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Comic-Con: Lily Collins on Why 'Mortal Instruments' Is 'Sexier' Than Other YA Adaptations (Q&A)

Lily Collins Comic-Con - H 2013
Eric Charbonneau/Invision for Sony Pictures/AP Images

"The world is darker than some of the teenage franchises that we've seen," the actress tells THR while attending the annual convention in San Diego.

Lily Collins made her first appearance at Comic-Con this year.

But she's probably very used to the massive amount of fervor surrounding her upcoming film, The Mortal Instruments: City of Bones, which opens in theaters Aug. 21.

"It's exciting to see the excitement that people have about it," Collins tells The Hollywood Reporter. "I was in Dublin recently shooting a movie in the middle of nowhere, and these girls just come over to me crying and they just started screaming, 'August 21!' and I said, 'What happens on August 21?' I was totally in a different movie mindset. They're like, 'The movie!'"

PHOTOS: The Scene at Comic-Con 2013

In the movie, Collins, who is the daughter of musician Phil Collins, plays Clary, a teen girl who discovers she has special powers because she comes from a family of half-angel, half-human warriors.

THR spoke with the actress at Comic-Con about what fans can expect, why this is a sexier YA adaptation and if she'll ever get into Twitter.

The Hollywood Reporter: While these films are based on a YA novel, how dark is this world? Is this movie for kids?

Collins: It's really dark. There's humor in it, which I think makes it different than any other franchise. It has a comedic undertone. But the world is darker than some of the teenage franchises that we've seen. It's very goth and underground. So, probably not for the youngest viewers. I think it will appeal to them because the boys having their action sequences, but I definitely think it will appeal to the older groups because it's sexier.

THR's Complete Comic-Con Coverage

THR: Tell me about how the costuming helped you get into the role.

Collins: It was awesome because Clary gets to go from being this normal teenage girl who dresses in boyfriend jeans and combat boots and leather jackets, and then all the action starts, and she wears tight leather pants, a dress that is basically a top it's so small and then five-inch thigh-high boots. I didn't practice any of my stunts in my costume. So all of a sudden, I'm thrown in to running up stairs and crawling at four in the morning in this outfit. But it was all worth it because I loved playing that badass, sexy, dominatrix-y fighter character.

THR: I heard you were a fan of the books. Which one is your favorite?

Collins: I loved the first one -- and I know that's obviously the movie that's happening now -- but I loved it so much because it does show her transformation from normal girl to realizing that she has this voice in a new world.

THR: This is really a coming of age story. What was it like for you growing up in this business?

Collins: It's funny because I actually believe it's been pretty normal. I went to a high school, I took tests, I took finals, I went to football games -- I did the whole thing. Because I really wanted to have that normalcy. I started auditioning for stuff, but I wanted to have my time away from the industry and be with my friends from school. My best friends now are still from school. But also having grown up with family in the business, it did expose me at a young age to the pros and cons, but it didn't discourage me.

THR: You start shooting the next film in September. How many do you see yourself doing in this franchise?

Collins: As many as people will have me as Clary. There's way too much to be told to cram into one. That's why it's so hard when you're taking a franchise of books and making them into a movie because at first you think there's only one shot. You hope there's more, but everything has to be so concise. There's so much to be told.

THR: Your fans want to know why you're not active on Twitter.

Collins: [Laughs.] My eyebrows are apparently -- they have their own Twitter. That is definitely not me doing it! I'm not great on social media. I've been so busy lately that the free time that I do have, I've really dedicated to seeing my friends and family. I quite like having this old Hollywood feel, that there's a bit of mystery. That's not saying that I don't want to be personable, and I'm so grateful for fans, and I want to be myself, but I do also love to protect what I can. Never say never, but for right now it's not my goal.

E-mail: Rebecca.Ford@THR.com
Twitter: @Beccamford