Juno Temple - 'My dad is one of my biggest inspirations'

Juno Temple's parents are film royalty. But she has no qualms about exploring the seedier end of the spectrum. She tells Kaleem Aftab why

'It's definitely nerve-wracking taking your kit off," admits Juno Temple. It seems a strange statement from the 22-year-old daughter of film-maker Julien Temple and producer Amanda Temple, given that in the past year she has shown no fear about nudity on screen.

Having played a teenage siren in Gregg Araki's sci-fi teen sex comedy Kaboom, she'll next be seen playing Dottie, a virginal innocent, in William Friedkin's festival hit Killer Joe. No one who has seen The Exorcist will need a reminder that Friedkin seldom leaves virginal innocents that way for long. It's just one of the many roles that seem destined to ensure that Temple is the British breakout star of 2012.

Killer Joe is an adaptation of Tracy Letts's play about a teenage Texan rascal, Chris, who employs Joe (played by Matthew McConaughey), a New York police detective who moonlights as a hit-man, to kill his mother in an insurance scam. When Chris can't come up with the down-payment he offers his younger sister Dottie's virginity as recompense. The pivotal deflowering scene is the movie in a nutshell, absorbing, morbid, enthralling and best watched through fingers.

"It wasn't so bad doing that scene," says Temple. "People are so respectful when you're doing those kind of scenes, they close the set, so, while obviously you're nervous, Matthew was incredible about it and he really took the time to make me feel very comfortable, we rehearsed it a lot and Matthew's such a gentleman."

The actress has a style similar to that of Helena Bonham Carter. She admits that costumes are an important part of all the characters she plays and one advantage of having to strip off is that she often gets to wear nice lingerie on screen: "I'm a bit of a lingerie person. Lingerie is my favourite thing in the world. It's quite an interesting thing, because weirdly I think it helps with my character. I was playing trailer trash so my lingerie wasn't ever going to be spectacular in this movie. But I'd like to design lingerie one day. I really love it. I think it's such an extraordinary thing as a woman to be able to play with."

Temple's CV is full of edgy roles. In Cracks she plays a jealous schoolgirl with a crush on her teacher (played by Eva Green). Dirty Girl, recently released Stateside, sees her playing yet another school rebel, one who ditches class to go on a road trip in an ode to the 1980s high-school teen movie.

Another of her upcoming films, The Brass Teapot, seems to fit the Temple template: "The Brass Teapot is about a young couple with no money, who find a brass teapot that squeezes out money whenever they inflict pain on themselves. It's a part I was desperate to do."

Temple talks with an accent that has a drawl, pitching it in a strange void between England and LA. Perhaps that should come as no surprise: aged 19 she hopped on a plane to LA, where she's been living for the past three years.

It's no surprise that the actress has become a Sundance darling. Also slated to premiere at the festival in January are two Temple films: Jack and Diane, in which she plays one of the lesbian leads, and Jonas Akerlund's adaptation of Chris Millis's book Small Apartments.

She says: "I love being challenged and there's nothing I wouldn't try. I've been so lucky to work with directors that do make me feel quite fearless, because I'm definitely not a fearless human being, but when it comes to that moment, all you can ask for is a director to encourage you to let go of everything and just dive into it. I'm playing roles that are very different to me, which is nice, because I really have to think about it and I get to learn so much about humanity and being a woman."

Nonetheless, it's the big-budget mainstream films that make you really famous. That's why 2012 promises to be a big year for Temple, because, in addition to the plethora of critically acclaimed independent films, she has landed a part in The Dark Knight Rises, the final part of Christopher Nolan's Batman trilogy: "It was an extraordinary experience. I'm not really allowed to talk about it."

She's much more forthcoming about her parents and family: "My dad is one of my biggest inspirations ever, and he's helped with so many decisions and also with my attitude to film-making too. I hope I get to work with him someday and we can do a movie together, although that's not on the horizon as he's doing documentaries at the moment. My parents are my best friends. I couldn't do this without my family, they keep me so grounded."

Although her parents had not seen Killer Joe when we spoke, she says she's not worried about what their reaction might be to the sex and violence that surrounds her in the movie: "I think I'm excited about them seeing it, because my parents are pretty open and pretty un-fazed by things so they don't generally go into things and then be like, 'oh my goodness, darling!' They saw Kaboom before I did. My mum got to come and visit me while I was shooting Killer Joe in New Orleans and hang out, so she's really excited to see it."

When, aged 14, she told her parents that she wanted to be an actress, they sent her to an open audition to sample what the experience of fighting for a role would be like. "That was Notes on a Scandal," which by some freak accident I ended up [being in], it was mental."

She grew up watching her dad's collection of laser discs, her favourites being the films of Jean Cocteau, and Powell and Pressburger. "When you see movies like that as a child it's like your imagination coming to life dancing on the screen in front of you. You're like, 'wow!' There's this one scene in La belle et la bête where the Beast is carrying Beauty and he takes her through this doorway and she's all dressed in rags and she's fainting, so she's wrapped in his giant arms and then as she goes through the doorway with him, her clothes change from rags to riches and as a child I was just like, 'why doesn't my bedroom do that?' That was a big moment where I thought, 'I want to make movies like that'. I was only like, four." Her favourite film is Badlands, which she says she watched a couple of times with her parents to get inspiration for Dottie.

"I think the important thing as an actor is you have to watch as much film as you possibly can; old films, new films, foreign film, films that you're, like, 'I don't understand what I'm watching but my god that's extraordinary', so that when you read scripts you know what you've liked and what you haven't. I think knowledge is the key to everything in life, you need to take in as much as you can."

