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Category: Articles & Interviews

The Amy Adams Method

The Amy Adams Method

Few actors are as unshowy, or unshakable. With “Sharp Objects,” in which she plays a self-destructive journalist, the five-time Oscar nominee keeps evolving.

Interview by Reggie Ugwu to New York Times

Amy Adams reached into her fanny pack and fished out a stick of sunscreen. “I’m such a mom-nerd,” she apologized, as if sensing the pretense of Hollywood Glamour melt with each dab to her flush, freckled cheeks. It was a late morning in June and the sun was high; there was nothing to apologize for. But she is congenitally polite and, as she stared up at the storied Art Deco observatory in Griffith Park here, on an 1,100-foot summit of Mount Hollywood, maybe a tiny bit self-conscious.

The hike had been her idea. A brisk climb punctuated by postcard views of Los Angeles landmarks: the Hollywood sign, the Santa Monica Mountains, the gauzy downtown skyline. Growing up in Colorado as one of seven children, hiking had been a family ritual — her parents’ way of getting her and her siblings to burn off energy without busting through the walls or the budget.

But because of an unlikely chain of recent events that, she explained, began with a run-in with her childhood ballet teacher and ended with an overeager return to the horizontal bar, she had suffered an “old lady injury.” Which meant that she hadn’t exercised in a while. Which meant that, even a few dozen yards into a hike with someone whom she just met, she’d already felt herself running short of breath.

Between the panting and the fanny pack, Ms. Adams, already a five-time Oscar-nominated actress at 43, had begun to wonder what she must look like.

I feel like I always … I don’t know if disappoint is the right word,” she said, zipping away the sunscreen. She was wearing dark, printed leggings, a black gift-shop ball cap with her signature strawberry tresses pulled through it and a black T-shirt that read, in big cutesy letters, “Better in real life.” “But whenever people meet me they’re always like ‘Really? That’s who you are?’

She stopped for a moment, then deadpanned the answer that she always thinks but never says: “Yes. It is.

Continue reading The Amy Adams Method

Why Amy Adams Played a Big Part in the Gender Pay Gap Discussion

Why Amy Adams Played a Big Part in the Gender Pay Gap Discussion

During the infamous 2014 Sony Pictures hack, lots of confidential information got released to the public, including salaries of actors working on American Hustle. The company’s PR nightmare turned into a widely discussed social issue regarding Hollywood’s gender pay gap. It was revealed that female stars Amy Adams and Jennifer Lawrence were paid less than their male co-stars Christian Bale, Bradley Cooper, and Jeremy Renner.

At the time, this sparked debate and outrage all over social media and Hollywood. Jennifer Lawrence even wrote a lengthy piece about her thoughts and posted it publicly, which deserved much applause. Amy Adams kept silent at first, but the Sharp Objects actress and American Cinematheque awardee eventually spoke up about the issue as well. She made a fair point by saying that the tough questions about gender pay gap should be directed to Hollywood producers. They provide the numbers and attach prices to actors that will best fit their budget, so they should be on the hot seat. Bustle commended Adams for her insightful statement, because most of the time, the media focuses on women as if they hold the answer to the entire dilemma.

Adams also voice her opinions in Allure‘s April 2016 issue. Glamour quoted her revealing statements as she confessed, “I negotiated, and I tried to get paid as much [as Jeremy Renner and Bradley Cooper]. But I felt like if I kept pushing, I wouldn’t have had the opportunity,” she said. “So that’s on me.”

Her statement brought forth what a lot of other women around the world are not comfortable doing: negotiating pay and benefits. Adams is a talented actress who is frequently invited to awards shows and takes home plenty of recognition. She has already received her star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame, and her craft has continually improved over the years. It begs the question as to why was she was not considered of the same value as her male co-stars in American Hustle.

Since the incident, more stars in Hollywood have contributed their two cents on the issue. Well and Good recently reported about Benedict Cumberbatch’s noble stand on refusing to accept a role if his female co-star is not paid the same amount. This takes some power away from producers’ hands and shows an act of solidarity among actors.

Other actresses are becoming increasingly outspoken as well. The Hollywood Reporter talked to Ellen Pompeo about fighting for a salary that she deserves. The Grey’s Anatomy star openly discussed figures to the media in the hopes of inspiring other women to do the same. The Time’s Up movement could help end gender pay gap as well by forging 300-strong women actors to fight against sexual harassment and discrimination in Hollywood. Time’s Up is the organization that received Mark Wahlberg’s $1.5-million dollar donation after netizens called him out for passively agreeing to a huge pay gap. That amount was his purported compensation for the reshoots of All the Money in the World, while his co-star, Michelle Williams, reportedly got only $1,000.

Evidently, women are slowly but surely making changes to an industry plagued with politics and inequality. Along with the initiative of Amy Adams and other influential actors, this gap may hopefully be closed for good sooner rather than later.

(Article) – Gillian Flynn, Amy Adams and Patricia Clarkson Aren’t Afraid to Tackle Big Topics

(Article) – Gillian Flynn, Amy Adams and Patricia Clarkson Aren’t Afraid to Tackle Big Topics

Last month HBO launched the promotional tour for Sharp Objects with an interview to The Wall Street Journal magazine given by Gillian Flynn, Amy Adams and Patricia Clarkson.

