Wild Rose Interview: Star Jessie Buckley On Country Music And Chasing Dreams


Wild Rose, the film about reaching for your dreams, is out in theaters. No matter what mistakes you’ve made in the past, there’s a way to make it happen. I had a chance to speak with the film’s star, Jessie Buckley, on the phone, and in our conversations, we discuss country music and chasing one’s dream.

Below is the official synopsis for Wild Rose:

“Jessie Buckley delivers a star-making performance as Rose-Lynn, a would-be country singer who dreams of leaving her rough life in Glasgow, Scotland for the bright lights of Nashville. Fresh out of a stint in prison, Rose-Lynn is a single mom with an ankle monitor, a curfew, and a concerned mother (Julie Walters), who wants her to focus more on her two children and less on her music. But when Rose- Lynn tries to hold down a housekeeping job, her boss (Sophie Okonedo) hears her singing and becomes an unlikely supporter, intent on getting her to Nashville despite the long odds. Caught between hope and responsibility, Rose-Lynn must find her place without abandoning her raw talent and grand ambitions.”

LRM Online: So I have to say I really enjoyed Wild Rose. I teared up with Rose-Lynn’s tears. I mean it was touching, that frustration of wanting that something so bad, but no one understands you.

Buckley: Yeah.

LRM Online: But prior to this, how familiar were you to country music prior to this film? That’s what I’m really curious about.

Buckley: Not at all. I had no relationship to know. So it was a big dive into an amazing part of music that I had really, I was coming in very innocently and yeah, no kind of pre-notion of what it was. So it was great. I loved discovering it and it’s one of the things, once you start finding it, it’s a never-ending, kind of Alice in Wonderland trap where you just keep finding these amazing songs and amazing lyrics. And yeah.

LRM Online: Does that mean you now have, since you’re a little more familiar, do you have a favorite country singer or group?

Buckley: Oh, yeah. Well, Emmylou Harris is probably the queen of country. Well in my eyes anyway. But I love Bonnie Raitt and I love John Prine. Yeah.

LRM Online: Well, great. So now jumping into the film itself, tell us about Rose-Lynn, for those that are going to be watching this film. Who is Rose-Lynn?

Buckley: Rose-Lynn is, well, when you meet her at the top of the film, she’s coming out of prison and you’re immediately kind of hit with the ferocious, tenacious energy and passion and kind of rhythm to her. And her passion is that she wants to be a country music singer, but her reality is that she is from Glasgow. She’s made mistakes and she also the mother of two kids. Her reality is very far away from being a national country singer, but she’s got this tenacious courage and energy and belief to go after her dream when everybody else around her is telling her that she’s not allowed to dream.

LRM Online: Is that what attracted you to this role? That bit of stubbornness and “I can do this”?

Buckley: Yeah. I wouldn’t say it was just the stubbornness that drew me in.

LRM Online: Well, one of them.

Buckley: Her energy and her humanity and her…she’s very raw and she’s foibled and she’s hungry for something and she, I don’t know, I felt like when I read it, she was like kind of every woman and man that I’ve met in my life and also like no one I’ve ever met in my life. And yeah, I felt like she’s the kind of girl I wanted to go for a drink on a Friday night with, but I just didn’t want to end up in a fight with, so I like that kind of danger.

LRM Online: Nice. In this film, obviously she has all these obstacles and stuff, but do you think if you had been Rose-Lynn is there something you’d have done differently from how she handled everything or in her actions?

Buckley: No, I think, like part of the mistakes is part of the learning. And that’s her story and in the end, that’s what she realizes is what is most powerful about what she needs to find in her singing and in her writing is telling her story and not be ashamed of who she is and not be ashamed of the mistakes that she made.

LRM Online: So where did the filming take place and since you were not familiar to country music, I imagine you hadn’t, did you get a chance to actually go to Nashville for the scenes where it takes place, where Rose-Lynn goes to Nashville?

Buckley: Oh yeah, yeah, yeah. Well it was shot mostly in Glasgow and then we shot for a week in Nashville right at the end. So yeah, I mean to get the chance to stand on the Ryman Stage where Johnny Cash and the legends of country have stood, was amazing. And that Nashville has just gotten incredible energy, as in Sydney, I don’t think I’ve ever been anywhere in the world where you walk down the main high street and in every window your ears are bombarded with music and talent and yeah.

LRM Online: Did you get a chance to line dance, square dance there?

Buckley: No. I didn’t manage to develop that talent, thank God. I’d probably break my leg.

LRM Online: Oh. So talking about the scenes, what was one of your favorite scenes in this film?

Buckley: Too many that I just had the best time shooting this. But there are the few moments where it just, when things happen, nothing where anything that was premeditated just as goes out the window. And when we saw Outlaw State Of Mind, it just turned into a riot. And nobody really knew what was going to happen before we shot. But the band was live and all the thing was live and, and the Glaswegians that had come, the extras that were there. And we’d also invited some of the women who lived up around where Rose-Lynn is stated, they came down and the place was went off, like the kind of focus was sliding between people’s legs and it was all handheld and I was jumping up and down off the stage. Nobody knew what was going to happen and was just this amazing energy of like… it was exhilarating, electric and exhilarating and it was really fun.

LRM Online: Yeah, that was a really fun scene. Well, was there a challenging scene in this film for you? Maybe with the songs or so forth?

Buckley: I mean, yeah, I mean every scene has its own little challenges and before you go in you’re just terrified that you’re not going to capture what you hope the potential of each scene is. I mean some scenes I kind of, I don’t know.

LRM Online: One of the scenes that I think was kind of like, “Oh, my gosh.” And it had me holding my breath, was when Rose-Lynn was going to play at her friend’s banquet. She had to kind of gathered, yeah. For her to raise money. That that to me was kind of like, “Whoa.” With all the emotion, fighting herself, do I go, do I say the truth? What do I do? To me that I thought that was that scene itself was pretty hard.

Buckley: Yeah. That was even a funny day filming because we have to put off the first day we were meant to film that scene because the weather was so bad. And then the second day we did it again. The weather was equally just as bad, we’d been like sitting ducks trying to get it dry and, but yeah, I suppose at that point and we had a very short time to shoot that interchange between Roanne and Susannah because… but I love that. I love those challenges. And you live so long with the character that in those moments, yeah, I don’t know, it just kind of happened. I don’t really know. But yeah, I was nervous doing not because it felt like at that point, everything, all the truth comes out and yeah.

LRM Online: I meant that’s where I cried. I cried for Rose-Lynn. I’m like, “Oh my gosh, everything’s falling apart.” So that’s a good feeling. You know? I’d have to say that’s a compliment for you. Is there anything you can share that you may be working on right now that we’ll be seeing you in, in the future?

Buckley: Well, I just finished so many phone calls. I’m Thinking Of Ending Things with Charlie Kaufman and Jesse Plemons and Toni Collette and David Thewlis, up state New York. I don’t know when that’s coming out. And a few other things based around this year. But I can’t really talk about them.

LRM Online: Totally understandable. Well, congratulations with Wild Rose. Like I said, people are going to love it. I did. I enjoyed it. So much success to come.

Buckley: Thank you.

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Nancy Tapia

Nancy Tapia has been an interviewer for LRM and Latino-Review Media since 2011. Currently a member of the Hollywood Critics Association. Former UCLA Bruin specializes in Management. Covering entertainment has been an unexpected lively journey. Always open to the next, new experience. From solo traveling to adding a new peak to her personal 100 Hike Challenge. Follow her on Instagram and Twitter @inancytapia

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