We had the awesome chance to chat with Jemima West, who plays Isabelle in The Mortal Instruments, on the phone while she was filming in Paris! We asked her about the most difficult parts about playing her character, being an inspiration to female readers, working with Robert Sheehan, and more. The film is now in theaters, so head out and let us know what you think!
In terms of playing Isabelle, what did you find the most difficult part to portray in her personality? Or, what did you spend the most time on in terms of putting on the screen?
Jemima West: The action. The fighting, that was the hard thing because I’d never done that before, but also one of the most exciting aspects. I think the hardest was to make it feel like it was natural and innate that she was a fighter.
Isabelle is a fan favorite and she’s also a big inspiration for so many female readers. What are your thoughts on that and why do you think Isabelle means so much to the female fan base?
Jemima West: She appealed to me a lot. Her strength. She’s so faithful and committed, and she’s in a world of men and has to fight for herself, fight for the others. She’ll do anything for it. What I like about her is that she fights and goes on fighting and sometimes forgets about her own self and how sensitive she is. And that’s what happens when she just falls in love and her sensitive side comes up. It makes for something quite funny because she’s full of contradictions. She wants to stay this strongIzzy but deep down she’s just dying for some affection and love. She’s quite a role model because she fights for the ones she loves.
With Izzy, her relationship with her siblings and just family in general, are a huge thing for her. Like you said, she forgets sometimes about herself and focuses on her family. What did you take from yourself, personally, or from previous roles that you have done and applied it to the role of Izzy?
Jemima West: My other characters I played were quite different then Izzy. I think the love of her family is quite familiar to the love I have for my own family, as a human being, as Jemima. It’s funny, cause I was talking about this reminds me that Lily is very close to her Mom and Clary goes looking for her Mom and I think all the actors portraying these characters are all very family oriented. And that’s also too what sort of bonds us as actors and helped us bring all these characters to life and bring their own bonds between them.
The fans constantly badger us about asking about you and Robbie.
Sorry, that’s funny!
They love it! They absolutely love you and Robbie. They go crazy for pictures!
Jemima West: Who wouldn’t love Robbie. I love Robbie. He’s great. He’s the best.
What was your favorite scene to film with him, just in terms of banter and chemistry?
Jemima West: There were so many. There were so many little moments. Often we’d be sort of going, running through halls, and he was running behind, and he made me laugh so much. But we also had a funny scene where I take him around the institute, that was really good fun. There’s a lot more to come, which is even more exciting.