When thinking of Jeff Buckley his relationship with his father is not the first thing to jump to mind. But in Greetings From Tim Buckley it will be the focal point. Rolling Stone reported that Greetings From Tim Buckley will be a fictionalized look at Buckley’s relationship with the father he barely knew.
The film will follow events leading up to a tribute concert that took place in 1991 called Greetings From Tim Buckley. Tim was a iconic folk singer that died in 1975 at the young age of 28. Tragically, Jeff, like his father, died at a young age of 30 in 1997. Greetings From Tim Buckley will have fictional events that lead up to the very real concert in which Jeff performed.
Daniel Algrant, directed the biopic and in a recent interview with Rolling Stone described how he combined real events with a fictional story line.
“The concert is true—the rest is fictionalized and conjecture,” Algrant told the magazine. “I really tried to be as emotionally honest as I could be, as opposed to having to worry about truth.”
The emotional honesty came through during the concert scene. Algrant wanted to show Jeff’s obstacles of not knowing his father and how it was through performing at his tribute concert that Jeff could truly find himself.
“I had this idea—as Jeff approached this concert, you hear Tim’s music like a jukebox in Jeff’s head, that’s like his obstacle,” Algrant said. “You have to go through your father to get to yourself.”
To capture the authenticity of the concert, Algrant decided to play the concert in real time, with actual musicans, at the original church where the concert took place, St. Ann’s Church. He even forced star—Penn Badgely, who plays Jeff—to sing in all of his performances. Badgely, who had only limited musical experience, had to tackle the daunting task of replicating the range and vocal acrobatics Jeff became known for.
“Trust me, it was super-ballsy thing to think I could do it, but I could,” Badgely told Rolling Stone. “With Jeff, I can’t do everything he could do, but this specific slice of him, I can do that.”
The film also stars new comer, Ben Rosenfeld, as Jeff’s father Tim and Imogen Poots, as Jeff’s love interest. Greetings From Tim Buckley comes to theaters Oct. 1.