Juno Temple: From pole dancer in Afternoon Delight to pixie in Disney's Maleficent

She plays a stripper in her latest film but it's her role in Disney's blockbusting 'Sleeping Beauty' remake that really excites Juno Temple

"I've always been more afraid of picking up a gun than taking my clothes off," announces Juno Temple between sips of a "very nice morning coffee", made with homemade almond milk, no less. "But I don't like gratuitous nudity because it distracts people. If there's a great speech being delivered and a beautiful pair of boobs, you're going to look at those boobs."

She takes all her clothes off (artfully so, and certainly not for the first time) in Afternoon Delight, the first of a veritable barrage of Temple this spring/summer. Directed by Jill Soloway, best known as the TV producer behind Six Feet Under and United States of Tara, the female-centric cautionary tale for both sexes won the Dramatic Directing Award at Sundance last year. It revolves around Temple's character, McKenna, who ponders trading her life as a stripper (and the rest) for one as a semi-respectable pseudo-nanny for Rachel (Kathryn Hahn) and her wealthy family.

"From the beginning the excitement was reading this incredibly brave story about women, coming from the mind of such a smart, sexy, powerful, intelligent woman as Jill. Having a conductor like her was such a blessing." One of her most intimate scenes, in which McKenna gives Rachel a lapdance, was filmed "pretty early on and I was beyond nervous", says Temple. "But Kathryn is literally one of my favourite women in the entire universe. If I'd fallen flat on my face she'd have been there to cuddle me."

Far from falling flat on her face, Temple has not put a foot wrong since she committed (for now anyway) to a life in Los Angeles, far from the madding crowd of upper-class girls on her early résumé. She lived in LA until she was four and then grew up in a 16th-century house in Somerset, attending weekly boarding school in Taunton and later, Bedales in Hampshire for her A levels in textiles and drama. She has appeared in both St Trinian's remakes and the boarding school drama Cracks, and recently filmed a new version of Thomas Hardy's Far from the Madding Crowd, opposite Carey Mulligan. These days, though, she is more likely to be found in an LA indie production than a period drama. "I love independent films and, based out of LA, you get sent so many great scripts. There might be no money but like this one, they can turn out to be such a delight."

Juno Temple in her new film, 'Afternoon Delight' Juno Temple in her new film, 'Afternoon Delight'
In Hollywood she is homesick not for places but "for people". Her parents are Julien, the famed film and music video director and Amanda Pirie, a producer and she has two younger brothers. "I miss my family desperately. I'm a very family-oriented person. But LA feels like a safe place because my godparents are here and my parents know it. Sometimes I'll say, 'I'm going to this restaurant or that bar on this street'. They'll say, 'We remember being there'. It makes me feel safer." Four years ago she gave her father an unconventional present for Father's day, a tattoo on her ribcage that reads "learning to fly". "It's my favourite Tom Petty song and my dad directed the music video. He is definitely always teaching me how to go and fly off in the wild."

She was living in LA with her parents when she discovered her passion for film, even if she didn't quite understand it at the time. Is it really true that aged four she watched Jean Cocteau's La Belle et la Bête and became obsessed with acting? "I promise you! You could ask my father. I even remember the couch I was sitting on. It changed my life. My parents weren't surprised when I said I wanted to act although I did go deep into the fashion world for a minute. I was obsessed with making clothes, still am, and with lingerie."

In 2006 her mother heard about an open call for Notes on a Scandal, for the role of Cate Blanchett's daughter. "She said, 'Juno, if you want to do this, you need to see how many other people want to do it too.'" Temple beat those many others and to a role in Atonement the following year, too.

Next month, Temple will be seen in the psychological horror film Magic Magic, directed by Sebastián Silva, and in May, in Maleficent, Disney's huge-budget Sleeping Beauty rework, starring Angelina Jolie. In August, she will star in Robert Rodriguez's long-awaited sequel to Sin City, Sin City: A Dame to Kill For, and she was recently announced as one of the cast in HBO's untitled Seventies-set rock'n'roll project for HBO, produced by Martin Scorsese and Mick Jagger. "That was a huge moment," she says. "My boyfriend [the actor Michael Angarano] guessed before I did because he heard me talking on the phone very quickly, not really listening and getting confused. I did go and read for Scorsese and I don't think I have ever been more nervous or more excited in my whole life."

