Honestly, when we heard they were casting an actor to play late singer Jeff Buckley, a role that attracted Robert Pattinson, Reeve Carney, James Franco and every other white man in Hollywood with devastating cheekbones, we didn’t immediately assume any of the guys from Gossip Girl would be right for the role. However we just watched Penn Badgley in the trailer for Greetings From Tim Buckley, which premiered last week at the Toronto International Film Festival, and Dan Humphrey is bringing it. Why do his puppy dog eyes seem soulful instead of twee? How are we being completely drawn into the narrative! It can’t just be those cheekbones!
Looks like Penn is equally impressed with this performance. “Nobody thought I could do it,” Badgley laughed in his Vulture interview yesterday. “I have to choose my words carefully, but I mean this in just the most plain way: I knew I could do it. I was not concerned about the singing. I was concerned about doing it in the right way, because I actually can imitate him more than I did in the movie.” Well, maybe Penn’s has reason to be that confident. “It was kind of terrifying because I was the only person who thought I could do it,” he admits now. The movie has yet to get a release date, but hopefully Penn has enough time to snag an Oscar nom for his roll. Then we’ll have a good excuse to spend 72 man hours digging up the teeny bopper single he recorded as a child. “Well, when you come to L.A. as a kid with your mom, you’re lured into doing things that you think are cool and fun and a good idea, but they’re cheesy and awful. And recording a pop single was one of them,” Penn sighs. “It’s dismal and will never see the light of day.” Ah, but you probably thought your mega singing talent wouldn’t see the light of day either, and here we are. Here we are.