'Killer Joe', 'The Dark Knight Rises', 'Jack and Diane', 'Small Apartments' and 'The Brass Teapot' will be out in 2012

Arts and Entertainment
Reawakening: can Jon Hamm’s Don Draper find enlightenment in the final ‘Mad Men’?
tv reviewNot quite, but it's an enlightening finale for Don Draper spoiler alert
Arts and Entertainment
Breakfast Show’s Nick Grimshaw

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

ebooksNow available in paperback
Arts and Entertainment

Arts and Entertainment

Arts and Entertainment
'Youth' cast members Paul Dano, Jane Fonda, Harvey Keitel, Rachel Weisz, and Michael Caine pose for photographers at Cannes Film Festival
Arts and Entertainment
Adam West as Batman and Burt Ward and Robin in the 1960s Batman TV show

Arts and Entertainment
I am flute: Azeem Ward and his now-famous instrument
Arts and Entertainment
A glass act: Dr Chris van Tulleken (left) and twin Xand get set for their drinking challenge
TV review
Arts and Entertainment
MIA perform at Lovebox 2014 in London Fields, Hackney

Arts and Entertainment
Finnish punk band PKN hope to enter Eurovision 2015 and raise awareness for Down's Syndrome

Arts and Entertainment
William Shakespeare on the cover of John Gerard's The Herball or Generall Historie of Plantes

Arts and Entertainment

Game of Thrones review
Arts and Entertainment
Grayson Perry dedicates his Essex home to Julie

Potter's attempt to create an Essex Taj Mahal was a lovely treat

Arts and Entertainment
A scene from the original Swedish version of the sci-fi TV drama ‘Real Humans’
Arts and Entertainment
Hugh Keays-Byrne plays Immortan Joe, the terrifying gang leader, in the new film
filmActor who played Toecutter returns - but as a different villain in reboot
Arts and Entertainment
Charlize Theron as Imperator Furiosa in Mad Max: Fury Road
Arts and Entertainment
Jessica Hynes in W1A
tvReview: Perhaps the creators of W1A should lay off the copy and paste function spoiler alert
Arts and Entertainment
Power play: Mitsuko Uchida in concert

Arts and Entertainment
Dangerous liaisons: Dominic West, Jake Richard Siciliano, Maura Tierney and Leya Catlett in ‘The Affair’ – a contradictory drama but one which is sure to reel the viewers in
TV review
Arts and Entertainment
Richard Herring, pictured performing at the Edinburgh Fringe Festival two years ago
Arts and Entertainment
Music freak: Max Runham in the funfair band
Arts and Entertainment
film 'I felt under-used by Hollywood'
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?

ES Rentals

    Independent Dating

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

    Abuse - and the hell that came afterwards

    Abuse - and the hell that follows

    James Rhodes on the extraordinary legal battle to publish his memoir
    Why we need a 'tranquility map' of England, according to campaigners

    It's oh so quiet!

    The case for a 'tranquility map' of England
    'Timeless fashion': It may be a paradox, but the industry loves it

    'Timeless fashion'

    It may be a paradox, but the industry loves it
    If the West needs a bridge to the 'moderates' inside Isis, maybe we could have done with Osama bin Laden staying alive after all

    Could have done with Osama bin Laden staying alive?

    Robert Fisk on the Fountainheads of World Evil in 2011 - and 2015
    New exhibition celebrates the evolution of swimwear

    Evolution of swimwear

    From bathing dresses in the twenties to modern bikinis
    Sun, sex and an anthropological study: One British academic's summer of hell in Magaluf

    Sun, sex and an anthropological study

    One academic’s summer of hell in Magaluf
    From Shakespeare to Rising Damp... to Vicious

    Frances de la Tour's 50-year triumph

    'Rising Damp' brought De la Tour such recognition that she could be forgiven if she'd never been able to move on. But at 70, she continues to flourish - and to beguile
    'That Whitsun, I was late getting away...'

    Ian McMillan on the Whitsun Weddings

    This weekend is Whitsun, and while the festival may no longer resonate, Larkin's best-loved poem, lives on - along with the train journey at the heart of it
    Kathryn Williams explores the works and influences of Sylvia Plath in a new light

    Songs from the bell jar

    Kathryn Williams explores the works and influences of Sylvia Plath
    How one man's day in high heels showed him that Cannes must change its 'no flats' policy

    One man's day in high heels

    ...showed him that Cannes must change its 'flats' policy
    Is a quiet crusade to reform executive pay bearing fruit?

    Is a quiet crusade to reform executive pay bearing fruit?

    Dominic Rossi of Fidelity says his pressure on business to control rewards is working. But why aren’t other fund managers helping?
    The King David Hotel gives precious work to Palestinians - unless peace talks are on

    King David Hotel: Palestinians not included

    The King David is special to Jerusalem. Nick Kochan checked in and discovered it has some special arrangements, too
    More people moving from Australia to New Zealand than in the other direction for first time in 24 years

    End of the Aussie brain drain

    More people moving from Australia to New Zealand than in the other direction for first time in 24 years
    Meditation is touted as a cure for mental instability but can it actually be bad for you?

    Can meditation be bad for you?

    Researching a mass murder, Dr Miguel Farias discovered that, far from bringing inner peace, meditation can leave devotees in pieces
    Eurovision 2015: Australians will be cheering on their first-ever entrant this Saturday

    Australia's first-ever Eurovision entrant

    Australia, a nation of kitsch-worshippers, has always loved the Eurovision Song Contest. Maggie Alderson says it'll fit in fine