Angelina Jolie stars as Maleficent in Disney's new film Angelina Jolie stars as Maleficent in Disney's new film
That she is a minuscule pixie in Maleficent and something rather more sexual in the other two (we presume, she's not sure what she's allowed to say about either) is fitting for Temple who both looks and sounds younger than her 24 years. Those years have not encompassed drama school. She trained on the job and has made at least 19 films in the last four years, including Lovelace, the biopic of porn star Linda Lovelace, Killer Joe with Matthew McConaughey, and Horns with Daniel Radcliffe. She has sex scenes in two of those (with McConaughey and Radcliffe) while Lovelace is inevitably replete with naked bodies. Temple does not yet take it all in stride. "That moment when you're about to derobe is like, 'Oh fuck, I'm going to be so naked in front of these people'."

While she's unconcerned about developing a name for edgy fare, Temple's team is no doubt pleased at the change of pace, however fleeting it might be, offered by Maleficent. Temple is most thrilled of all. "I'm not going to lie. If you'd told little Juno aged five to 12 that I was going to play a pixie in a movie, I'd have freaked out. I was so obsessed with fairies and I'm still convinced I saw real fairies. They were multicoloured things that looked like fireflies – pink, yellow and blue. Still to this day I have that memory of them dancing on top of a grave in a churchyard."

The film did provide one disappointment: "I didn't get to work with Angelina Jolie, just a Styrofoam version of her, but I met her and she's lovely." Most of her scenes were with Lesley Manville and Imelda Staunton who joined her dangling from wires. "They were so much fun, so giggly and so genius. They can just tap into their inner eight-year-old. I had the best time with them."

For now, she is holed up in LA in apparent domestic bliss. "I live with my boyfriend in this lovely little house. We cook, listen to records. He writes a lot and I help him write things. I do a lot of thrift-store shopping, I love things that have a story. I love being here when I have downtime. LA can be incredibly relaxing – but it also caters to you so well when you are hungry for work."

Does she feel her Hollywood path is now set? "Oh, I really just have to look at it as one job at a time. And I'm just happy when people realise I'm a woman. For some reason when I'm going to meet people, they always expect me to be a very tall man." Not for much longer.

'Afternoon Delight' is released tomorrow

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

ebooksNow available in paperback
Arts and Entertainment

ebooks
Arts and Entertainment
Israeli-born actress Gal Gadot has been cast to play Wonder Woman
film
News
Top Gear presenter James May appears to be struggling with his new-found free time
people
Arts and Entertainment
Kendrick Lamar at the Made in America Festival in Los Angeles last summer
music
Arts and Entertainment
'Marley & Me' with Jennifer Aniston and Owen Wilson
film
Arts and Entertainment
Jon Hamm (right) and John Slattery in the final series of Mad Men
tv
Arts and Entertainment
theatre
Arts and Entertainment
Place Blanche, Paris, 1961, shot by Christer Strömholm
photographyHow the famous camera transformed photography for ever
Arts and Entertainment
The ‘Westmacott Athlete’
art
Arts and Entertainment
‘The Royals’ – a ‘twisted, soapy take on England’s first family’
tv Some of the characters appear to have clear real-life counterparts
News
Brooks is among a dozen show-business professionals ever to have achieved Egot status
people
Arts and Entertainment
A cut above: Sean Penn is outclassed by Mark Rylance in The Gunman
film review
Arts and Entertainment
arts + ents
Arts and Entertainment
James Franco and Zachary Quinto in I Am Michael

Film review Michael Glatze biopic isn't about a self-hating gay man gone straight

