only reason I see her as our Clockwork Princess is because she was in a period show for BBC called Ripper Street this past winter. The hair and costumes help with the imagination. She’s a British actress known for her roles on soap operas such as Hollyoaks and Prisoner Wives. She was also just cast in Once Upon a Time’s spinoff series called Wonderland as The Red Queen. From what I’ve seen, she is a beautiful and promising actress at the age of 25, I can’t wait to see what she has in store.
Hailee hasn’t been considered much by the fans for the role as Tessa. She might have a few different physical characteristics, being as that she is of Filipino descent, but she’s an Academy Award nominated actress, and is the correct age for Tessa. Let’s not forget that Tessa is sixteen years old in Clockwork Angel. For me, after I saw her in the new trailer for Romeo and Juliet I knew she would be perfect for as Tess. She has a lot on her plate with Ender’s Game coming up, but she’s young and and amazing actress.
Shelley is a charming actress and best known for her role on CW’s The Secret Circle. She’s one of the tallest actress on this list towering over most women at 5’8″, remember Tessa is very tall, her height is constantly being remarked on. Miss Hennig, I feel, is constantly over looked with her soap opera and teenage drama show past, but out of all her cast mate’s from The Secret Circle she was the only one with the maturity to move forward in her career. Shelley could easily take on Tessa or even Sophie in The Infernal Devices films.
I only had three picks, so to make up the other seven I went to Twitter for suggestions. I knew I was not the only one excited for this movie, but I didn’t realize so many people wanted their opinions to be heard. I HEAR YOU! Below are the top seven actress from our Twitter followers.
By far, Sarah was the most popular pick. She was first suggested by @farahdiena, but then several people started saying they would like to see Sarah as Tessa. Born in 1991, Bolger started out very young in the movie business, but fans would know her from HBO’s The Tudors as Mary Queen of Scotts, Spiderwick Chronicles, and Princess Aurora in ABC’s Once Upon A Time. She’s done the period shows, so it’s easier to see her as Tessa. Let’s just talk about the fact that Jonathon Rhys-Meyer’s (Valentine in The Mortal Instruments: City of Bones) play’s her father in The Tudors. Hmmmm, how ironic…
@TarahFerraz was the first to suggest Astrid, but I expected this pick seeing as that she has been manip’d over and over again on Tumblr as Tessa. Astrid is from Spain while fluent in French, Spanish, and Catalan – she modeled first and then transitioned into acting with her best known role as the mermaid in Pirates of The Carribean: On Stranger Tides. She is absolutely radiant and has the correct look, but English is her fourth language, and I think she would struggle with portraying an American girl.
Jessica Brown Findlay
Raise your hand if you love Lady Cybil from Downton Abbey! This suggestion came from my best friend and parabatai, Delilah, while watching the first season of Downton a few months ago. Miss Findlay is an amazing actress with multiple award nominations only at the age of 23. She’s very feminine and fresh faced, but her strong presence on screen make for the perfect Tessa.
Here’s another actress that a bunch of fans suggested. You know her as the dragon taming blonde in Game of Thrones, but Emilia is actually a natural brunette. Our Twitter follower @AABrowning first suggested her, and I agree that Emilia would be a great Tessa. She has a Rising Star award under her belt, but no matter if she isn’t even considered this girl is going places.
So many people love Kaya just like @naa_ratnaaa who first brought up her name. She fits the description of Tessa perfectly, however she was just cast as Teresa in The Maze Runner, you can view that article here. As the newly cast heroine of another Young Adult book-to-movie series I think Hollywood should share the love and cast someone else, but she’s is so perfect. You never know!
@ClaraOswin was the first one to make her suggestion known that Willa Holland would be a great Tessa, and more followed with Willa as their first choice. Willa has been in Legion, Gossip Girl, and presently starring in Arrow. Boen in 1991, Willa is at the correct age to play Tessa.
Christa B. Allen
Another recommendation from @naa_ratnaaa, Christa is widely known as the actress who portrayed Jennifer Garner in 13 Going On 30, but now she has grown into a beautiful young woman and co-starring in ABC’s Revenge. I’ve always loved this girl, she brings light to the screen with her bright smile and would do Tessa justice.
So many other actress’s name were submitted via Twitter – like Felicity Jones, Emma Watson, Nina Dobrev, Chloe Mortez, Emma Roberts, and Emily Browning – but only seven of your picks could make the list. Most importantly, whoever Constantin Films casts as Theresa Gray will surely be an amazing actress. Let’s just hope that she’s a brunette! Stay tuned with all TheMortal Instruments and The Infernal Devices news.
Do you agree with the picks above? Which actress would you want to see as Tessa Gray? Sound off in the comments!!