Spider-Man, Turn Off the Dark star Reeve Carney is readying to swing back to the big screen as the late musician Jeff Buckley in an upcoming biopic about the Grammy nominee’s life. Broadway.com recently caught up with the actor, who’s showing off his buff bod in the current Time Out New York fitness issue, to talk about how he’s prepping for the buzzed-about project.
“I avoided listening to Jeff’s music too closely growing up,” Carney revealed. “I was always compared to him, which I took as a high compliment, but I didn’t want to emulate him. There are already sort of natural genetically similar tones in our voices and the way we look that put us in the same category.”
Carney, who fronts an eponymous rock band, instead favored more rugged blues music as an adolescent, but soon realized that Buckley also ventured into dark territory with his music. “He went to some pretty rough places, which is part of what made him such a dynamic performer,” Carney said. “You could never anticipate his next move. That’s one of the things I admire most about Jeff Buckley, but that’s also going to be one of the hardest parts of him to portray on screen. He was never in the place you thought he would be, so I don’t know how I’m going to do that. It’s not just about mimicking the things he did.”
Carney will record covers of Buckley’s songs for the forthcoming film rather than using the musician’s original tracks. “They don’t want to go to from my speaking voice to Jeff’s singing voice," he explained. "We want it to all be very fluid.”
Buckley died at the age of 30 in a drowning accident in Memphis, having released only one studio album, Grace. He is best known for his popular cover of Leonard Cohen's "Hallelujah." The currently untitled film will be directed by Jake Scott and features a screenplay by Ryan Jaffe, with Buckley’s mother, Mary Guibert, serving as an executive producer. While Carney recently announced he'll extend his contract with Spider-Man through May 2012, he is expected to take a brief leave when production begins in New York and Memphis this winter.