“Don’t they look related?” says author Gillian Flynn, glancing at Amy Adams and Patricia Clarkson, who raise their eyebrows quizzically. The pair play mother and daughter in Sharp Objects, the much-anticipated HBO adaptation of Flynn’s 2006 debut novel, but the suggestion that they resemble their characters makes the actresses understandably uneasy.

Even for those who know Adams’s dramatic range, her portrayal of Camille Preaker is a departure. The darkest, most complex character in a career that has earned Adams, 43, five Oscar nominations, Camille is a newspaper reporter who has written her own story on her body, carving words into her skin. Since being institutionalized, she’s tried to drown her cutting addiction with alcohol. Meanwhile, as Camille’s mother, Adora, Clarkson, 58, relishes withholding affection from her firstborn even as she smothers Camille’s teenage half-sister, Amma, with attention.

When Camille returns to her hometown of Wind Gap, Missouri, to investigate the murder of a young girl, she is forced to confront her past and her grief over the death years before of her younger sister, Marian. She and Adora, who presides over the town with emotionless elegance, share a sense of loss, but little else.

The withering mother-daughter dynamic is the brainchild of Flynn. The 47-year-old author—who penned the screenplay for David Fincher’s 2014 adaptation of her novel Gone Girl—wrote this eight-episode series, which airs starting in July. She and Adams also served on the project as executive producers, a first for each of them. The project was spearheaded by women, including Marti Noxon, a Mad Men veteran who co-wrote and was showrunner; and Jessica Rhoades, then a television executive at Blumhouse (the production company that also released Whiplash and Get Out). Jean-Marc Vallée, fresh off the success of HBO’s Big Little Lies, directed the five-month shoot, with long days on set in Northern California, Los Angeles and the 100-degree heat of Georgia—especially grueling for Adams, who was covered with prosthetic scars from the neck down.

Continue reading (Article) – Gillian Flynn, Amy Adams and Patricia Clarkson Aren’t Afraid to Tackle Big Topics

Amy Adams Talks ‘Justice League,’ American Cinematheque Award

Amy Adams Talks ‘Justice League,’ American Cinematheque Award

Variety – Amy Adams can rise to any challenge: sparkle as a princess, brawl like a Boston barmaid, dance with Muppets, kiss Superman, earn five Oscar nominations and hold her own against Meryl Streep — twice. Still, on Nov. 10, the deeply private, craft-driven actress will face a new test when Tom Hanks, Jake Gyllenhaal, Natalie Portman, Kristen Stewart, Chris Messina and Denis Villeneuve take the stage of the Beverly Hilton Hotel to praise her talents as the 31st recipient of the American Cinematheque Award.
Being lauded for her entire body of work is “a little overwhelming,” says Adams. “I tend to look at things piece by piece.

As for the prospect of watching a montage of her entire filmography, Adams falls silent. “Yup,” she eventually says with the well-mannered equanimity of an actress who spent years doing dinner theater in Minnesota. Then she giggle-exhales.
I wasn’t even comfortable at my wedding having my family say things that were nice,” admits Adams, who married actor and artist Darren Le Gallo in 2015 after 14 years of dating. “I’m like, ‘OK, let’s move on.’

Adams started her career as a dancer-waitress who high-kicked her way through “A Chorus Line” while serving the audience plates of prime rib. She wore nothing but a gold-embroidered jacket, nude hose and a hat — more costume than her earlier job at Hooters, at least — but the gig got her a better dinner theater engagement, and then the motivation to audition for, and win, the role of an oversexed beauty pageant bimbo in 1999’s “Drop Dead Gorgeous,” who does naughty things to a model of the Washington Monument. Adams was ninth-billed, but she took it as seriously as if she were the lead. In that first role, her comedy gifts already seem fully formed, the big eyes, bigger grin, deadpan innocence, and sugar-dipped voice that lets her get away with the craziest lines. Co-star Kirstie Alley encouraged Adams to move to Los Angeles, assuring the then-25-year-old, “You’re young. You’re funny. You’ll work.”

So she did. Within a week, she had a manager, Stacy O’Neil, and her first part as a manipulative prep-school heiress in a soon-canceled “Cruel Intentions” spinoff show that was re-edited into the movie 2000’s “Cruel Intentions 2.”

From there, Adams played the villain in “Psycho Beach Party,” which released that same year, did a ton of TV, and scored a plum role as the pig-tailed Southern nurse who steals conman Leonardo DiCaprio’s heart in 2002’s “Catch Me if You Can.” Its director, Steven Spielberg, loved her. Adams hoped she’d finally managed to find her breakout part. But after “Catch Me if You Can,” she didn’t work for a year.

