Penn Badgley is playing a role very different from his role on Gossip Girl – he plays Jeff Buckley in ‘Greeting from Tim Buckly’, which just premiered at the Toronto International Film festival.
Even though the movie has been getting rave reviews at TIFF, Badgley says he hasn’t read them yet. When asked if he’s avoiding them in an interview with Vulture, he replies, “No, I'm actually not. This [movie] is something where I'm finding that I feel it's not perfect, but it is beautiful. It's a rare piece that is soulful and quiet, you know? Certainly, it's not using a linear, conventional mode of storytelling, but I think that's strange and appropriate. Beyond that, it's all a matter of what you like, but I know it's good. It's solid. It's a very quiet, moving piece and that's just a really unbelievable thing to be a part of.”
He also talks about his inspiration to play such an iconic character, saying “I would meditate on words like "feline" and "feminine," because he's like a feral cat. What made him so beautiful is that he was a man, but he was so feminine, too. He was gentle, but he also had such rage. I had to take all of his energy in. I wasn't going to augment my voice and sound like Michael Jackson the whole time, because Jeff had a very high speaking voice, a full octave higher than mine. I'm a little more muscular than he was, I wasn’t quite as thin. My hair wasn't as long as it was at that time, but it also looked a little like the Grace cover. I think this is interesting for anybody playing [a real person], what choices you make and how you choose to go. Because like, Jamie Foxx [in Ray], you're like, "That's not Jamie Foxx, it's Ray Charles." Whereas for me, I had to find myself and do the parts of me that were like Jeff because we were not making a movie where an impersonation was the story we're telling, you know?”
‘Greetings from Tim Buckley’ stars Penn Badgley and Imogen Poots.