It's all too common for audiences to dismiss a female character as "unlikable," especially on TV. Consider the backlash against Skyler White on Breaking Bad, or critiques of the Girls ensemble. The latest character to face similar criticism is Jamie Vine, Juno Temple's Vinyl character. Jamie joins the rank of female characters whose portrayals have been deemed "shrill" or "petty," but Temple doesn't agree with this assessment and instead finds Jamie to be inspiring.
"What I think is so cool about Jamie is that she won’t have that," Temple says of how her character reacts to being treated different for her gender. "She’s going to be just as good, if not better than, all of the men in the office and she’s got the brains to follow through with that, and I really do think she’s going to rise up that ladder." The plucky A&R rep at American Century Records is straining against the glass ceiling with all her might, because she wants to find success in the industry. "She's hungry for experiences, she wants to learn things, she wants to know things, she wants to taste things, and she wants to experience things," the actor says. "But she also is very ambitious."
Based on how Temple describes Jamie, I don't think the character would be bothered by any criticism. She exhibits an otherworldly confidence on Vinyl that Temple wants to carry over to her own life. She thinks Jamie has "so many qualities that I’m trying to take from her for the rest of my life, because you know not everyone has to like you, not everyone has to understand or agree with you."
Within the HBO series, Jamie has encountered several instances of people disagreeing with, or downright disavowing, her judgment, usually relating to her sex life. This became very prevalent in the April 10 episode, "Rock 'n' Roll Queen." Jamie is literally thrown on the street by a woman she trusted, because her own mother disdained her choice of career and company, leaving her with no choice but to knock on the door of her love interest/client, Kip Stevens. The act is one of admitted vulnerability, which Temple knows is "a complex moment." "I think she really has this 'agh!' moment," the 26-year-old says. "She doesn’t like to think that she’s not in control and I think she feels out of control."
To add to Jamie's troubles, she was also publicly reprimanded by Andrea Zito, the no-nonsense PR specialist, for sleeping with the client. Jamie's response is to have a threesome with two clients, and like anyone who saw the episode, Temple is eager to see how the act will play out in both Jamie's professional life and burgeoning relationship with Kip. "It was a big moment because you do realize that Kip really does like her. Maybe he isn’t as liberal as she is, maybe he isn’t as open to experiences she is, or maybe she’s being a little manipulative, but it kind of backfires on her," she says.
The effects of "Rock 'n' Roll Queen" will continue to affect Jamie and Kip's relationship, as she questions what exactly she wants out of it. "I think it proves that Kip might be wanting her to be his girlfriend, and I don’t think she’s quite ready for that," Temple says. She also calls their relationship, "complicated, because ... I don’t think she wants to let herself like Kip as much as she actually does, but I think it’s kind of inevitable that she does, and he does back."
Beyond Jamie's personal life, Temple has very high hopes for both her character's future and past. She wants Jamie to find her footing professionally by delving into the world of punk, but also would like to see Vinyl illuminate her background. "When you see where she comes from with her mother ... makes her very complex," Temple says. "She just wants validation from her mom, she wants a little bit of respect of the fact that she’s doing very well in a very male-oriented universe."
One person who certainly believes in Jamie is Temple. "She’s truly an individual. She’s got her own style, her own taste … She’s not afraid to be on her own," the actor says. "She doesn’t answer to anyone she doesn’t f*cking want to and I actually find her quite inspiring."
Image: Patrick Harbron/HBO; Giphy (2)