by ASH

From the folks who brought us The Lord of the Rings is this futuristic, dystopian world of Mortal Engines that strangely resembles a live version of Howl’s Moving Castle meets Mad Max.

Mortal Engines

Hundreds of years after a cataclysmic event destroyed civilisation as we know it, a mysterious woman, Hester Shaw (Hera Hilmar), appears, and is the only person who can stop London, a giant of a predator city on wheels, devouring everything in its path. Fearless and fiery, Hester, driven by her mother’s memory, joins forces with London outcast Tom Natsworthy (Robert Sheehan) and dangerous outlaw Anna Fang (Jihae) to bring London down.

It’s a strange premise of a story, but we expect nothing less from Peter Jackson and collaborators Philippa Boyens and Fran Walsh. The movie brought about fresh concepts, and even fresher faces. Here’s a look at the young actors who bring Mortal Engines to live.

Hera Hilmar

You’ve probably not seen her previously because Hilmar hails from the same place as Bjork- Iceland. The daughter of an actress and a film director, it only seemed natural for Hilmar to join the family trade in the arts. Out of Iceland, she is mainly known for her roles in Anna Karenina (2012) and in the television series Da Vinci's Demons (2013-2015). She won two Best Actress EDDA awards, the most prominent film and television award in Iceland, 2015 for Vonarstræti (2014) and in 2017 for Eiðurinn (2016). As Hester, Hilmar has this heroine quality that makes you root for her. After Mortal Engines, Hilmar will star in the series See, a world-building drama set in the future, the exact opposite of Mortal Engines, which is about tearing the world apart!

Robert Sheehan

You may remember Sheehan in Geostorm, opposite Gerard Butler in the disaster film. The strapping Irish actor found his acting bug when his mother brought him to an audition for a film titled Song for a “Raggy Boy" in 2003, about an oppressive school for boys during World War II. Needless to say, he won the part and the rest is history. He focused more on TV and Theatre works and dabbled in bit parts in movies. He was in The Mortal Instruments: City Of Bones (2013), opposite Lily Collins. As the outcast, Sheehan plays Tom with a toughness that’s mixed with a tinge of vulnerability, making you feel for him. Sheehan also appears in TV series The Umbrella Academy, about a disbanded group of superheroes coming together.

The Mortal Instruments: City Of Bones


A singer, songwriter and multimedia artist, Jihae can now add actress to her multi-hyphenated moniker. Born in Seoul, Korea, Jihae, whose father was a diplomat, has lived in countries like Nigeria and Sweden, before finally calling New York City as home. Jihae didn’t have acting aspirations growing up. Instead, she did Political Science in school because she wanted to follow in her father’s footsteps. Then she changed gears to focus on her songwriting. Mortal Engines is her first movie, and she shines as Anna, the fierce resistance leader. Upcoming roles for her include a leading part as twins in the television series MARS, co-executive produced by Ron Howard.

Leila George

Before Mortal Engines, the role young Leila is most remembered for is as Sean Penn’s girlfriend. But acting is also in her blood, her father is actor Vincent D'Onofrio, best known for his work in Law and Order, and the 2015 Jurassic World. Her mother is Italian actress Greta Scacchi, a prominent actress in the 80s and 90s.

When Leila was younger, she wasn’t too keen on acting, thinking that it was embarrassing, but decided to try it out at her father’s encouragement. She will next appear in the Movie The Kid in 2019, directed by her father and starring Chris Pratt.