"I was thrilled to be involved in something that tells Jeff's story and focus on his life, and also be in something that his mother is involved in," Carney recently told Billlboard. "And being able to sing his songs...I love Jeff's songs, so I was really happy to be a part of a film that showcases his music."
"I think we're all on the same page in wanting to make something that honors Jeff's life and his legacy. There's something about Jeff -- there's so much mystery surrounding his existence. He just had this… mystic quality, that's similar to what James Dean had," Carney added.
Carney also reveals that he had developed a friendship with Buckley's mother, Mary Guibert, after the two (seemingly randomly) met after a concert Carney performed at with his eponymous band. The two kept in touch for the two years leading up to him being called in to audition for the biopic of Buckley that Guibert was executive producing. "I went in for the film auditions multiple times over two months, and Mary called me and told me, 'We'd like you to be our Jeff.' It was a very meaningful moment for me, having his mother call me and say that to me." Surely, he was always a sentimental favorite from the start?
As for the competing Jeff Buckley project which will see "Gossip Girl" star Penn Badgeley take on the role of the singer-songwriter? "I read both scripts," Carney adds. "I don't see them as competing at all. I think the only similarity between the two is the fact that the character's named Jeff Buckley."
Production on the project begins this fall with Carney hoping to return to Broadway for Julie Taymor's web-slinging production straight after. Oh, and for the record, Carney's favorite Buckley song is "Lover, You Should've Come Over."