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Juno gave an interview to the British Evening Standard because of her recent venture into science-fiction. It’s also a little recap about her life and career:

Juno Temple is exhibiting remarkable focus. In a make-up chair, in a portable cabin, clad in tracksuit bottoms and a green plastic smock, the actress is discussing her fears about climate change while three people peel back layers of prosthetics from her face.

“This took four-and-a-half hours to create,” says Temple, aged 28. Shortly before, I watched her slice open a carefully constructed prosthetic head to camera. “It’s so badass,” she enthuses, gleeful with the graphic gore of it all. “If you’re not prepared to go balls-to-the-wall with something then don’t sign on in the first place.”

It’s a hot, humid night in a field outside Chicago, where the London-born Temple is wrapping up filming on Autofac, an episode in the anthology series ‘Philip K Dick’s Electric Dreams’, to be broadcast on Channel 4 next Monday.

Temple plays Emily, one of a band of rebels working to topple the Autofac. “They really believe in fighting to make the world lush and delicious again, to create greenery and vegetables, and to farm animals that are healthy again.”

It’s not a giant leap to draw contemporary parallels. “We’re here, filming in Chicago, and the weather has been crazy — the heat and thunderstorms have been insane,” says Temple. “We really need to start taking care of the planet. And we have a president who doesn’t believe in global warming.”

On a personal level too, Temple found much to relate to. “Emily is rebellious, she is saying ‘Fuck the system’, and I relate to that — I am my father’s daughter,” she laughs. Her father, Julien Temple, is a film-maker and friend of the Sex Pistols; her mother is the producer Amanda Pirie.

“I’m also pretty terrified of technology,” she adds. “I haven’t opened my laptop for about seven months — I still like reading things on paper. I am so scared of raising kids in a world where you just Skype people, and you only swipe left or right to meet someone to fall in love with. I still want to meet someone at a bar — smell them, touch them. I want my kids to have play dates and get chicken pox — if I have ever have kids, which I hope I do.”

Temple was born in Hammersmith and brought up in Taunton, Somerset, with her two younger brothers, Leo and Felix. “I was living in my fantasy world of fairies and thinking my dolls were alive,” she says of her childhood. “I had such a vivid imagination, I used to dress up as a Russian refugee and knock on the door, asking my mother for food.”

Her parents went to impressive lengths to indulge their daughter’s imagination. “I’d always been obsessed with Alice in Wonderland. My dad’s got these incredible green fingers and he grew a hedge for me that he cut perfectly so that it started off small and got taller, so I used to be able to run up and down it and think I was shrinking and growing.”

Temple senior, when not fashioning fantasy hedges, had directed videos for The Rolling Stones and David Bowie, among others. “He was truly inspired by those artists, which is the music that my household was filled with when I was a kid,” says Juno. “But I also grew up with this amazing attitude from him, which was: ‘Stay true to yourself. Be you. Don’t do things you’re not passionate about’.”

The mantra got through. At 14, Temple told her parents she wanted to become an actress. “They were like: ‘Uh, OK, well, you’re going to spend a lot of time being told no, a lot of time being told you’re too short, you’re too this, you’re too that’,” she says. “They definitely weren’t excited.”

However, her mother found out about open auditions for ‘Notes on a Scandal’, the adaptation of Zoë Heller’s novel, starring Cate Blanchett and Judi Dench. “When I got the part [of Polly, Blanchett’s character’s daughter], she was like: ‘Oh, right, OK’. My second audition was for ‘Atonement’ [she played Lola Quincey, the young girl who makes a false report of rape – (JasonX’s note: That’s not how it was in the film…)] and my mother was like: ‘It goes downhill after here, I promise you’.” Roles in ‘St. Trinian’s’ and ‘The Dark Knight Rises’ followed — hardly a steep downhill trajectory.

At 19 she moved to Los Angeles. “I’ve got a gorgeous little house — we call it the dollhouse,” she says. “It looks like you’re in Louisiana, not Los Angeles. It was built in the 1920s for actresses who worked at the studio next door, so it’s got good vibes, too.”

Temple collects vintage clothing. “People joke that I sneeze glitter and fart feather boas. I have pink furs and fairy lights everywhere.” But there are elements of the LA lifestyle that offend her still very British sensibilities. “There’s something infuriating about a city where it’s always fucking sunny, so if you wake up and you don’t feel good, you feel guilty about it.”

Having spent her early career in film, Temple made her TV debut two years ago in ‘Vinyl’, an HBO drama written by Mick Jagger and directed by Martin Scorsese. In spite of the heavyweight names behind it, the show lasted only one series but Temple, who played a feisty music A&R, was agreed to have been one of the best things in it.

In one memorable scene from the first episode she got frisky with James Jagger. “We shot that on my 25th birthday,” she laughs. “So that was a wild day for me — turning 25, butt naked, directed by Martin Scorsese, having sex with Mick Jagger’s son. I’ll never forget that birthday.”

Autofac is only her second foray into television. (JasonX’s note: If we discount ‘Drunk History’, where she appeared twice.) “I do think TV is taking more risks,” she says. “But I am still obsessed with movies. I live next to The Vista cinema in LA — ‘True Romance’ [which used it as a location] is one of my favourite films. My first daughter will be called Alabama,” she gushes, referring to Patricia Arquette’s fledgling hooker from the film.

The other issue with television is the commitment; a standard TV contract in the US is for seven years. And for all of her old-fashioned ways, that’s possibly a traditional step too far for Temple. “Do I want to commit to that? Seven years?” She looks horrified. “That’s kind of like… a marriage.”


Labels: Electric Dreams, Interview, Press Archive