Godfrey Gao on “City of Bones”

The Mortal Instruments: City of Bones is Godfrey Gao’s (高以翔) first Hollywood film. Having grown up in Canada, the Taiwanese actor’s fluent English ability was a key reason to why he was cast as the 800-year-old Dutch-Indonesian warlock, Magnus Bane.

“Warlocks are half demons,” explained Godfrey. “They are immortal, so I’m very old!”

City of Bones is based on the first book of the six-part young adult novel series The Mortal Instruments, written by Cassandra Clare. The series also has one prequel series, The Infernal Devices, which also features Godfrey’s character, Magnus Bane.

“[Magnus Bane] is one of the series’ most popular characters, so I had a lot of pressure,” admitted Godfrey.

Magnus Bane is described as an extremely attractive bisexual man, with copper skin, yellowish cat eyes, and has a unique sense of style and fashion. Godfrey expressed, “I had to put on sexy makeup, which included hair, earrings, and even lipstick. He’s very unique.”

Not only did Godfrey have to expose his naked legs in the film, Godfrey also had his first onscreen kiss with a man.

“We didn’t have any outtakes at all when we shot the scene. One take and it was over.”

Asked if he shared any similarities with his role, Godfrey laughed. “He’s a very realistic character, but he likes to throw parties. I do like partying, but I’m never the one who actually hosts them!”

When the producers were holding casting auditions for City of Bones early last year, Godfrey was in Shanghai filming Say Yes < 101次求婚>. Unable to fly to Los Angeles in time to audition, Godfrey filmed a brief audition tape in Shanghai and sent it to the studios. Godfrey revealed, “When the official cast list was announced, my Twitter gained many followers from North America and Europe.”

To prep for his role, Godfrey flew to Toronto, where filming took place, weeks before principal photography commenced. “I did some ‘special training.’ Also, when I was studying in Canada, I worked as a background actor during my summer vacations. I chatted with the background actors [in City of Bones] and we shared our experiences.”

The Mortal Instruments: City of Bones will arrive in theaters on August 21, 2013.

“The Mortal Instruments: City of Bones” Trailer

[vsw id=”LaNWa-nIr6c” source=”youtube” width=”500″ height=”375″ autoplay=”no”]

Sources: Chinayes.com; On.cc; China.com.cn

This article is written by Addy for JayneStars.com.

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  1. Wow, I remember his face and he is very TALL so good for him. I remember those books, not a fan but interesting that he got a part that might hit it big???? Since, all those twihard fans might like it.

  2. Gosh, I don’t really see him in the trailer thou. Haha lol…

    1. windy,
      Godfrey appears at 2:13 of the trailer. Maybe he was also in some party scenes earlier, but they were a bit blurry to see.

      1. Gosh, I guess we have to PAUSE it to see his face huh? Thanks Jayne!!! =0)

    2. I remember when I first saw the trailer I was pissed because they literally only showed a second of him. By doing that they know they’re not gonna be able to draw asian fans in right?

  3. Never seen him in anything, but he looks cool in the pic.
    After watching the trailer though, I would have to be tied down and my eyelids cut off for me to watch it. Looks like a Twilight type movie.

    1. I have the book at home and I couldn’t even finish two chapters…

      1. Yea, the storyline seems crappy >_> wiki if you want to know more, but it doesn’t seem remotely good. Godfrey’s acting is a bit bland to me, but knowing they most likely cast him to attract Asian teen, I’m going to expect this movie has b-grade acting -.-

  4. Not going to watch this because the author is actually known for plagiarism. Also, this story originally started as Harry Potter fanfiction.

    1. CC is a well-known plagiarist but I think TMI is original work because I can’t imagine how else she could have gotten published.

      In any case, the books sound as stupid as Twilight and I hope the movie flops. Sorry Godfrey.

      1. You have not read the book and u r quick to comment. It is NOT the same as twilight. Please don’t even put them next to ea h other.

        TMI is not just about a girl falling head over heels nor a damsel waiting to be rescued. It has very interesting plots and the twist of the stories is unexpected.

