First Look: Penn Badgley As Jeff Buckley In ‘Greetings From Tim Buckley’


Last month we got our first look at Spiderman: Turn Off the Dark actor Reeve Carney in character as the late Jeff Buckley in a planned as-yet-untitled new biopic film about his life. Today, courtesy of Life & Style magazine, we get our first look at Gossip Girl star Penn Badgley also in character as Jeff Buckley in a competing biopic film titled Greetings from Tim Buckley. Wanna see what Badgley looks like as Buckley? Check out the photo below.

Penn Badgley doesn’t just act — he’s proving he can sing, too! Sources on set of the upcoming biopic, Greetings From Tim Buckley, tell Life & Style exclusively that the Gossip Girl star’s performance is stunning. “We were watching him while he was doing a shockingly spot-on and gorgeous vocal performance as Jeff Buckley,” an on-set source tells Life & Style. “And that’s no small feat!” In June, it was announced that the 24-year-old had landed the much-gunned-for role, which everyone from Twilight’s Robert Pattinson to James Franco and Jared Leto were trying to nab. “People will not believe it’s Penn singing,” the source tells Life & Style. “Everyone has been pleasantly surprised — he actually has the chops! His fans will love him even more after this movie.” The film follows the true story of the days following an unknown Jeff’s famous 1991 performance at his deceased musician father Tim’s tribute concert at Brooklyn’s St. Ann’s Church. Jeff’s debut stunned the audience and launched his music career, which the film follows. Jeff passed away in 1997 at the age of 30 after an accidental drowning in Wolf River Harbor in Memphis, Tenn. The movie began filming in Brooklyn over the summer. “To play a man who was singularly gifted as an artist, greatly misunderstood and mythologized as a human being…it’s something very special and sacred,” Penn said in a statement. “I’m going to give all I can to this project.”

HMMM … honestly, I never heard that Penn got this role. The first Buckley biopic I heard about was the one that will star Reeve Carney. IMHO, Reeve looks much more like Jeff Buckley than Penn Badgley does so on that accord, Reeve has the advantage. We’ll have to wait and HEAR what the actors sound like when they are singing. Jeff Buckley had a very beautiful, very distinctive voice. The success of either of these films will depend not only on the acting but on the singing as well. I’m sure Penn will do as good as job as he can but my gut tells me that Reeve Carney will do the better job. As for this first look at Penn as Jeff … what do y’all think? Impressed … or no?


  • Joon

    As a Jeff Buckley fan, I don’t care as much about what the actor looks like … I sort of care more that the actor doesn’t mutilate the songs … Sounds like Penn is pretty serious about it. The photo looks all right … Kind of blurry but there’s a strong resemblance.

    • Jay

      Completely agree! I was going to post the same thing.


    You know what’s weird? I was having lunch with my friend yesterday and she told me that her husband is working for Jeff Buckley’s mom and I was like, why does the name Jeff Buckley sound so familiar? And then I remembered. Anyways, she’s making a biopic about Jeff Buckley, her son, so I think out of the three this one will be the best because she knew her son the best, etc. Plus they picked Reeve Carney who looks a lot like Jeff Buckley and it’s a personal bio so I think it’ll be the best.

    • Gina

      Actually interestingly enough, I would agree that Buckley’s mom would know him best which is why it’s a shame, IMHO, that they went with Carney when she personally approached Chicago musician Matthew Santos about the role. Matthew Santos is an unbelievably talented musician and you can certainly hear some of Buckley’s influence. I would have loved to have seen him in the role. You should hear him sing Hallellujah; it’s hauntingly reminiscent of Buckley’s cover of the song. FWIW.

  • solidrighthook

    Penn Badgley irks me and as a big Buckley fan I do not like this AT ALL.

  • Snuffy

    Meh, he kind of just looks like Woodchuck Todd playing a guitar, but Reeve Carney looks amazingly like Jeff Buckley. I guess I’ll hold off judgment until I hear them sing, but I suspect the film Buckley’s mom is involved with will be a little more true to life.

