Imogen Poots: The face you won't be able to miss this year

From biopics of Paul Raymond and Jeff Buckley to a Nick Hornby rom-com, Imogen Poots has a busy 2013 ahead, she tells Kaleem Aftab

There will be no stopping Imogen Poots in 2013. The west London-born star is appearing in some of the most highly anticipated films of the year. Meanwhile as a model she has found time to front a fragrance campaign for Chloé, shot by Sofia Coppola. Her own style is certainly eclectic. When we meet in a trendy, windowless bar she is wearing trousers that feature an elaborate, chaotic silver print. "They are a bit like a party got spilled on my pants," she says. "I woke up this morning and was feeling a little dazed and I thought, Hey I'm going to put on something that is going to make me smile all the time."

Full of jokes, at 23, Poots has the confidence of someone who senses that they are about to have the biggest year of their career. First up she plays Debbie Raymond, daughter of the Soho porn magnate Paul Raymond in Michael Winterbottom's The Look of Love. After that we'll see her rubbing shoulders with Christopher Walken, Philip Seymour Hoffman and Catherine Keener in A Late Quartet, starring as a girlfriend of Jeff Buckley in the music biopic Greetings from Tim Buckley, and further down the line comes an adaptation of Nick Hornby's novel A Long Way Down.

Playing the notorious Raymond was an education. "I wasn't fully aware of her, nor the Raymond legacy," she says. "I did not necessarily see her as a party girl. I know she died in her early thirties and I always thought of her like a Peter Pan character. She never really grew up, she was savvy as hell and very intelligent but that doesn't necessarily translate into her being able to take care of herself."

Part of the enjoyment of making The Look of Love came from working with the prolific Winterbottom, she says. "He is such a kinetic film-maker, constantly switching it up and deciding things in a way that I found very brilliant. I loved working in a way that is unpredictable. You walk around and you find things that are perfect for the film and you just shoot it.

"It's a shame in a way because you then go onto other jobs and you realise: 'Oh no, not everybody is like that. Not everyone has that sort of energy and trust.'"

After that, it's a brace of musical films – A Late Quartet, in which she plays the prodigal daughter of concert violinists who conducts an affair with her father's best friend, and Greetings From Tim Buckley, which uses a concert organised by Jeff Buckley in tribute to his father to look at both musicians. Gossip Girl star Penn Badgley stars as Jeff Buckley.

"Music is something I care immensely about. Growing up in my late teens my mum and dad didn't really give me music, they gave me books," says Poots. "It was definitely my own discovery. I found that a lot of stuff that I loved stemmed from Eighties and Nineties music, but now I'm just a doo-wop fanatic."

She is also a fan of Tim Buckley. "'Once I Was' is the greatest love song ever. I mean, really ever." Would it be her wedding song of choice? "If I ever make it down the aisle, maybe that or 'Ceremony' by New Order..." As for her guilty pleasures: "I used to be embarrassed by my Billy Joel and Dolly Parton obsessions. I'm now just embracing them full-on."

She grew up in Chiswick ("full of pensioners and pigeons") and started acting with the Young Blood Theatre Company in Hammersmith. By the age of 14 she had her first Casualty appearance under her belt. Her movie career started with a turn in V For Vendetta in 2006 followed by her first major role in 28 Weeks Later when she was just 17.

The trajectory has hardly changed since and these days the actress finds herself being courted as much in America as she has been in Britain. In addition to a home in London she rents an apartment with a friend in Los Angeles, although it's New York that she calls her "favourite place in the world."

It was where she shot A Long Way Down, an adaptation of Nick Hornby's novel about four people who meet on a rooftop to commit suicide. She's also in the middle of shooting the romantic comedy Are We Officially Dating? in the city, in which she plays opposite Zac Efron, her co-star in Me and Orson Welles.

All of which left her with not very much time to spend at home over Christmas, "I was home just for five days, having a whisky with my dad and hanging out."

