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Fans pack MOA to meet 'Mortal Instruments' stars

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The Starkey Hearing Foundation's "So the World May Hear" gala wasn't the only place hopping with stars in the Twin Cities Sunday.

Three stars from the upcoming fantasy adventure "The Mortal Instruments: City of Bones" were at the Mall of America for an event that drew about 1,500 fans. Lily Collins ("Mirror Mirror"), Jamie Campbell Bower ("Sweeney Todd") and Kevin Zegers ("Gossip Girl") took stage at the event, showed clips from the movie and signed autographs for fans.

"It was really nuts -- every time they announced one of our names it was an eruption of noise," Collins told me in an interview Monday. "It's surreal. I'm already beyond excited for this, but when you hear people getting excited for the movie and it's not even out yet, it makes you really proud."

Bower and Zegers, who joined Collins for the interview, have both been to the Twin Cities before promoting other projects. All three said they were happy to get a bit of extra time to spend here and take in, among other things, the roller coaster at Nickelodeon Universe at the MOA.

"Both Edi Gathegi and I were here for 'Twilight' and we didn't time to do anything," recalled Bower, who came to Minneapolis to talk about "The Twilight Saga: New Moon" in 2009. "We were here in the morning and literally flew out in the evening. We never got to experience anything like this."

Zegers was in town 14 years ago to promote the first "Air Bud" movie, and brought one of his canine co-stars with him. Not only did Zegers sign autographs at the event, the trainer for the Golden Retriever stamped posters with ink and the dog's paw.

"People don't believe me, but that's what he was actually doing," Zegers recalled.

Zegers, 28, said his signature has changed only a little bit since he was a 14-year-old.

"It's gone from having a smiley face at the end of it ... to not," Zegers said, laughing.

See the trailer for "The Mortal Instruments" below.

In “The Mortal Instruments: City of Bones,” Collins stars as Clary Fray (Lily Collins), a seemingly ordinary teenager who discovers that she’s the descendant of a line of young-half angel warriors known as the Shadowhunters -- a group locked in an ancient battle to protect the world from demons.

Bower and Zegers also star as Jace Wayland and Alec Lightwood, respectively.

The film is based on the first book in author Cassandra Clare's "Mortal Instruments" series, which have sold more than 22 million copies worldwide.

"The Mortal Instruments: City of Bones" opens in theaters nationwide Aug. 21. Look for my full interview with Collins, Bower and Zegers in the days leading up to the release.

See more images from "The Mortal Instruments" MOA fan event below.

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