She played a child in Atonement, a rebel in St Trinians and has now finally come of age in Martin Scorseses Vinyl. She talks about famous friends, on-screen nudity and being a quirky weirdo
Juno Temple sits down in a Los Angeles coffee shop, a bundle of energy in a comfy tracksuit, headphones around her neck and waves of blond hair piled on her head like a pineapple. She orders an almond milk latte, and apologises in advance for any strange scratching that may occur, because she was bitten by mosquitoes during the night. And theres one bite on my back that is so bad, I had to scratch it with a fork to reach it. I was really getting my Baloo the bear on. A fork? Well, a plastic one I wasnt aiming for actual bloodshed. I once used a fork to comb my hair, Temple says, because there was a time when I didnt own a hairbrush. I cant remember what film I was shooting, but I was staying in a hotel in London and the fork worked! I felt like Ariel, she adds, wistfully, meaning the Disney mermaid. God, she says, seeing my fascination at these cutlery improv situations, youre never going to let me live forks down, are you?
It is hard not to warm to the girl. I say girl, but Juno Temple is 26 and has been earning her own money since she was a teenager living in Somerset: playing Cate Blanchetts daughter in Notes On A Scandal, and Lola, the child who is raped by Benedict Cumberbatchs character in Atonement (and later marries him). Since then, she has lived in LA for seven years and acted in more films than seems possible, usually playing someone far younger than her real age. A boarding school girl (the St Trinians comedies), or a wild child with crazy hair (Linda Lovelaces best friend), or an English rose with dewy pink cheeks and bags of sexuality waiting to come out.
Bafta gave Temple its Rising Star award in 2013, which was so nice to get, because it was from England. I was like, she does a lucky gasp, oh, you still remember me! But I also think my little brother rigged it, by telling everyone at his school to vote for his sister. Hes a computer whiz-kid he probably hacked in.
Even so, Temple isnt a household name, which might be about to change now that, as she puts it, Ive finally hit puberty on camera! Im playing 22 nowadays. Woo-hoo! Ive left boarding school. Baby steps. Before, Id go for these auditions with an older guy and theyd go, nope, this looks like actual paedophilia.
Her new 22-year-old character is a woman called Jamie Vine, in the American drama series Vinyl, set in the 1970s music industry in an edgy and exciting New York. Temple plays the lone woman working in A&R at a record label, trying to get her talent recognised by the men, who prefer to use her to buy drugs and make coffee. You could call her the Peggy Olson figure, except that shes shagging, dealing cocaine and trying to invent punk in the first episode, so maybe not.
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