|Juno Temple attends the New York Premier of 'The Dark Knight Rises' at AMC Lincoln Square Theater, July 16, 2012. (Ivan Nikolov/WENN.COM)
The tawdry Texan adolescent at the centre of the movie Killer Joe?
That's 23-year-old British actress Juno Temple, last seen running around with Selina Kyle in The Dark Knight Rises.
Temple is a tiny blonde whirlwind of frenetic energy who changes so much from role to role that you may not recognize her from The Three Musketeers, Dirty Girl, Kaboom or even Atonement.
"That's all I want to be: a chameleon," sighs Temple, who visited Toronto to promote Killer Joe at TIFF. She praises Matthew McConaughey's performance in the movie and says her youthful character, "Is discovering her sexuality, even though she's treated as a child by her family."
Killer Joe is dark and perverse, to be sure, but, "Everyone should take away from it what they want to take away from it. I want to leave it up to people," says Temple.
"I had the best time making this movie," she adds. "It was an emotional head-f----, but a lot of fun."
It seems inevitable that the daughter of director Julien Temple and producer Amanda Temple would end up in the movie biz, but Temple says she entertains other options. "I wanted to design lingerie for a long time, and that's still something I'd be interested in doing. I love lingerie. Just being a woman, putting on good underwear, is a great feeling. Especially as I normally dress like a homeless person," she says, laughing.
The underwear will likely have to wait -- Temple has a slew of new movies coming up, including Jack and Diane, Lovelace, The Brass Teapot, Truck Stop and Small Apartments.
The British-born Temple spent part of her childhood in the U.S. but grew up mostly in Somerset; she did her A-levels at Bedales. Her father gave her tiny roles in Vigo and Pandaemonium, and by the age of 15, Temple knew she wanted to pursue acting more seriously. A role in Notes On A Scandal (2006) launched her career.
"It's been quite a journey," says the actress. "I kind of started out in all that amazing cinematic stuff, those beautiful roles set in the 1930s and all that, and then I moved to L.A. and started taking on more sexually challenged roles, that is, playing young women who are sexually challenged, which is just as fun. And now, it's been exciting that in the past year I've been taking on some more adult roles. I just finished playing a 24-year-old in Brass Teapot! That was a big deal for me."
Although she currently lives in Los Angeles, Temple says she spends every Christmas with her family in England. She adores her parents and leans on her father for professional advice. "I call him about what to do in a scene, in auditions ... he's brilliant, and I hope he gets to direct me one day in a movie. He is proud of me, and I'm so proud of him."
She adds, "And I've got two marvellous little brothers. One is 11, and he's an extraordinary guitarist, and my middle brother is 18 and an extraordinary writer. He was checking my spelling for me my entire school career," she says, laughing.
"So I have talented brothers who teach me a lot."
On her own time, Temple says she keeps a journal, reads voraciously and continues to learn on the job. "As long as you keep learning, you're going to be good at whatever you do," she says. "Filling your brain with as many new experiences or listening to other people's experiences -- as an actress, that's the most important research that you've got."