Every English actor has to do period, but Juno Temple has only done a couple, and one of those was Paul W.S. Anderson’s renegade action version of “The Three Musketeers.” The new stab at Thomas Hardy’s “Far from the Madding Crowd,” starring Carey Mulligan as proto-feminist Bathsheba Everdene, is more traditional, but still modern in many ways. Temple has the small but key role of Fanny, the finacee of dashing Sgt. Troy (Tom Sturridge) who winds up destitute after the simple mistake of going to the wrong church on their wedding day.
This isn’t a typical English lit costume drama period piece.
It feels pretty timeless, doesn’t it? Obviously aesthetically it looks like a period film, but at the same time you have such a relatable storyline of an incredibly brilliant woman who is very independent, very brave, feisty and not controlled by men at all. She’s very much living her own path in such an amazing way, especially for that time. It feels very relatable to today. The book was pretty shocking when it came out, and Bathsheba was pretty out there for a character.
Another thing is that it takes place largely outside and features a fair amount of dirt.
I was covered in dirt quite a lot of the time. But the costumes were actually so fashionable. They were using the designs and shapes of the time period, but they could have been in an Alexander McQueen runway show. They had this incredible combination of being very modern and very period. What I think is great about going into period, though, is, especially if you’re a woman being tied into a corset, you just hold yourself differently. Nowadays women wear a lot of men’s clothes, men can wear women’s clothes, anything goes. But [the corsets] really change the way you hold yourself. It really helps you step into a character from that time. Even if your head is thinking a bit in a modern perspective, you’re tied into a period aesthetically.
Does costume play a large part no matter what movie or era it’s set in?
Costume is key. And the hair and makeup. I just finished another film in England where I spent my entire shoot being in sweatpants and a big overcoat. Again, you hold yourself completely differently. You’re trying to cover yourself up. And finding a walk for your character could be such a small thing, but when you find it, quietly to yourself, you feel like you’ve become another person.