Reeve Carney might sling some Spidey web your way night after night as the star of “Spider-Man: Turn Off the Dark,” but soon he’s about to take on another larger-than-life character. He’s set to play Jeff Buckley in a big-screen adaptation of the legendary musician’s life.
Carney, a real-life musician himself, recently chatted with MTV News about re-imagining the “Last Goodbye” singer for “Welcome to the Rileys” director Jake Scott. And if Buckley fans are nervous about Carney taking on the part, they shouldn’t be: he has the blessing of Buckley’s mom for the role.
“I mean his mother has been so kind to me saying I spent my whole life preparing for this. In a way, I guess, it’s true in a sense,” said Carney. “I mean I first heard about him when I was 16, which was two years after he passed away, and my friend said ‘Have you ever of Jeff Buckley?’”
It was the question (and his pal’s admission that they look strikingly like one another) that prompted his interest in the singer. “So I watched [clips of him] live at the Metro in Chicago and I was like ‘Wow, that’s funny.’ It made me laugh a little. I was 16 at the time, but I thought we kind [of], we look like we could be related.”
In addition to speaking to his mother ahead of filming sometime in the near future, he added, “I have access to some pretty personal material that’s helping me prepare.”
But, Carney’s Buckley biopic is hardly the only one floating around. There’s also that other one starring “Gossip Girl” himself, Penn Badgley. But, Carney has yet to check it out to make any comparisons.
“I’m pretty sure that the Penn Badgley film and the Dan Algrant-directed film, it doesn’t focus on Jeff’s music or his life in the public eye so much,” he said. “I think our film focuses more on his life and his songs, which is exciting for me because I love his songs. So I’m excited to sing them.”
While it would seem daunting to sing like someone with such an undeniably recognizable voice as Buckley’s, Carney is more worried about sounding like him in other ways.
“I’ve always been a huge fan of Bobby Mcferrin growing up and also of like choral music, so for me some of the stuff that makes him so unique is something that I’ve always been excited about and sort of somewhat familiar with in terms of a style of singing,” he explained. “I think speaking like him is one thing. You don’t want to do an imitation. That’s the thing figuring out how to bring out someone’s true essence without imitating them cause you don’t want it to be a caricature.”
For those unfamiliar with Buckley’s life, the California native rose to fame in the 1990s in NYC and recorded only one studio album, Grace, before his untimely death. He was the son of singer/songwriter Tim Buckley. His trademark songs include “Last Goodbye” and “Hallelujah.” He was just 30 years old when he drowned in a river in 1997.
He added, “In a dream world if people could look up there and forget for a minute that they’re watching the movie, then that would be my goal.”