juno temple's new york nightlife daydreams
Juno Temple was never going to be cast as the high school sweetheart, but as the star of HBO’s new drama, 'Vinyl,' she’s got something much more exciting up her sleeve...
by Colin Crummy
Mar 17 2016, 1:55pm
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Text Coling Crummy
If New York City needs a new tourism ambassador to replace Taylor Swift, then the Big Apple should look to Juno Temple. The 26-year-old actress may be London-born, Somerset-bred, and a resident of Los Angeles, but since spending six months filming in New York she has fallen for the city, hard. It's not that Juno's tired of the West coast, just that the East offers something different. "Los Angeles is all about the entertainment industry," she explains. "Not that that's a bad thing, I've been here seven years and have had a great time. But I really felt in New York that it's such a minestrone soup of different people and backgrounds and ideas and jobs. I found it very thrilling to walk into a bar and find it not just full of people from the entertainment industry."
The reason why Juno's been swept up by Manhattan, however, is industry related. She spent six months last year living in the city while filming Vinyl, a new ten-part HBO drama set in the 70s music industry. She deliberately chose to set up camp on the Lower East Side, where a lot of Vinyl's action takes place, in scuzzy music venues and sweaty bar dives with wannabe punks and rock 'n' rollers trying to make it happen. Juno was so dedicated to living the part as best she could, she lived right next to where many of the scenes were played out. "I lived about a block away," laughs Juno. "The production team would call to ask if I needed a ride to the location and I was like 'I think I can make it.'"
In the sprawling, wild world of Vinyl -- created by the guy behind Boardwalk Empire, along with Martin Scorsese and Mick Jagger as executive producers -- Juno plays Jamie Vine, a young A&R assistant at a big record label called American Century. She's hungry, ambitious and got an ear for new sounds. The trouble is, her industry is completely dominated by drug-taking, groupie hungry, unsteady men. Not that that troubles Jamie unduly. "Oh my god she's such a fierce, ambitious, hungry little creature!" says Juno in her perfectly pronounced Queen's English. "And she's got this ear unlike anyone else in the office." Jamie is a girl on the up at American Century. And Vinyl initially plays out its gender politics in office hours like it's Mad Men, the next decade.
Juno's character has also got a couple of tricks up her sleeve. One, she can sniff out the next big thing, seeing the potential in punk band The Nasty Bits when others don't. Second, she's the office pharmacist with a drawer full of uppers and downers for musicians and executives to devour. All in all, it makes her unafraid, says the actress who plays her. She takes a punt on The Nasty Bits after she sees the reaction they get from the crowd. Even though that means being shouted and spat at, Jamie sees the potential in that. "She believes that music should be making people feel something," says Juno. "She's a smart cookie for thinking that; others would be scared of it. She's not scared that she's a woman in this industry. It takes longer for her to be heard but she's going to be heard. She will do whatever it takes to be heard."
Fearless is not that much of a stretch for Juno, whose characters consistently go down the routes marked dark, dangerous and complex. Juno's said she's never going to be cast as the high school sweetheart but that's liberated her to take on roles that others might shy away from. When director Elgin James offered her either lead girl in his film Little Birds, she opted for the suicidal rebel not the cautious, quiet one. She's played petulant teens in Notes on a Scandal and Atonement, a trailer trash 12-year-old whose virginity is pawned in Killer Joe, a stripper and prostitute in Afternoon Delight. She auditioned for Luna Lovegood in Harry Potter and although she looks the part -- all cutesy curls and still startling young looking -- clearly she was destined for work of a stiffer nature.
It's a CV that's teed her up nicely for a delve into the drug-addled, corruption riddled world of the 70s music industry. But it turns out that for her latest gig Juno didn't have to go far to find out what it was like to live it. Her dad, the film, documentary and music video director, Julien Temple, was heavily involved in the punk scene, directing a number of films about the Sex Pistols and music videos for the likes of the Rolling Stones. "That time period was always what tickled my fancy," Juno, a Glastonbury goer from an early age, explains. "It's what I grew up with, I grow up listening to a lot of 70s rock 'n' roll music and punk, even 60s folk and psychedelic music. I've always been brought up on that. It was the greatest thing in the world spending six months listening to that music, that's what I want to do anyway."
It was Juno's dad that set her on the acting path, casting her in Vigo A Passion For Life, his film about French anarchist Jean Vigo when she was eight years old, and in Pandemonium. two years later. She followed that with Notes on a Scandal and never made it to drama school because there was no need. The parts -- from St. Trinian's to The Other Boleyn Girl -- kept coming. The only downside to having your dad know the era inside out is that he's going to be the most informed critic imaginable. So perhaps it was slightly on the brave side of Juno to take him to the show's premiere in New York? "He loved it!" she laughs. "I was so nervous, sitting next to him. But he absolutely loved it. He had the same feeling as me, almost shaking, high as a kite afterwards." As for playing the kind of characters she does, Juno is similarly excited by the opportunity it affords. "It's my job to put my feet in other people's shoes and learn about that," she concludes. "That's pretty bad ass!"
Text Coling Crummy
Photography Beau Grealy
Styling Alison Edmond
Hair Maranda at The Wall Group using Oribe
Make-up John McKay at Frank Reps using Shu Uemura
Photography assistance Porter Count
Styling assistance Rainer Silberstien