In W's July/August issue, Juno Temple discusses her racy role as Jamie Vine in the HBO show "Vinyl": "In the pilot, I have a sex scene with James Jagger, and I had this mad moment filming it. It was my 25th birthday, and I had to be completely naked with Mick Jagger’s son, being directed by Martin Scorsese. That’s a birthday, in my birthday suit, that I’ll never forget," she says. Unfortunately for fans of the series, it was abruptly canceled after the first season. Still, the British actress isn't going anywhere. She's signed on for a handful of upcoming indie projects, including 1 Percent More Humid, which she'll spend her summer filming in New Paltz, New York, alongside Julia Garner. Plus, she says she'll explore another TV show, "I just need to digest this heartbreak first." Here in a follow-up interview, the 26-year-old talks "Vinyl" and more.
It was so disappointing to hear that Vinyl was cancelled after one season. It felt like a heartbreak, because it was unexpected. I felt like giving it a second chance would have been a great thing, to see where it was going to go and see how all those characters were going to develop. Because obviously in the first season, with that many characters and that much music and that much history, you’ve got only so much you can put in to one season, you know? And I was so excited to see where it developed and were it went. I’ve always wanted to be a child of the 70s, and it felt like I was living my dream through my work, and so yeah...I was gutted. And I still am, it still feels like some kind of weird heartbreak.
What are you going to miss the most? Ultimately when it comes down to it, I’m really going to miss playing Jamie, because I just loved her. I thought she was badass, she was inspiration to me as a woman, I just felt empowered playing her. That I’m going to miss because it’s not everyday you get an opportunity to play a character that you really are kind of borderline obsessed with. It’s so rare that you actually get the part that you really, really, really want. I cried a lot when I found out, but I think that’s okay, it’s like mourning something, like losing a friend or something. How do you deal with it? You know, it’s a job, even though I think it’s one of the best jobs that came into my life so far. You kind of have no choice, you have to pick up your head and pick up your feet, and step into the next meeting and try to get the next great job. I think it would be a minute before I jumped back into a TV show. I kind of feel like, 'Whoa,' because I didn’t expect that. And definitely it sucks. There were so many components of that show that made me excited to be a part of it. And I was nervous to do TV before I signed onto Vinyl just because that felt like a commitment, and I’ve always lived by flying by the seat of my pants. One week it’s like, shit I’m not going to work for 6 months, and the next week it’s like 'Oh my god, I’m going to Austin for six weeks and then I’m going to southern Chile for eight weeks' and I love that, the adventure that comes along with being an actor and the exploration you get to do, it’s so extraordinary. And Vinyl was almost like a marriage and it was like 'Oh shit.' But the script and the people behind it and the cast involved was too good to be true. Like of course I want to audition for that. And when I got the part it was like 'Oh my god, I’m going to do it, I’m going to try this marriage.' And I fell in love with it. I found that getting the time to explore a character was really invigorating and kind of mind blowing.
It's a rough blow for your first TV show - do you still want to pursue TV projects? There is so much great TV nowadays, I mean so much, but I don’t know, there was an extension of me in that character…musically, costume wise, what was happening for women, it was huge. TV is something I will do again, I just need to digest this heartbreak first. I love going to the movies, I grew up going to the movies, I didn’t really watch TV growing up other than weird cartoons like Beavis & Butt-Head. Movies were a huge part of my childhood, my dad’s a film director [Julien Temple] and he would show me these amazing films. But I think TV is so exquisite these days and I really do think as an actor the cool part of it is being able to develop a character for that amount of time. Watching something like Orange is the New Black, the development of the characters is amazing or Breaking Bad or Mad Men, those shows went on for so long. You become so invested in those characters and I think that’s a pretty magic thing.
Will you get to keep any of the costumes? Oh my god, I literally just asked about it, I’ll buy them, I don’t care. I literally want so much of my wardrobe. This one little jacket that was so exquisite that was handpainted with the leopard and a gorilla on the pocket, and this beautiful black silk Biba jumpsuit, so many pieces that I would be gutted if they were bought for another TV show and I saw someone else in them.
Let's talk about some of your upcoming projects, which are much different from Vinyl in that they're largely independent films. I love independent films. I love going to see them, I love being a part of them, because it kind of feels like, all for one and one for all. It can be really challenging but also really rewarding. Because sometimes you have to do so much stuff in a day, but I like that challenge, and you make such amazing friends.
In Away, which is out this year, you play Ria, a girl running from an abusive relationship, that forms an unlikely friendship with a character played by Timothy Spall. I had to do an accent in it, which was something I was excited about actually because I’ve never played an English person with any accent other than very upper class. This was kind of cockney, and from north London so that was a really fun challenge. So I had a dialect coach help me out with that. The big thing for me with Ria was her walk, there was a way of holding herself that I thought was very important, where she’s trying to be tough, but actually she’s a bit nervous all the time. But it’s that kind of swagger that she would bring with the tough exterior. Developing a relationship with Timothy Spall was really huge and as the movie progressed we got closer and closer and closer. And getting to spend 6, 7 weeks with an actor like that, where its pretty much the two of you working together all the time is pretty much a dream come true.
Was Timothy Spall the mentor-ly type? He took such good care of me but also he made me laugh so hard, he’s one of the funniest humans I’ve ever met. Watching him I learned a lot, especially his ability to be very funny between takes and then drop into this character with the click of a finger.
What types of characters are you drawn to, and how do you decide what to work on? It’s pretty instant for me, in the sense that I either gravitate towards a character or not. I definitely want to be challenged, and I also think what’s happening in my life affects what I’m intrigued by. Like I’m not a teenager anymore but I’ve played a lot of young women who are figuring out who they are, figuring out their sexuality and how they’re going to step out into the world and grow up and blossom. And that was something that I was attracted to a few years ago. And now I’m definitely playing more adult characters in different ways. I want to be challenged. And a director is really important to me, anytime you sign onto a movie, you’ve read the script, you need to be able to be prepared to do whatever is asked of you. With most of the scripts I’ve ended up shooting or been attached to, there’s normally some kind of challenge that I don’t want to allow myself to freak out about, and I definitely need a director that I can trust to go there, you know? But I want to try everything, that’s the joy of being an actress - I want to try comedy, I want to try drama, the only thing I’m nervous about is horror movies because I’m not very good at screaming.