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Cracks - Juno Temple interview

Juno Temple in Cracks

Interview by Rob Carnevale

JUNO Temple talks about the experience of making Cracks with Jordan Scott, what appealed to her about the theme of loss of innocence and why she had such a great time making Year One with Jack Black and Michael Cera…

Q. What appealed to you about Cracks? And how was the experience of shooting the film?
Juno Temple: I think the whole experience was really magical for everyone because we really became like a family… especially all the girls. That’s something that can be really special when making a movie… it’s a bond. We’re friends for life. I was immediately attracted to the script when I read it. I just thought it flowed so beautifully and it just made sense. It captured this kind of emotion that girls go through and this innocence being taken away that’s a subject I feel very strongly about. I think it’s one of the worst things you can do… take away a child’s innocence. So, to be able to tell that story and make people think about it was something I was really excited to be a part of.

Q. I gather you kept apologising to each other whenever you had to do anything nasty on-set?
Juno Temple: We were really, really hateful to each other. But we love each other really so we did keep apologising.

Q. I’d imagine one of the worst experiences was having to dive into such cold water?
Juno Temple: That was the one downer! You literally felt like you were having a heart attack whenever you went into it! We were having so much fun for most of the time… but getting into that cold water was the only way we’d shut up!

Q. You obviously didn’t do the major diving sequences, but did you have to learn how to dive?
Juno Temple: Yeah. We know all along that we’d have the most exquisite divers standing in for us. So, our training was more about the walk [that precedes the dive] and the build-up to getting into the dive. For each different dive, there’s a different way to stand, even if your hand is doing this [gestures]. It’s very mapped out and so very elegant.

Q. You’ve recently also appeared in Glorious 39, another film that was set in the ’30s…
Juno Temple: I know… I seem to be a ’30s chick! Born in the wrong time!

Q. Was it fun going back to that period?
Juno Temple: Everything was so different back then… there were things you weren’t allowed to talk about, rules, friendships, your posture, your costume. I think I enjoyed it so much because it meant you were really going into a character. It’s such a beautiful time period, it really is. And it makes so much sense. There was this claustrophobia going on with these girls at this school because there was so much they weren’t allowed to talk about but it’s stuff that’s really niggling away at them. Today, we discuss things very openly but back then, it was so different.

Q. How was the experience of working with Jordan Scott?
Juno Temple: She has this understanding of how to make movies and she really knows what she’s doing. It’s as though she’s made four movies already when actually this is her first feature film. I think that was a pretty magical thing to have been a part of. She’s very supportive… and she’s a woman. So, it was very important to have a woman make a film like this.

Q. Your career is really taking off at the moment. You made your first blockbuster with Year One this summer. What was that like?
Juno Temple: I actually got cast in Cracks while I was doing Year One. I was like: “Whoah! I’m going to play a crazed, psycho boarding school chick in the ’30s!” But I had a blast. I was in Louisiana for just under three months and it was an experience. Those costumes and being in that part of the world… somewhere I’d never been before. The people were so friendly. But getting to work with Michael Cera and Jack Black was good because they’re very, very kind people. It was a massive Hollywood blockbuster set and there was Jerusalem dropped in the middle of the Louisiana swamp. So, you travel through this alligator infested swamp and then there’s this amazing set, which I think they’ve kept as a skate park now. I enjoyed getting to wear little fur things and doing fertility dances!

Juno Temple at Cracks premiere

Q. How did you cope with the comic timing?
Juno Temple: Their comic timing is genius, so that was terrifying. Michael kept reassuring me that if I couldn’t improv that we’d rehearse it first!

Q. As such a young actress, what’s it like getting to work with people who maybe inspired you to become an actress, such as Eva Green? Do you ever get intimidated? Or are you used to it?
Juno Temple: You can learn from getting to watch some of your favourite actors and actresses on-set. It’s fascinating. We learned so many things from doing this movie. It’s amazing how professional someone like Eva is about work. It’s inspiring. In reality, they’re human beings who are really good at their job. So, that’s really exciting to be around.

Q. Is it helpful in seeing the way they handle their fame given that it’s such a celebrity-obsessed culture nowadays?
Juno Temple: I think that’s also why Eva is such a brilliant actress. I think fame and all that madness, people taking your pictures all the time, drives me insane. It’s a catch 22… the more they take pictures of you, the more upset you get by it and the more crazy you look and the more pictures they take of you. I think it’s disgusting what’s happened with that kind of celebrity culture right now. But Eva has handled it beautifully and so have a lot of people – it just depends what’s going on in your life, I suppose, and how you feel about it and how you deal with fame.

Q. Do you ever Google yourself?
Juno Temple: I did when I was at school and it came up with a Greek temple! But I hate reading stuff like that. It’s better not to read your reviews. Just go and do the thing… it would drive you crazy otherwise.

Q. What’s been the most surprising and pleasing reaction you’ve had to Cracks so far?
Juno Temple: My dad [Julien Temple] came to see it with me and he was really proud, so that pleased me.

Q. How has your father been in terms of supporting your career?
Juno Temple: Unbelievable, so supportive. He’s helped me to make such important decisions and he’s so proud. I really admire him… I think he’s one of the most talented people in this industry, so to have him be proud of what I’m doing is incredible.

Q. Do you feel that you’re on the cusp of really big things now?
Juno Temple: I don’t think you can really predict that. It might all go down the trashcan tomorrow… who knows. I hope I can keep doing it because I love it. It’s like a crazy, addictive rollercoaster… it takes you up and down, up and down, up and down but you just don’t want to get off. I just want to keep challenging myself… finding new roles, trying out new things and learning.