Interview: Imogen Poots Talks 90s Grunge And Playing The Woman Behind The Legend [Exclusive]

It seems as though actress Imogen Poots has been one of those “up and coming actresses” for years now. With Greetings From Tim Buckley hitting VOD, we may have to come up with a new title for the bright, young actress. It’s obvious that Poots has arrived and isn’t going anywhere for some time. Currently the 24-year-old is receiving some attention for playing the fictional love interest in the new Jeff Buckley film. In Daniel Algrant’s Greetings From Tim Buckley, Poots’ character proves to be significant although their romance seems fleeting. Allie is essentially the character that helps the young Buckley [Penn Badgley] to overcome his insecurities about touching his father’s legacy.

While the role isn’t nearly as meaty as one would suspect, Poots does lend enough of her enigmatic energy for the audience to relate to Buckley, the young man, as opposed to putting the talented musician on a pedestal. It’s the same energy that piques our interest in what else Poots may have up her sleeve. It seems we’re not the only ones, as she has a total of five films completed for 2013, including a Terrence Malick film starring Natalie Portman, and the upcoming crime film Filth starring James McAvoy.

The Inquisitr’sNiki Cruz spoke with Imogen Poots about her budding career, going back to the 90s, and Jeff Buckley’s music.

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THE INQUISITR: Had you ever heard any of Jeff Buckley’s music before?

Imogen Poots: For sure, I was a big Jeff Buckley fan. Tim Buckley I wasn’t so aware of but I got to know him pretty quick when we were making the movie. It’s amazing the bunch of musicians that Tim Buckley was associated with at that time. Once I started listening to his music, it really opened up a whole variety of things that were going on around that time.

THE INQUISITR: Did you find yourself going back and forth between these two eras and learning the eras?

POOTS: Totally and the cool thing is it took place in the same city. Really there’s three decades between Jeff [and Tim] and in terms of the folk music, it’s amazing the progression that had actually happened and Jeff was far more theory. You can hear the Irish influence in Tim Buckley’s folk music. It’s more like Van Morrison and what he was doing. It was good to have that balance and to see what really was informing Jeff Buckley’s kind of music.

THE INQUISITR: How did this role come to you?

POOTS: I read the script and fell in love with it and Skyped with Dan and the day he learns how to use a computer will be something else, but we had a Skype session and it was like my shoulder, because we’re both useless, but we really got along. I just love his ideas and his energy and his passion for this film but I just adored the way this script was written. It was very loose and had a lot of time in the script and I thought it was really clever in terms of what it is to make music. I think it really nailed that. A lot of people wouldn’t like this film and that’s kind of great too.

THE INQUISITR: Are there any records of the concerts that you could look at and study?

POOTS: Yeah, there was footage of it but it’s funny because in a way it’s very difficult to find enough information about someone, especially someone like Jeff Buckley, because even someone like Hendrix, who was so prolific, died at the same age but he just seemed to have more meat to it and more weight to it where Buckley’s was more fleeting. It is difficult to find the real stuff, the real deal but you just gotta go from what you can I think.

Imogen Poots

THE INQUISITR: Were you inspired by Jeff Buckley’s real life girlfriend for your character in the film?

POOTS: Totally. Mine is a fictional character but fundamentally she was drawn from a lot of female characters in his life. Particularly, there was one woman who was a performance artist and we wanted elements of that in terms of my character Allie, just in terms of what kids were into at the time and it’s funny there is this resurgence of performance art now. We kind of wanted her to be based on those people but she’s so enigmatic that the beauty of their dynamic is that we don’t know too much about her. You could argue she’s a device into bringing Jeff into an audience on a very human level but he was very enigmatic too in his own right so they compliment each other.

THE INQUISITR: Is this an area and time that you would go back to and live in?

POOTS: Oh sure. I was two when the tribute concert took place which is great and wild how it all works out. I really love the 90s. I love the music from then for sure and to go back to New York then would be a really wonderful thing.

THE INQUISITR: So you spent time in New York.

POOTS: I spent a lot of time in New York beforehand and this was the first time I found it a really familiar place to be. It’s funny, I find that a bunch of American writers whether they are contemporary or not, there’s this romantic idea that you can get from this writing but you can actually still find it in America, even if it’s Steinbeck or Faulkner, they’re still right there despite the fact that’s it’s progressing.

THE INQUISITR: Did you strike up a friendship with Kate Nash another fellow Brit who was in the film?

POOTS: Oh yeah, she’s great. We didn’t get to hang out that much but she was so great. She’s so talented and very kind of low-key and cool. She walked in and had her hair all different colors and I was like — “I only have one color in my hair.”

THE INQUISITR: Did your parents remember that type of music and fill you in on their recollection of that time?

POOTS: Well, music I don’t think is really their thing. They were more about books than music. They have a ‘Pogues’ record lying around which is great, it was probably an accident. They haven’t seen it yet so they’re really intrigued as to what I’ve been doing with this time.

Imogen Poots

THE INQUISITR: Were you a fan of the 90s grudge fashion in the film and are you a fan of grunge?

POOTS: Yeah, for sure, it was really fun. Walking into the costume fittings, and all of that is so important anyways, if you’re wearing something that doesn’t feel right for the character, and I know it sounds very trivial, but it can f–k things up. It was great to go in and really explore that and the costume designer was amazing. But I feel like I was pretty much dressed in a similar way to Allie at that point with the clothes and things like that.

THE INQUISITR: What’s next?

POOTS: Right now I’m filming a film called ‘Need for Speed’ which is about race cars. It’s kind of hilarious that I’m in this film with Aaron Paul, who is an extraordinary actor and Dominic Cooper who is terrific. I think they just cast three oddballs in this film, which is really trusting. It will be fun and it’s about a video game.

THE INQUISITR: You have lots of films coming out next year but do you ever think about getting back to theater?

POOTS: The beauty of that was there was lots of improvisation with everyone doing their own writing and I feel like that’s happening a lot now even in film and television but going back to theater is something I’d love to do. Did you ever see ‘Mistakes are Made’? Plays like that are really great. ‘The Whale’ too. I would love to do more theater.

THE INQUISITR: And singing? Are you still recording?

POOTS: Absolutely not. But I really enjoy doing it. It’s really wonderful but if you don’t take any of it too seriously it was be okay.

THE INQUISITR: Now you have a whole group of musicians who you could work with.

POOTS: I know, it’s kind of wild. We met the musician who co-wrote ‘Grace’, Gary, what a character.

THE INQUISITR: Can you elaborate on that?

POOTS: Well it’s just fascinating I think. All of these guys started off together obviously and Jeff Buckley was the one who went and did it but I think it’s interesting thinking of all the different egos, and they’re quite candid about it. It’s interesting hearing about the inside of it all. They were all kids and one of them did it while the others were doing their own thing but they weren’t Jeff Buckley. It’s interesting how honest they were.

GREETINGS FROM TIM BUCKLEY IS CURRENTLY PLAYING ON VOD.