Doubt (2008)

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Amy Adams as: Sister James
Directed by: John Patrick Shanley
Written by: John Patrick Shanley
Selected Cast: Meryl Streep, Philip Seymour Hoffman
Release Date: December 12, 2008 (US)
Genre: Drama
MPAA Rating: n/a

Set in 1964, Doubt centers on a nun who finds herself in the middle of a tense confrontation with a Bronx Catholic school principal, who confronts a priest after suspecting him abusing a black student. He denies the charges, and much of the play’s quick-fire dialogue tackles themes of religion, morality and authority.

Doubt Online

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Amy’s Role

Amy Adams plays Sister James, a nun at a Bronx Catholic school in 1964.


• “The character had no vanity, so you never worried about what you looked like. I learned to listen and not talk. It’s a hard lesson. It’s a good one to know, It taught me about simplicity, and that I’ll never be Meryl Streep. It’s not a bad thing! It goes back to having your own path. She’s so exquisite, just so exquisite.”

• “I’m getting ready to go work on a film called Doubt. That’s a challenge in itself, acting opposite the great Meryl Streep and Philip Seymour Hoffman.”

• “I didn’t intentionally look for a drama, but I read it and was familiar with the play, and … this is how I get: I read something and go, I have to be this person. I have to play this role. For whatever reason, I have a gut reaction. I don’t know if it’s because of where it’s going to lead me in my life and my career, but usually there’s a reason why I do something. Doubt resonated huge for me.”

• “It’s amazing. I’ve been really fortunate. At one point in my life I really wanted female mentors, and working with Frances [McDormand] and working with Meryl, following by example, I feel like I’ve gotten that wish.”

• “With this one we were in rehearsals for three weeks so that was really a fascinating process for me and one that confronted me with my own doubts, because I was in a room with Philip Seymour Hoffman and Meryl Streep. So it’s interesting how that then comes into your character and your character comes into you and pretty soon it’s a mind meld and the character comes out of your experiences of making the film, as well as what’s been written. I’m very fortunate to have Meryl and Philip to work with.”

On Meryl Streep
“I tend to just accept people for who they are and what their process is… she was playing my Mother Superior so she was very warm with me… she’s just a great lady. She wasn’t the disciplinary nun with me at all.”

Character Quotes
Sister James: I don’t think Father Flynn did anything wrong.
“It is unsettling to look at people with suspicion. I feel less close to God.”

Trivia & Facts

• Filmed on location in New York City between November 2007 and February 2008.

• This is Amy and Meryl Streep’s first project together in the course of a year! They will also partner together for Julie & Julia, due out in 2009.


“Doubt” has exact and merciless writing, powerful performances and timeless relevance. It causes us to start thinking with the first shot, and we never stop. Think how rare that is in a film. – Roger Ebert, Suntimes

It’s hardly news to anyone reading this that Streep and Hoffman are among the best actors working today, but they are more than equaled by Amy Adams, whose Sister James is caught in the middle, and Viola Davis as the boy’s mother, delivering a performance that steals the whole show in a mere two scenes. – Luke Y Thompson, E!