Juno Temple’s hair is scooped into a familiar high top-knot. There’s a short, sassy skirt and vertiginous heels. Keeley Jones, the TV character she has been Emmy nominated twice for playing, seems tangibly close-by. “Me and her are quite similar with our fashion taste,” she says, laughing. “I think I should do t-shirts saying: ‘You can call me Keeley’.”
She likes the comparison to her TV alter-ego, a footballer’s girlfriend who becomes an empowered PR guru. “Keeley doesn’t really care what people think when she walks into a room with her wardrobe. It’s an expression of how she’s feeling, so to me, she’s like this rainbow.”
A rainbow which has delivered Temple her moment in the sun. This week, she made headlines with the announcement that she is to co-star in Marvel’s Venom 3, a coveted role that secures her position on the Hollywood leading ladies landscape. Then there’s her lead role opposite Jon Hamm in the new season of Fargo, her Critics Choice nomination for Paramount’s The Offer, and of course Ted Lasso, the Apple TV+ show which she credits with saving her life.
“I’m blown away by it all,” says Temple, 34, grateful to have been given the part which was such a surprise to her that she thought Jason Sudeikis who created and co-wrote the show must have made a mistake. “I was sure he’d texted the wrong actress.”
Although Juno Temple already had a rising career with parts in Atonement, Notes on a Scandal, Killer Joe, Maleficent, Unsane and a host of other film and tv roles, she had never worked in comedy before. “I was really nervous about doing comedy. I’d never done it before in my life. But whenever I was panicking, Jason was like, ‘You’re okay. You got it.’ Truly we were all there because of the faith Jason had in us.”
She remains in awe of him, convinced that Ted lasso is ‘inner Jason’. “That’s where it all comes from,” she explains with the kind of wide-eyed enthusiasm that blurs the line completely between Keeley Jones and her. “He’s why Ted Lasso exists because Ted is inner Jason…. And the feedback that I’ve had from people that have watched the show, talking about the joy it’s brought them, I mean, I don’t know if this will ever happen in my career again, but honestly, this show saved my life too. It’s been a really important experience for me.”
Becoming best friends, on and off-screen, with her co-star Hannah Waddingham, aka Rebecca Welton, is part of that story too. The actors first met in a ladies’ restroom minutes before the first Ted Lasso table read in London 2019 and a bond was made. “Hannah’s become one of the most important females to ever enter my life,” she says. “It’s been amazing to go through this with her.”
One of the moments that Temple likes to talk about is when a Lasso fan told them both that she was showing Ted Lasso to her daughter because she wanted her to see the female empowerment that happens when two women really support each other. “Keeley and Rebecca are allowed to just adore each other and also call each other out on things, instead of trying to outsmart or compete with each other,” Temple explains. “Rebecca really helps Keeley see that she is smarter than she gives herself credit for; Keeley helps Rebecca see that she’s gorgeous, and that she needs to embrace the creature that she is that isn’t a boss and a divorcée… Getting to develop this friendship on camera has been one of the greatest joys of my career.”
Born in London, Juno Temple’s father is the film director Julien Temple, her mother is the producer Amanda Pirie. She had a bohemian childhood, landing her first film role was at age seven in the 1997 film Vigo: Passion for Life. She’s reputed to have had Johnny Depp as a babysitter and The Clash’s Joe Strummer as a family friend. “I was constantly learning about all different lives and all different people and all different rhythms,” she recalls. “I didn’t actually go to university, so I feel like every time I do a job, it’s like a tiny little university experience for me.”
And with every new job, she confesses to a secret trick. “Every time I play a new character, I buy lingerie for her. It’s quite funny when you think about it – I’ve bought knickers for all the characters I’ve played. I like thinking about the bare bones of a character, and what would be underneath all the layers,” she laughs again.
A totally Keeley Jones move.
Lucy Broadbent is the author of What Would Ted Lasso Do? How Ted’s Positive Approach Can Help You. Find it on Amazon here.
Season 3 of Ted Lasso is streaming on Apple TV+