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Tessa Gray

Casting Clockwork: Top 10 Picks for Tessa Gray in ‘The Infernal Devices’ film – Do you agree?

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 Rigby Tessa

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 Steinfeld

Tessa Hailee

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 Hennig

Tessa Shelly Hennig

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.

Fan Suggestions

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.

Sarah Bolger

Tessa Sarah B

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…


Astrid Bergés-Frisbey

Tessa Astrid

@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

Tessa Jessica

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.


Emilia Clarke

Tessa Emilia

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.


Kaya Scodelario

Tessa Kaya

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!

Willa Holland

Tessa Willa

@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

Tessa Christa

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!!

Natasha is an 20 year old born and raised California girl. She fills her free time fangirling over her favorite series and actors. She loves reading, making YouTube videos, and enjoys spending time with her family, lovable fat cat, and hyper husky! Check her out on her YouTube Channel - Tashapolis

  • Carolina T Cruz

    What about Alexandra daddario as Tessa,Would she look great with grey eyes?(:

  • AshTenshi

    You guys should go look up Sarah Kirse! She looks just like how I imagined Tessa and she even does Tessa Gray monologues on YouTube! It’s her dream to be Tessa and she’s in love with the books! She’s only had her videos up for about a week and already different fanbases have started following her and rebloging her videos. The TMI France fanbase on Twitter has already asked to do an interview with her and have said they will post it soon. Her popularity is growing fast! You guys should go look her up and support her amazing acting like I do! She should be near the top of this list! Plus she’s only 17, unlike some of the other actors up there and she looks like Tessa (or at least to me she does).

    Check out her sites below!

    YouTube: http://www.youtube.com/user/TheAshTenshi?feature=watch

    First monologue: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=aOsw5gtiUJ4

    Second monologue: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=dDsKH7lkZSk

    Third monologue: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2k9Aw-daqSg

    Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/SarahKirseforTessaGray?skip_nax_wizard=true

    Twitter: https://twitter.com/SarahKirse

    Tumblr: http://sarah-kirse-for-tessa-gray.tumblr.com

  • Luwana Ennenga

    I say Emma Rigby. She’s a fresh face and she’d make a great Tessa. Can’t wait to see your picks for Will and Jem!!!!

  • Rui

    I’d totally play Tessa…but I’m far too short haha. Though if an exception was made I’d be all for it!iI always pictured Tessa a cute, but rather average much like myself and a few girls I know.
    I agreed with the suggestion to have an unfamiliar face. A new personality the movie world and its fans could grow to love.

    As far as the males I’ve seen suggested elsewhere. None have fit my image of Will and Jem. However, I’m picky so don’t mind me lol. I do find Mr. Brand to be a close fit indeed.

  • Jamie Crafton

    I think Nina would be the best Pick as that’s exactly who I saw reading the books. It’s not just because I’ve seen TVD and know she’s dressed old school..Her looks match up to Tessa’s, she is one of the few of todays young actresses that can pull off innocent and still keep that inner strength..Two things that really make the character of Tessa Shine. I haven’t seen these other actresses in much so I can’t say if they have that quality but NIna definitely does so she is the one I’d want to play tessa. Just as I think that Robert Downey Jr. would make a epic Mortmain as everytime mortmain was in a scene I got the instant visual of Robert Downey Jr.

  • Jamie Crafton

    Your exactly right. It’s not just an image that you get of the character or even the places. It’s the feelings and the emotion of it all. To be honest I would be okay if they would’ve never made the mortal instruments a movie not that I’ll ever watch it and I don’t want them to make anything of the internal devices either. I can’t see any actor or Actress take on the roles of either series. I always find that when movies are made from books they leave out too much detail. Just like what I’ve heard about the mortal instruments movie and how they completely made Jace a pushover which he definitely wasn’t, Or how they said that Valentine came off Cartoonish. He is by far my favorite Villain from a book. Reminds me alot of Lionel Luthor from Smallville.
    But to see either series made into a tv show or a movie I think would lessen the quality. Besides, if there was one series that would’ve been better fit for tv than a movie I thought it was the mortal instruments to where I think the infernal devices would fit more as a movie. But with the perfect end they had for the infernal devices I wouldn’t want to see it on screen. They would probably screw it up.

  • tayla

    Gabriella Wilde would be my first choice for Jessamine. She is stunning and I think she would play the part well

  • Angel

    astrid berges-frisbey would be the perfect tessa! and shelley hennig would be a good sophie and willa holland would be a good jessamine.

  • Jenn

    I dont understand why everybody is saying astrid. I’LL ADMIT SHE IS REALLY PREETTY but in my opinon Sarah Bolger would be the perfect choice
    and for Jem Anthony Neely—– This guy is perfect for him. In my opinion I find it reallly hard to find the perfect will, noobdy ive seen is like absolutly perfect for him.

  • Judy

    I wasn’t really sure about the Jessica Brown Findlay one, but then I saw some pictures of her in new period films, and she does look quite a lot like Tessa. However I’ve totally got my fingers crossed for Astrid Berges-Frisbey as Tessa, anthony Neely as Jem and Douglas Booth as Will….

  • Kathy

    I think Adelaide Kane would be a perfect Tessa. She has that look of vulnerability in her, yet she also looks powerful like Tessa.

  • Tigerlily Boyce

    I’d love to see Hailee Steinfield as Tessa

  • Johanna

    I think Sarah would make a good Charlotte because she looks kinda girl but like a strong woman, too.

  • Jessinna Dashi

    Yes but can you imagine him singing the Demon Pox song? Because that’s clearly the most important thing to be thinking about when choosing someone to play Will

  • Em

    Oh gods I really hope they choose Emma Rigby, she’s literally how I imagined Tessa!

  • Fane

    That is what I was thinking! Daddario is so beautiful, and she could pull it off.

  • Phoebe Turley

    Emma Rigby for Tessa Gray and Joshua Brand for Will Herondale <3 <3 <3

    I can see it now; it would be so great!!!

  • Kathryn Victoria

    Emma Rigby, Astrid B-F, Emilia Clarke, and Kaya S all look like they would make great Tessa’s. The rest just don’t really fit the description of Tessa in the books.

  • http://indoboarder.blogspot.com/ MDG

    Emma Rigby is perfect for the part of Tessa. she just has the right look and talent for the role. I also think MyAnna Burning would be excellent for the role of Camille

  • Erin

    Joshua anthony brand -Will
    Astrid berges -Tessa
    Anthony neely -Jem

  • Susan333

    Astrid Bergés-Frisbey definitely but Emma isnt bad either :)

  • alyh91

    I would agree 100% (I still do with Jem and Will) but I’m kind of totally sold on Emma Rigby as Tessa. Granted I’ve never actually seen these people act, which is obviously the biggest factor here, but based on looks they’re all perfect.

  • AlyssaThisAlyssaThat


  • Hannah

    I’d personally LOVE to see Emma Watson as Tessa.

  • Nikhil Chauhan

    keira knightley

  • Aalis