Work hard, play harder

With a role in Martin Scorsese's new Seventies-set Vinyl, Juno Temple admits she's living her '˜ultimate fantasy'. Vinyl starts on Sky Atlantic on Monday at 9pm.

Saturday, 13th February 2016, 6:00 am
Updated Wednesday, 17th February 2016, 7:35 am
The cast of Vinyl. Picture: Niko Tavernise

Juno Temple’s recalling her reaction to watching the opening episode of Vinyl, the latest TV offering from Martin Scorsese, following the huge success of his Prohibition-set Boardwalk Empire.

‘I came out shaking, like I was high as a kite,’ the 26-year-old says excitedly. ‘It felt like a Scorsese film to me. You don’t want to look away for a minute. You don’t want to pee, you don’t cough, you don’t sneeze, and what a great way to bring in the show with that kind of energy.’

The 10-part drama is set in Seventies New York, and offers a ride through the sex and drug-addled music business at the dawn of the punk, disco and hip-hop eras (Mick Jagger is a co executive producer).

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Temple, who appeared in last year’s Far From The Madding Crowd, plays Jamie Vine, an assistant at the record company run by Richie Finestra (Bobby Cannavale), who she describes as ‘pretty feisty and fearless’.

‘I’m so inspired by her fearlessness, and I hope people think I’m brave with the films I do, and now TV. It’s important to be fearless. You might fall on your face but sometimes, my God, you run a marathon,’ exclaims the London-born actress.

‘What inspires me with Jamie is her joy of being a woman and how she owns that. And even though it’s a time when it was so male-orientated, especially in that industry, she’s not scared of that. She’s going to make herself heard, you know?’

Temple believes that while they share ‘a lot of similarities’, there’s a glaring difference between her and her music-obsessed alter ego.

‘I spend a lot of my life in my pyjamas, and she would never be caught dead in her pyjamas,’ she admits, laughing.

She’s pretty fond of her character’s Seventies clothes, though.

‘As a woman, it makes you feel stoked to leave the house. They hug the body in the right way. It’s about accentuating being a woman and owning being a woman, and they were really doing that [in the Seventies] because sexuality was open to them in such a new way.’

The petite actress, who’s based in Los Angeles these days, auditioned for the role in New York.

‘I got a phone call a week or so later to say Marty [Scorsese] wanted to read me, which was definitely a moment,’ she grins.

‘I was like, well if it doesn’t go any further, that’s probably the coolest thing that’s ever happened. So I went and read for him and I didn’t think it was going to go my way, but then 10 days later, my agents called me.’

Her father Julien is a director, who started out making short films with the Sex Pistols.

‘He was a young man in the Seventies in London and [around] the big punk movement that happened. His stories are amazing,’ Temple says of her dad.

Temple states she isn’t ‘a fan of the music today’.

‘I mean, there are a few artists that I really love, but a lot of stuff sounds like strange noise,’ she notes, suddenly sounding a lot older than her years. ‘Music back then, whether it was about sex or drugs or revolution, it was really told to you in a way that felt like storytelling - and you were really moved by it.’

Vinyl marks her first foray into television.

‘It’s different because of the amount of time you get to spend with a character, and you can potentially spend years with that character,’ she notes.

‘At first I was like, ‘Woah, that’s like having a baby or getting married, I’m so young and I won’t be able to go to Iceland for a job if I want to’, but I can’t tell you how much I loved it.

‘It’s the closest to real life I’ve felt about a part, because you don’t know what’s going to happen to your character. You figure that out when the scripts arrive. I find it invigorating,’ she continues. ‘It’s so great to spend that much time with a person and really develop them, and I think she has the potential to have such a wild ride.’

Although she’s appeared on screen for most of her life, she admits she still feels nerves on set, ‘until they say, ‘Action’, and then you’ve got to channel it into something else’.

Temple’s filming Abe with Finn Wittrock next - ‘It’s about a guy and his imaginary friend, an awesome script’ - and then hopes to return to shoot series two of Vinyl. She also wants to move to New York permanently.

‘That was one of my New Year resolutions. I grew up storming around London, and New York feels like a different version of London. It feels like a city with heartbeat and LA feels very mellow,’ she notes.