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Actor Penn Badgely is playing Jeff Buckley, who drowned tragically in 1997, in Greetings From Tim Buckley, one of two films about the musician scheduled for release in the coming year, and he’s taking the role very seriously.
The proof was in an unannounced performance at Brooklyn’s Cameo Gallery over the weekend, when the Gossip Girl star took the stage at the 150-capacity club and expertly delivered Buckley’s version of “Lilac Wine,” a Nina Simone cover that appeared on the late singer’s 1994 album Grace. It was one of three songs Badgley played accompanied only by a Fender Telecaster.
On the bill for the Aug. 4 gig was Ryan Jarman of British band the Cribs who promised “special guests” for his performance, though according to blog mydiscmanbroke, who described Badgley as “a little awkward on stage,” many in the room did not immediately recognize the actor in their midst.
A second movie about Buckley called Mystery White Boy is being directed by Jake Scott and stars Reeve Carney, of Broadway’s Spider-Man: Turn Off the Dark fame, as the singer. Earlier this year, it was reported that Patricia Arquette will play Buckley’s mother Mary Guibert, who had a key role in kick-starting her son’s career when she convinced him to perform in a 1991 tribute concert to his father Tim Buckley. That concert is a key scene in the Dan Algrant-directed movie starring Badgley.
Greeting From Tim Buckley is currently in post-production and, according to a set source, Badgley “gives a wonderful performance.”
Check it out for yourself in the video of Badgley singing “Lilac Wine” below:
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