        So please don’t ever compare tmi with twilight.

      2. I don’t need to read books by a known plagiarist.

        I very much doubt TMI is great literature when it’s based on her HP fanfic(s). Oh did you know that she took the TMI name from her fic about Ron/Ginny Yes, she wrote incest. And I hear she’s still obsessed about it. Enjoy your books 🙂

      3. Woa, u might not be able to read this. But if you were the person that wrote up the post, I salute you, with all respects, you did a very good thing in a very mature manner. God, I didn’t like the story of the mortal instrument when I read a wiki of it, thank god, I don’t feel like support such an author :/ and it’s sad that these crazy fans think it’s ok to plagiarise. All in all, thanks for writing the incident up so we know the true face of the author.

    2. Yes, also E L Jame’s Fifty Shades of Grey as well all came from Twilight fanfictions. There are just too many lame and poor written series’ out there and I doubt hollywood cares what kind of ill literature they are but if they can bank in these series, they are all for it. Twilight, Hunger Games n now this…Can you say they are good? NO, but nonetheless they seem to be popular..Sigh…Sad the world is changing and liking tasteless stuff these days.

      1. Fifty Shades of Grey is certainly trash because it’s misogynist abusive crap disguised as Twilight based fanfiction. But it is “original” work since she stopped using the characters’ names in her published work. However, Cassandra Clare has a history of actually plagiarising. It’s embarrassing enough that she was ever published and her books gained a measure of success, but I’m officially losing faith in humanity if the movie is successful.

      2. This movie will certainly make ‘City of Bones’ and Cassandra Clare more famous and popular. I went to a Popular bookstore to look for the book and book 1 is sold out.

        I wouldn’t have started reading this book series if not for the movie. The lead male character will be acted by an actor I like. So, I’m curious how is his character like in the book.

      3. I think the Hunger Games novels were fairly good, a bit cheesy at times but that goes for almost all young adult books. Harry Potter is probably the most successful franchise from the that part of collection, maybe it’s because they’re British. Every one at any age loved that franchise.

        Never even heard of this series of novels nor Twilight until movies were made, can just imagine how they’ll turn out.

      4. The teenagers love the books though. Guess they appeal to a different age group. I couldn’t get pass 2 chapters. But I love love love the Hunger Game trilogy. Thought the writing was fantastic!

      5. @ Teecee

        I think HP is popular because despite minor flaws, it’s a magnificent and rich universe that JKR built and is mostly free of the usual problematic messages very prevalent in YA novels. Twilight probably being one of the absolute worst offenders. I don’t actually mind Hunger Games because it features a strong female lead. But I read that the love triangle is some convoluted crap that ruins her character in book 2 and 3, so I couldn’t be bothered to read them.

      6. @ Kidd

        Will isn’t that just typical. Trash like Twilight and TMI get popular and movie adaptations while quality work like His Dark Material gets stunned because it offends the extreme Christians.

      7. @ Kidd

        Thanks for the link. Despite having read all the glorious things she did in the past, I had actually managed to forget parts of it. Like the part about her lawyer fan threatening and bullying people who dared to call her out on her crap. And I see from her recent behaviour how little she has actually changed from her plagiarist, bullying days!

      8. I see that you guys read quite a lot of YA. Any good YA novels that you guys can recommend?

    3. I checked out the plagiarism issue.


      I used to read fanfics in Fanfiction.net too. Those were the days. I remember the Draco trilogy, and remember the name Draco Sinister. But, I don’t remember whether I’ve actually read the trilogy or not. I read a lot of Draco stories at that time.

      I’ll still give ‘City of Bones’ a chance. Some fanfiction writers are really good writers who can create fantastic stories and interesting 3 dimensional characters. The Draco Trilogy being so well liked must have its merits.

      1. I read the posts, am confused. She started out as a fanfiction writer right? So for me “borrowing” text is fine since she wasn’t a professional author with works published. I don’t see the issue. But this City of Bones, any accusations of plagarism?