'The Look of Love' is out on 8 March; 'A Late Quartet' is out on 5 April; 'Greetings from Tim Buckley' and 'A Long Way Down' are out later in the year

This article appears in tomorrow's print edition of Radar Magazine

PROMOTED VIDEO
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Arts and Entertainment

ebooksNow available in paperback
Arts and Entertainment

ebooks
Arts and Entertainment
Mark, Katie and Sanjay in The Apprentice boardroom
TV
Arts and Entertainment

Film The critics but sneer but these unfashionable festive films are our favourites

Arts and Entertainment
Frances O'Connor and James Nesbitt in 'The Missing'

TV We're so close to knowing what happened to Oliver Hughes, but a last-minute bluff crushes expectations

Arts and Entertainment
Joey Essex will be hitting the slopes for series two of The Jump

TV

Who is taking the plunge?
Arts and Entertainment
Katy Perry as an Ancient Egyptian princess in her latest music video for 'Dark Horse'

music
Arts and Entertainment
Dame Judi Dench, as M in Skyfall

film
Arts and Entertainment
Morrissey, 1988

TV
Arts and Entertainment
William Pooley from Suffolk is flying out to Free Town, Sierra Leone, to continue working in health centres to fight Ebola after surviving the disease himself

music
Arts and Entertainment
The Newsroom creator Aaron Sorkin

TV
Arts and Entertainment
Matt Berry (centre), the star of Channel 4 sitcom 'Toast of London'

TVA disappointingly dull denouement
Arts and Entertainment
Tales from the cryptanalyst: Benedict Cumberbatch in 'The Imitation Game'

film
Arts and Entertainment
Pixie Lott has been voted off Strictly Come Dancing 2014

Strictly
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?

ES Rentals

    Independent Dating
    and  

    By clicking 'Search' you
    are agreeing to our
    Terms of Use.

    Could cannabis oil reverse the effects of cancer?

    Could cannabis oil reverse effects of cancer?

    As a film following six patients receiving the controversial treatment is released, Kate Hilpern uncovers a very slippery issue
    The Interview movie review: You can't see Seth Rogen and James Franco's Kim Jong Un assassination film, but you can read about it here

    The Interview movie review

    You can't see Seth Rogen and James Franco's Kim Jong Un assassination film, but you can read about it here
    Serial mania has propelled podcasts into the cultural mainstream

    How podcasts became mainstream

    People have consumed gripping armchair investigation Serial with a relish typically reserved for box-set binges
    Rosetta space mission voted most important scientific breakthrough of 2014

    A memorable year for science – if not for mice

    The most important scientific breakthroughs of 2014
    5 best activity trackers

    Fitness technology: 5 best activity trackers

    Up the ante in your regimen and change the habits of a lifetime with this wearable tech
    Jeb Bush vs Hillary Clinton: The power dynamics of the two first families

    Jeb Bush vs Hillary Clinton

    Karen Tumulty explores the power dynamics of the two first families
    Stockholm is rivalling Silicon Valley with a hotbed of technology start-ups

    Stockholm is rivalling Silicon Valley

    The Swedish capital is home to two of the most popular video games in the world, as well as thousands of technology start-ups worth hundreds of millions of pounds – and it's all happened since 2009
    Did Japanese workers really get their symbols mixed up and display Santa on a crucifix?

    Crucified Santa: Urban myth refuses to die

    The story goes that Japanese store workers created a life-size effigy of a smiling "Father Kurisumasu" attached to a facsimile of Our Lord's final instrument of torture
    Jennifer Saunders and Kate Moss join David Walliams on set for TV adaptation of The Boy in the Dress

    The Boy in the Dress: On set with the stars

    Walliams' story about a boy who goes to school in a dress will be shown this Christmas
    La Famille Bélier is being touted as this year's Amelie - so why are many in the deaf community outraged by it?

    Deaf community outraged by La Famille Bélier

    The new film tells the story of a deaf-mute farming family and is being touted as this year's Amelie
    10 best high-end laptops

    10 best high-end laptops

    From lightweight and zippy devices to gaming beasts, we test the latest in top-spec portable computers
    Michael Carberry: ‘After such a tough time, I’m not sure I will stay in the game’

    Michael Carberry: ‘After such a tough time, I’m not sure I will stay in the game’

    The batsman has grown disillusioned after England’s Ashes debacle and allegations linking him to the Pietersen affair
    Susie Wolff: A driving force in battle for equality behind the wheel

    Susie Wolff: A driving force in battle for equality behind the wheel

    The Williams driver has had plenty of doubters, but hopes she will be judged by her ability in the cockpit
    Adam Gemili interview: 'No abs Adam' plans to muscle in on Usain Bolt's turf

    'No abs Adam' plans to muscle in on Usain Bolt's turf

    After a year touched by tragedy, Adam Gemili wants to become the sixth Briton to run a sub-10sec 100m
    Calls for a military mental health 'quality mark'

    Homeless Veterans campaign

    Expert calls for military mental health 'quality mark'