Jamie Campbell Bower is no stranger to movies based on wildly successful book series, having popped up in the “Harry Potter” and “Twilight” worlds. But with “The Mortal Instruments: City of Bones,” he’s putting in more hours — and getting more camera time — than before. That means he’s also up for far more time publicizing the film, as he’s learned on his seven-week international press tour. The actor plays Jace Wayland, a half-angel demon-hunter and love interest for Clary Fray (Lily Collins) in the franchise’s first installment.
You’ve been on a seven-week press tour. Have you defaulted to just going wherever people tell you to at this point without asking too many questions?
It’s sort of what I do for a living, as well. I’m told what to say and where to stand, so my life’s pretty easy. [Laughs] Ninety-nine percent of my job is just turning up.
You don’t get much time in all those countries, though, do you?
No. Someone said, “What are you going to do in Oslo?” And I was like, probably do some interviews and see the inside of a hotel, do the premiere and then f— off. That’s about as much as I’m going to be able to do.
If you magically have time to relax on a tour stop, what’s the first thing you do?
Try the local food, get out of bed. I used to be a big one for when I got somewhere I would just get into bed and pass out no matter what time it was because I’d be tired, but you don’t have to do that. You can pull yourself out and just walk around. Take pictures, do something unexpected.
What’s your secret for combating jet lag?
I always set my watch to the time that I’m going to literally when I get on the plane, so if it’s a long haul I can pass out at their time, or at least try to. Or another great thing, particularly, if anyone is traveling to the U.S., don’t sleep the night before and take the first plane. Because then you sleep on the plane.
Surely you’re used to the rabidity of fans for this kind of franchise by now.
Well … the word “fan” is an abbreviation of the word “fanatic.” [Laughs] Look, I’m really aware and I’m really grateful for the fact that without the people who read the books, I wouldn’t be sitting here talking to you. So they deserve my time. They deserve five minutes if they come up to me on the street, they deserve five minutes if I’m doing a signing or just to say hi. I think that’s a really important lesson to be aware of.
[Note: Just after Campbell Bower said this, a pair of fans who’d infiltrated the interview area asked him for a photo. He politely explained that now wasn’t a good time.]