        If Draco Trilogy was published, I am sure she would have been sued by the authors since she imported the quotes wholesale. There is no merits in that. It is just plain laziness.

      2. I never read her Draco Trilogy because I’m not into Drarry. Some fanfiction writers are really amazing and create work than can be even superior to the original work its based on. E.g. there is plenty of HP writers who surpasses JKRowling’s writing even if I do love the HP books.

        But the only fantastic part about CC, is the audacity of her actions. Copying large passages from other books and TV shows and then passing it off as her own clever writing?! Not to mention the other stuff where she mislead fans into donating money.

      3. @ Funn Lim

        Why is plagiarism okay in fanfiction? The characters people use might be copyrighted and they might make references to the original work – but everyone reading is aware of that. Even the occasionally “inspired” line from other work might slip in consciously or unconsciously and not be credited without the writer being taken to task for it.

        But copying long passages from other works?!! Plagiarising means they copy essentially from another writer/creator without ANY credit, implicit or explicit. Does that mean fanfic writers can copy another fanfic writer’s fic and upload it under their own name? Does that mean fanfic writers can copy a book and post it under their own name?

        CC did both the “inspiring” referencing to other works AND outright plagiarising. And it’s the latter that caused outrage.

        Also, “borrowing” would imply some sort of acknowledgment of the source, whereas she’s just a plain old thief.

      4. “Why is plagiarism okay in fanfiction? ”

        Because it is fanfiction and fanfiction is a story written by a fan based on already published material, and it is unpublished work where she gained no profit. Unless it is ebook and she gets profit, the plagarism is an issue. A lot of fans write fanfiction, many borrowed heavily from published sources. If each of them is used, no one will ever write fan fiction. I see writing fan fiction as a practice towards writing career and everyone starts by borrowing. Yes she may have done so heavily, but again it is an unpublished work. So what’s the big deal?

        Strictly speaking even JK Rowling borrows from JRR Tolkien, percy jackson series is essentially Harry Potter, etc, twilight and 50 shades are just badly written. I get the accusations but I don’t see the big deal if in the end it is an unpublished work.

        I don’t know about City of Bones though.

      5. ” Not to mention the other stuff where she mislead fans into donating money.”

        What exactly did she do?!

        And though subsequent fans writing using the same universe may write better, I am sorry to disagree. A large part of JK Rowling’s success is creating this vivid world and vivid characters. Everybody else after her using her same universe and characters are mere copies. She did it first (if you ignore the whole LOTR thing). She tied up all books, she answered all questions. I admire her for her ability to see beyond 1 book, she in planned all her books. One thicker than the other, I agree but nonetheless a monumental achievement considering she got children having their parents line up middle of the night to buy a book. Haven’t happened since.

      6. Advo,

        on second thoughts, after reaidng the link kidd gave and the epic 5 pages or so of the whole allegations, I get what you mean. She never gave proper credit to works she took or rather for some never credit at all. Courtesy dictates she should have a whole page for acknowledgements since she took wholesale.

        Didn’t JK Rowling sued a potter fan for wanting to publish a book about Harry Potter where the author was quoting wholesale from her book? Not sure what happened to that case.

      7. What i remembered about the donation saga was how she either got her fans to donate a laptop, or money towards a laptop? Like, she would complain about her laptop being spoilt, and so she cant continue or something like that, and fans of her draco trilogy will offer to donate money or something. Cant remember as it was years ago. So she is profiteering from fanfiction, which she lifted off paragraphs and almost entire passages off the works of others. I read her very secret diaries, but not the draco trilogy. And city of bones is just rubbish.

      8. @ Funn Lim

        Plagiarism isn’t about whether it’s profitable or not (and actually it was for CC because she received fan donations and eventually caught the eye of a publisher) but about the rightful creators receiving credit. FANfiction automatically gives credit to the creators because readers KNOW who the creator of the characters is. In academia, there’s no monetary issues either, but plagiarism is equal to cheating. Period.