Arts and Entertainment
A scene from the movie 'Get Hard'
tvWill Ferrell’s new film Get Hard receives its first reviews
Arts and Entertainment
Left to right: David Cameron (Mark Dexter), Nick Clegg (Bertie Carvel) and Gordon Brown (Ian Grieve)
tvReview: Ian Grieve gets another chance to play Gordon Brown... this is the kinder version
Arts and Entertainment
Benedict Cumberbatch and Martin Freeman in the first look picture from next year's Sherlock special

TV
Arts and Entertainment
Because it wouldn’t be Glastonbury without people kicking off about the headline acts, a petition has already been launched to stop Kanye West performing on the Saturday night

music
Arts and Entertainment
Molly Risker, Helen Monks, Caden-Ellis Wall, Rebekah Staton, Erin Freeman, Philip Jackson and Alexa Davies in ‘Raised by Wolves’

TV review
Arts and Entertainment

TV
Arts and Entertainment
James May, Jeremy Clarkson and Richard Hammond in the Top Gear Patagonia Special

TV
  • Get to the point
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.

    No postcode? No vote

    Floating voters

    How living on a houseboat meant I didn't officially 'exist'
    Louis Theroux's affable Englishman routine begins to wear thin

    By Reason of Insanity

    Louis Theroux's affable Englishman routine begins to wear thin
    Power dressing is back – but no shoulderpads!

    Power dressing is back

    But banish all thoughts of Eighties shoulderpads
    Spanish stone-age cave paintings 'under threat' after being re-opened to the public

    Spanish stone-age cave paintings in Altamira 'under threat'

    Caves were re-opened to the public
    'I was the bookies’ favourite to be first to leave the Cabinet'

    Vince Cable interview

    'I was the bookies’ favourite to be first to leave the Cabinet'
    Election 2015: How many of the Government's coalition agreement promises have been kept?

    Promises, promises

    But how many coalition agreement pledges have been kept?
    The Gaza fisherman who built his own reef - and was shot dead there by an Israeli gunboat

    The death of a Gaza fisherman

    He built his own reef, and was fatally shot there by an Israeli gunboat
    Saudi Arabia's airstrikes in Yemen are fuelling the Gulf's fire

    Saudi airstrikes are fuelling the Gulf's fire

    Arab intervention in Yemen risks entrenching Sunni-Shia divide and handing a victory to Isis, says Patrick Cockburn
    Zayn Malik's departure from One Direction shows the perils of fame in the age of social media

    The only direction Zayn could go

    We wince at the anguish of One Direction's fans, but Malik's departure shows the perils of fame in the age of social media
    Young Magician of the Year 2015: Meet the schoolgirl from Newcastle who has her heart set on being the competition's first female winner

    Spells like teen spirit

    A 16-year-old from Newcastle has set her heart on being the first female to win Young Magician of the Year. Jonathan Owen meets her
    Jonathan Anderson: If fashion is a cycle, this young man knows just how to ride it

    If fashion is a cycle, this young man knows just how to ride it

    British designer Jonathan Anderson is putting his stamp on venerable house Loewe
    Number plates scheme could provide a licence to offend in the land of the free

    Licence to offend in the land of the free

    Cash-strapped states have hit on a way of making money out of drivers that may be in collision with the First Amendment, says Rupert Cornwell
    From farm to fork: Meet the Cornish fishermen, vegetable-growers and butchers causing a stir in London's top restaurants

    From farm to fork in Cornwall

    One man is bringing together Cornwall's most accomplished growers, fishermen and butchers with London's best chefs to put the finest, freshest produce on the plates of some of the country’s best restaurants
    Robert Parker interview: The world's top wine critic on tasting 10,000 bottles a year, absurd drinking notes and New World wannabes

    Robert Parker interview

    The world's top wine critic on tasting 10,000 bottles a year, absurd drinking notes and New World wannabes
    Don't believe the stereotype - or should you?

    Don't believe the stereotype - or should you?

    We exaggerate regional traits and turn them into jokes - and those on the receiving end are in on it too, says DJ Taylor