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Juno Temple Talks 'Dirty Girl,' First-Time Directors And Her Upcoming Indie Projects

by Gabe Toro
October 9, 2011 3:30 AM
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She's already becoming an increasingly familiar face, but the next twelve months or so should see Juno Temple become pretty much inescapable. She's got roles from indies "Small Apartments" and "The Brass Teapot" to blockbusters "The Three Musketeers" and, of course, "The Dark Knight Rises." But first up for the 22-year-old British-born actress is "Dirty Girl," which opened on Friday, and stars the actress, along with Milla Jovovich, William H. Macy and Dwight Yoakam, in a 80s-set comedy about a promiscuous teen who runs away with her gay classmate to find her birth father.

We spoke to Temple a few weeks ago in Toronto about one of her upcoming films, William Friedkin's "Killer Joe," but we had another opportunity to interview the actress regarding "Dirty Girl"; she's practically part of the furniture these days. Head after the jump for the low-down on the Weinstein Brothers teen comedy, which is in theaters now, as well as some of her upcoming projects.


1. Temple instantly became just as close to co-star Jeremy Dozier as her character Danielle is with her gay BFF Clarke.
As much as anything else, the film is about a friendship, and it always helps if you get on with your co-star in real life. Fortunately, Temple says her and newcomer Jeremy Dozier became fast friends. "Me and Jeremy clicked in a way that happens very rarely with people," she says. "The minute we met, there was an instant chemistry; I love that boy, I would take a bullet for him any day. And that was in the chemistry read. And then we had three weeks of rehearsals where you're making an ass out of yourself, trying to learn a dance routine, trying to sing an 80s ballad, we had a lot of bonding time, and by the time it got to the actual shooting, we were already best friends. He was someone that really was an incredible support system for me, and one of my best friends today. Every moment we weren't working, we were hanging out,

2. The film's loose, almost goofy tone is a way of making some tough subject matter more accessible.
One of the film's better qualities is an appealingly loose feel to its construction, one that Temple says isn't just for comedic purposes. The actress told us "I think you're dealing with pretty heavy subject matter, so it's important to make it loose, it's important to make it comedic, outrageous and slightly silly, but it means that an audience can relate more to it, because when you go through something bad in life the only way you can get through it is to look at the positive side of it, and I think that's what "Dirty Girl" tries to do. With this tough situation of these two kids, that deal with heartbreak, with being misfits, with family issues, that are all really difficult things to go through at such a young age,.I mean, sixteen is a weird point in everybody's life!"

3. Lesbian werewolf drama "Jack and Diane" looks to hit the festival circuit next year, while the bulk of her scenes in Jonas Akerlund's ensemble comedy "Small Apartments" will be with "Jackass" star Johnny Knoxville.
Temple has a whole host of indies on the way, and the first up looks to be "Jack and Diane," Bradley Rust Gray's werewolf picture in which Temple co-stars with Riley Keough. According to the actress, the film "will hopefully go to a festival some time soon" -- we imagine Sundance, or possibly SXSW. She's also part of Jonas Akerlund's adaptation of cult novel "Small Apartments," alongside an eclectic cast including Matt Lucas, James Caan, Dolph Lundgren and many more, and Temple reveals that she spent most of her time with a certain "Jackass" star. "I had such a good time filming that. I have a lot of scenes with Johnny Knoxville."

4. Despite a twee premise, Temple compares another project, "The Brass Teapot," with Gus Van Sant's dark, satirical "To Die For."
Announced back in Cannes, Temple wrapped "The Brass Teapot," directed by first-timer Ramaa Mosley, and co-starring Michael Angarano and Alia Shawkat, before she moved on to "The Dark Knight Rises," and she it sounds like she's got another character to get her teeth into. "I just finished another independent movie called "The Brass Teapot," which is about a young married couple that don't really have much going for them. My character is a bit like Nicole Kidman in "To Die For," very uptight, and wants to be the best, and wants to be a sensation. And one day she discovers this magical brass teapot, and discovers that when you inflict pain, it spews out money. But ultimately money doesn't make them happy."

5. Although she's worked with veteran directors like Friedkin and Richard Eyre, the actress likes seeking out new helmers.
Amid all the likes of Christopher Nolan and Noah Baumbach on her resume, Temple hasn't been shy of working with first-timers, and the actress explains that it's all about the level of trust she can establish with a filmmaker. "If I have a connection with a director," Temple told us, "I want to work with them. It's a trust thing for me. If I meet a director and I sit in a room with them and I fully trust them, and I'm into the script, I'm gonna do the movie, whether they're a first time director or not. The whole point with taking a part is you want to throw yourself into it, you want to let your walls down, you want to be fearless, and you can't do that unless you trust them with your whole heart, it has to be like family."

Ultimately, she does have a list of directors that she wants to work with, but for the right script, and the right role, she's prepared to seek out new filmmakers too. She concluded "There are people that I definitely want to work with and would be overjoyed to work with, but it's also the idea of exploration, of meeting people you haven't heard of that you get to work with too. It's a collaboration, it's about finding someone that you get to meet in the middle. That can happen with anybody, it can be a surprise sometimes. Picking roles, I've got to play that part for three days, three weeks, three months, however long, I want to be passionate about it, I want to leave and breathe her for every moment I can."

"Dirty Girl" is in theaters now, and Temple will also be seen in "The Three Musketeers," which opens on October 21st.

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