'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

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The Independent Online

'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' 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 throughfingers.

"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 alot and Matthew's such a gentleman."

The actress admits 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: "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: "It's 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 a drawl, pitching it in a strange void between England and LA. Perhaps that should come asno surprise: aged 19 she hopped on a plane to LA, where she'sbeen 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' 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 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 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 thiswithout my family, they keepme grounded."

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 ...'. 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