        I said higher up, the amazing part of the HP books is about the vivid universe that JKR created. As for if she was inspired by other works? Of course she was. INSPIRED being the key word. Again, CC stole almost word for word long, extensive passages from other writers. Uncredited of course. It is not comparative to usual fanfiction where you “borrow” characters. What I said was that there are fanfiction writers’ whose writing (style) is superior to JKR, which is absolutely true. JKR also isn’t completely consistent in her writing (the lulzy epilogue) nor is her characterisation of female characters always good.

        And by the way, after reading the link Kidd posted I just remembered that I do think her The Mortal Instruments is plagiarised work, because it IS based on her Draco Trilogy which was heavily if not all, plagiarised work. The lead character played by Jamie Campbell Bower is Draco Malfoy. If you google his pictures, you can sort of see it too imo.

        Regarding the donation debacle. If my fuzzy memory remembers correctly, she claimed that she had been robbed so her fans donated a bunch of money so she could get a new laptop and so on. Then it was revealed that it was a lie. Again, the issue isn’t even that her fans donated – they are welcome to do that and most probably would have if she had been open about what she wanted. But it’s how deceptive and dishonest she is.

        And further clarification, she used to have her lawyer FRIEND (not fan) bully people into shutting up. I find that extremely infuriating because it’s further proof of the lengths she will go to cover up her own lies.

        JKR sued or put a stop to the fan who had complied the Harry Potter lexicon and wanted to publish it. She stopped it because shesaid she wanted

      9. wanted to publish something like that herself. But also, I think she objected to him profiting from her creations.

      10. I never read fanfiction since I only like to read actual published works by professional and known writers.

      11. @ HeTieShou

        Even known writers were unknown at some point.

      12. Pretty sure I read on the fanfic forum is that as much as the characters, and some events can be from the original book, but you meant to create an original work inspired from those real event and characters. If you lift it off book, it’s not much of a writing, there is no real creativity (only creativity here is how she managed to put a next to b, and fit d into c >_>)
        That has alway been my understanding of fanfic, even though I never really get into it. Only read 1 fanfic base on files of detective investigation 4, quite good xD

  5. Godfrey Gao is born in Taiwan then moved to Vancouver correct? Saw his interview in LA’s premiere. His english is so heavily accented.

    1. I just heard him on utube, he does speak w/an accent. haha..perhaps he’s been in taiwan more often? haha LOL

      1. Really? What kind of accent does he have? I have seen many American/Canadian born people speak with accents. It just depends on the person I guess.

    1. He is a Taiwanese actor that was raised in Canada. The only series that I saw him in was Momo Love as one of Cyndi Wang’s older brothers. I remember him saying he wanted to act for the Asian e circle so that he can get into Hollywood. It is great that his wish is coming true.

  6. He neither looks Dutch or Indonesian. But a good looking guy. Anyway warlocks are half demons? I thought they’re opposite of witches as a male witch?

    1. I used to think warlock means male witch too. But, I later read an explanation that said warlock is actually oath breaker. It’s a negative label.

      I don’t know how was it in the past, but, in the current age, a witch just stand for a member/believer of the Wicca religion. Both male and female followers are also known as witches.

  7. I actually liked the prequel Infernal Devices a lot more than the Mortal Instruments.

    1. I kind of agree with you… i love the infernal devices.. I’m not sure if its the prequel though… I think more readers related to the mortal instruments because, it’s modern and had a different style of writing. Thats why they made the movie. Tessa and Will are so perfect…

      1. Yeah the Infernal Devices is the prequel to the mortal instruments since it took place during Victorian time

    1. Looking at the pics, I’m more attracted to Simon than Jace. 😛 He looks like Harry Potter with his black hair and glasses.

      Jamie Campbell Bower didn’t look that good in that zoomed in picture in the article. But, I remember thinking ‘This guy could be Dorian Gray’ when I watch ‘Anonymous’. Maybe the hair doesn’t suit him in TMI.

  8. Jamie Campbell Bower was in the twilight saga movies. I think I’ll watch this movie after I read the book. I’m a YA so I’m quite confident that I’ll enjoy the series

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