  • kat

    Reeve is in a band called “Carney”. He sings and plays guitar. As a huge Buckley fan I was skeptical about any movie regarding Jeff but after hearing Reeve sing, well, you should check him out, VERY talented. Also Jeff’s mum is in charge of the Reeve film. Having said that, there will never be another Jeff Buckley though.

  • EarPlanes

    Big mistake to give this role to Penn. Big mistake to make a movie at all. I mean, what is the point? I adored Jeff from the beginning and I’ve read all of his interviews where you get a wonderful sense of him as a person, and I get the feeling from them that he would NOT have been happy about these movies. He was very weary about the mythology of rock stars, including his Dad’s mythology and it just irks that his mother is selling him out now that he’s gone. And to pick a boring actor from a trendy show (they couldn’t even tame his hair to try to resemble Jeff’s? Yes agree Reeve looks more like him, but also like Buck Cherry, lol) is just an even bigger insult to Jeff and to his die-hard fans. Very lame. That being said, I’ll probably watch it on dvd and cringe throughout both of the movies. Ugh. I’d settle for another documentary or even publishing some of his diaries — more thoughts on music process, not so personal. Would definitely be more authentic than a movie, and have meaning as his own words…but personal privacy…Ah. Big mess. Second thought just leave him alone! Can they cancel the movies????

  • miffed

    as a huge Buckley fan i am really upset by the choice of Penn. the thing about Jeff was that he had this incredible charisma and was unbelievably gorgeous, very dainty. i had the privilege of meeting him several times. this kid Penn just doesn’t have it. the only person who might come close is James Franco.

  • Laila

    Im a big fan of Penn & its great he got that role. Its amazing that this positive response was released. Im tired of blogs & sites hating on him & treating like 2nd rate. He’s pretty serious about music & played guitar & other instruments since childhood. Loved the script & that its not the average biopic but sort of an emotional roadtrip through his memory & coming to terms with his father’s role in his life. Really looking for his & Imogen Poots scenes & obviously to the performance @ St/Anne’s.
    He def doesnt look 100% like Jeff but for me the feeling of the character is much more important than looks.

  • Rip Off

    Let’s be honest about this. His mother isn’t collecting as much as she did after Jeff had recently died. Books have been published and documentaries complete. Nothing else to release music wise. This is the last way to get more money and potentially sell a few more cds. Looks about as good as one of those Elvis miniseries on basic tv. Thumbs down! Jeff would have hated this. Ask his bandmates.

  • RIP Jeff 1966-1997

    Penn’s interest in music can only add the “fact” that he might respect Jeff’s music…but means nothing regarding how the movie will turn out and the fact that making it is ridiculous and therefore makes Penn seem ridiculous. They might as well air this on TBS. It’ll go straight to video as it should. Laila, how did you read the script???

  • Jay

    Reeve Carney does look like Jeff Buckley and he can sing too, I woulda liked to see Reeve or James Franco in this role, I’m just not sure if Penn Badgley has the acting chops to pull of such a big role…

  • Im shocked he’s in this movie. hes a nice guy though i ran into him today in NYC and asked him about it he said it was something that he really wanted to do and he was proud of himself. i know him from gossip girl so i will go see the movie because of him. i think hes a little skinny looking but i mean he seems to have his head on right. i asked him about facebook/twitter he said he is against facebook but he has a twitter he barely checks. i guess ill share that w/u guys THEPenn_ i tweeted him saying hey i saw u today all i got was yeah have a great night. i tried asking him if he was dating he said he doesnt comment on his personal life . :-/ guess i have to respect that . i wish i could know for sure if hes dating Zoe Kravitz. although we all wanna see him with Blake again i think. Margin Call looks like it will be really good Demi moore is in it and that guy stanley tucci so even if it sucks the cast will be great!


  • Samantha

    I think Penn will be great. Looking forward to this movie