Jack and Diane is the new film by Bradley Rust Gray, which manages to evade the usual categorisation of snuggly fit film genres. Whilst in NYC for the Tribeca Film Festival, i-D online spoke to Pick Me Up Issue cover star Riley Keough about her role in the movie.
Click images to enlarge.
Part romantic comedy, part gore, part teen flick, part horror, part art-house and part coming of age, Jack and Diane’s wayward style makes it feel distinctly new and unique. The film tells the story of two teenage girls, Jack (Riley Keough,) a cool, indie, skater girl, and Diane (Juno Temple) who has her head in the clouds and an overactive imagination. They randomly meet one day in a shop and topple into an anxty teenage love, which, eventually, consumes them both. The monster within, a theme recurring throughout the film, takes a turn into much murkier waters and we veer into a world where dreams and reality converge. The film’s darker tones are exemplified through Jack’s line to Diane “you have taken my innards from me, and I am no longer myself.” If the animation throughout becomes a bit repetitive and the plot is ever so slightly dragged-out in places, it is saved ultimately by the film’s uniqueness and also the performances of Temple and Keough. Both shine through, and Riley Keough’s performance of tomboy Jack, with her deadpan, cool, indie persona confirms that she is definitely a talent to watch out for. i-D online caught up with her fresh from the screening at this year’s Tribeca Film Festival.
Did the filmmakers approach you with the role of Jack in mind, or did you audition for the part? Someone sent me the script and said can you meet this guy tomorrow morning. I read it really quick and the script was beautiful, and so we met up and immediately he wanted me to do it, and I said yes.
What were your initial thoughts as you read through the script? I didn’t really know if I would suit the character at first. The other part was already cast, so Jack was the only character really, and then I just kinda liked the script. It was so beautifully written that I said ok.
Were you ever a tomboy growing up? No. Well, I don’t know. Not really.
How did you get into the role? I cut my hair off, which felt quite extreme, but I didn’t really care about that. Then I skateboarded a little bit, and the director gave me a bunch of music to listen to. Talking to the director about it, as he was quite specific about the role. I actually got pretty good at skateboarding, but he cut out a lot of stuff, sadly you didn’t get to see my skateboarding skills, my curb tricks.
Do you feel that this story, the exploration of desire between two young girls, doesn’t really get told that often? Definitely. I’ve never seen quite the same story of love between two girls, which made it different to a story between a boy and girl.
What are your ideas about the meaning or reality behind the film? The main thing I can go on was the script and when you read it on paper, it really made sense the metaphor for it to be that this girl is turning into a werewolf and you don’t know if she really is one in real life. I think it was definitely a metaphor, but there was a part of it that was real too. It’s hard to have a point of view when you’re in something. Originally you really didn’t know if it was real or not.
Did you have fun playing a tomboy? Yeah, absolutely. I like doing stuff which I don’t normally do in real life, cause its funny, and fun.
Whats next? The next thing I’m doing is Mad Max. That’s in Namibia, which starts soon, that should be really fun.
‘Jack and Diane’ starring Riley Keough and Juno Temple is set for release in November of this year.
Text: Joe Cohen