The Truth About Juno Temple's Role In Maleficent

It didn't take much time for Juno Temple to steal audiences' hearts in her role as Keeley Jones in Apple TV+'s "Ted Lasso." The actor was no stranger to the entertainment industry when she landed the role of the bubbly optimist on Jason Sudeikis' award-winning (and heartwarming) comedy series. Sudeikis and Temple also share a close relationship off-screen, which makes the whole thing even sweeter. Starring in "Ted Lasso" wasn't the first time the actor held her own alongside scores of other talented stars. Temple has been featured in a number of box-office hits and critically-acclaimed movies, including "Atonement," and "The Dark Knight Rises," (via IMDb).

In 2014, Temple shared the big screen with Elle Fanning and Angelina Jolie in "Maleficent," Disney's re-telling of its animated classic "Sleeping Beauty." Though the film cemented her as a talent to remember, it was released before Temple was a household name. "Maleficent" helped sky-rocket Temple to the status she holds today, but you may not know about the experiences that happened off-screen while she was filming the movie.

Juno Temple was the young pixie Thistlewit

Juno Temple, a budding star at the time, played Thistlewit in "Maleficent" — her character was the youngest of the trio of fairies tasked with raising the beautiful Princess Aurora (per IMDb). The titular character, played by Angelina Jolie, was once a fairy herself as the movie reveals in just one of many twists to the original animated feature. However, after Princess Aurora's father, Stefan (Sharlto Copley), drugs Maleficent and cuts off her wings (because the previous king declares whoever kills Maleficent shall be his successor), the title character seeks revenge. Though Stefan didn't have it in him to kill Maleficent, she still curses his daughter as she did in the original Disney animated film.

That's when King Stefan instructs three fairies, Knotgrass (Imelda Staunton), Flittle (Lesley Manville), and Thistlewit (Temple) to hide and raise Aurora. Temple plays the youngest, green, most carefree pixie. The Hollywood Reporter describes the three fairies as "neglectful and superficial." 

Maleficent prompted the next stage of Juno Temple's promising career

Juno Temple got her break in the movie industry in 2007's "Atonement" as Lola Quincey, accompanied by a star-studded cast including Keira Knightly, James McAvoy, Benedict Cumberbatch, and an adolescent Saoirse Ronan (per TV Guide). Just a year earlier, when she was 14, Temple's parents had tried to talk her out of acting when she announced she was interested in pursuing the profession (via Marie Claire). However, that didn't stop her from following her dreams and gathering an impressive list of credits, including "Notes on a Scandal." 

Some may have forgotten about Temple's appearance in 2012's "The Dark Knight Rises" as Jen (though there was plenty of speculation about the breadth of her role in Christopher Nolan's franchise). "Maleficent" came two years after "The Dark Knight Rises," offering more screen time and a chance for Temple to flex her bright charisma. Her role as the bubbly fairy Thistlewit is reminiscent of the smiles she brings to her fellow characters on "Ted Lasso."

Temple was just one shining light amidst the film's star-studded cast

In both "Maleficent" and its sequel, "Maleficent: Mistress of Evil," Juno Temple accompanied many familiar faces on-screen. As one of Aurora's (sometimes incompetent) guardians, Temple shared a lot of her screen time with Elle Fanning, Disney's live-action Sleeping Beauty (via The Hollywood Reporter). Temple fits in well with her practiced movie talent alongside the other fairies, played by Imelda Staunton of the "Harry Potter" franchise, and Lesley Manville, who was nominated for an Oscar for her role in 2017's "Phantom Thread," (per The Detroit News).

The three fairies, though they mean well, leave plenty of room for Aurora to wander. These circumstances lead her to build a connection with Maleficent, which is a positive thing for Aurora, but it also leads to worse circumstances, such as Aurora fulfilling the curse Maleficent had placed on her years ago. In the sequel, "Maleficent: Mistress of Evil," Michelle Pfeiffer gets a chance to shine as the movie's main antagonist, as Maleficent herself encapsulates more of a heroic role (via IMDb). In both films, though, Temple holds her own as an actor, even in such talented company.

Juno Temple didn't film any scenes with Angelina Jolie, even when they shared the screen

Although Thistlewit and Maleficent appeared in some scenes together, Juno Temple never filmed alongside Angelina Jolie — at least in real life. In an interview with IndieWire, Temple revealed that the logistics never worked out in terms of being on set at the same time as Jolie. "I didn't get to do any actual filming with her because all my scenes that are with her are with a giant Styrofoam version of her," she explained. With the power of CGI, animators stitched together the two talents for their shared scenes.

Temple played both the CGI and human versions of the green pixie. Minute or human-sized, the 32-year-old actress brought the character's vivaciousness to life. While Temple and her other good fairies were everything bright and cheery, stylists had the complete opposite in mind for Jolie's costumes. Manuel Albarran, the accessory designer for the movie's costumes, told Vanity Fair that the goal was to present a look that was "all feminine and elegant in silhouette, yet powerful and dark in atmosphere."

Juno Temple did get to meet the Hollywood legend, though

During and after filming, Juno Temple did get the chance to interact with Angelina Jolie off-screen. "She was lovely," Temple told IndieWire. Though Jolie's character comes off as cold and menacing with her daunting horns, dazzling eyes, and piercing cheekbones, Jolie said that it doesn't mean the character doesn't have any warmth. "I hope in the end you see a woman who is capable of being many things, and just because she protects herself and is aggressive, it doesn't mean she can't have other [warmer] qualities," Jolie told (via MTV News). 

Temple attested to that, saying that regardless of how Jolie's fictional titular character was perceived, the actor was a joy to be around in real life. It seems that joy, both on and off-screen, could be contagious. "[Juno's] the f–king light," fellow "Ted Lasso" actor and writer Brett Goldstein told Marie Claire. "She's alive and she's excited to be with whoever she's with, and she cares about them," he said.