Adams was nearing 30 and running low on hope — the one thing her characters almost always have in unlimited supply. Finally, she landed 2005’s “Junebug” and claimed her first Academy Award nomination. From there Adams launched into the spotlight with four more nominations in five years starting with 2008’s “Doubt,” “The Fighter,” “The Master” and “American Hustle.” It feels like the main reason Adams hasn’t yet won an Oscar is her filmography has been so consistently strong that voters feel safe putting her off another year (and another, and another).
O’Neil remains Adams’ manager today. “She’s been not just a manager, but a mentor,” says Adams. “It’s really important for women in our industry to have mentors, people you can really trust who can advise you towards a future that you really want.
Her manager, agent and publicist are all women and, like her, all mothers. On the morning we spoke, Adams was helping her daughter Aviana prepare for her own awards ceremony: a taekwondo test.

I work with really lovely, respectful men, as well,” Adams says, but her all-female trifecta has proven especially empowering. “They really understand what my priorities are and they understand who I crave to be, even if I’m not always her.

People focus on the awards roles, but every film has pushed Adams closer to being the actress she’s still striving to become. Not Streep, of course — “There is no next Meryl Streep” — but her own kind of chameleon, the all-American sweetheart you don’t dare cross.

Sunshine Cleaning,” in 2008, with Emily Blunt gave her a chance to appreciate the powerful support of forging a strong female bond on the set. “It’s not always the case that us actresses get to work with each other,” notes Adams.

The Muppets” (2011) pushed her to think about how to honor the spirit of childhood and connect with younger audiences the way she once she fell in love with Fozzie Bear.

Mention 2006’s “Talladega Nights: The Ballad of Ricky Bobby,” in which Adams’ wallflower goes from zero-to-60 when she seduces Will Ferrell on a bar table, and she lights up.

I love it!” she says. “To witness that particular brand of genius, of improv and thinking on your feet and creating situations and creating dialogue. It’s not my greatest talent, but it was so much fun to get to be a part of it and get to play and learn from these masters.

No wonder she recently signed up to work with “Talledega Nights” director Adam McKay again on his Dick Cheney biopic “Backseat,” in which Adams plays the former vice president’s wife, Lynne.

The American Cinematheque award is unusual in that it celebrates actors at the mid-points of their career. That suits Adams quite well. “I still sort of have that dream that my best work is in front of me,” she says. “There’s a lot to be done.”

She’s just started to discover herself as a producer on the HBO crime thriller “Sharp Objects,” based on the novel by “Gone Girl” author Gillian Flynn. Adams also stars in the series, and the dual roles behind and before the camera have given her a deeper respect for the labor, and hours, of putting together a show. She hopes to use that knowledge to be able to create work for other actresses, becoming the mentor she was grateful to have, someone who would advise that “Psycho Beach Party” starlet: “Keep your head up, don’t be so discouraged. Work hard. Enjoy your downtime.

First, though, she’s got to get through all those compliments at the Beverly Hilton — and that montage. “I liked my Amelia Earhart wig,” the one from “Night at the Museum: Battle of the Smithsonian,” she concedes. “My husband’s always encouraging me that I should maybe try to cut my hair like that.” Like the phenomenally empathetic actress she is, Adams’ goal for the night is to let herself get carried away by the emotions.

Hopefully I’ll be able to take it in and not shut down,” laughs Adam. “These moments are rare.

Meryl Streep Pens Amy Adams Tribute: “A Woman of Many Imaginative Gifts”

Meryl Streep Pens Amy Adams Tribute: “A Woman of Many Imaginative Gifts”

Meryl Streep penned to The Hollywood Reporter a guest column honoring Amy Adams.

The toughest act in show business is how to maintain your core central living self while submitting yourself to not only the (sometimes) alien persona of a fictional character but to the relentless forensics that is modern showbiz promotional flogging.

Amy has cannily managed this better than most, partly because of her unflagging, good-natured work ethic, but mostly because of a level-headed, uninflated sense of herself, her priorities and what is real and what is bullshit. She has a geiger counter of a bullshit meter, and for such a polite person is not afraid to hold it up to the bloated face of this business and let us all hear the ticking as loud as she does. She won’t perform what is not real, and she won’t say what is not true.

I have seen her hold back so as not to hurt feelings, and I have seen her curtail her tongue when it could (should?) give a lashing, but she makes her point as much with what she doesn’t as what she does say.

She is a sturdy girl, and a woman of many imaginative gifts: The combo should take her to as long, long, long a career as she can stand to give us.

The full article is on the current THR issue.

‘Playback’ Podcast: Live From the Telluride Film Festival With Amy Adams

Variety released today the Playback Podcast episode with Amy Adams, did during Telluride Festival.

On the – very good! – interview, Amy spoke about a number of the filmmakers she’s worked with, from Steven Spielberg to Mike Nichols. And, of course, David O’Russell and her will of working with him again.

I’m kind of a never say never kind of person, but not currently. It’s just, what it requires of me, it’s hard for me to then be the mom I want to be, because I can’t give that much energy and emotion. And I’m really invested on set, so it’s not as if it’s not something I’m interested in doing on other sets, but the way he works just requires a different part of me that I just don’t have to give right now.

She also has spoken out about the Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice bad press. The criticsim, she felt, “hit a soft spot,” and when it came the attacks on Snyder, she expressed some heartfelt sympathy. “I just felt for Zack,” Adams said. “Zack’s like the nicest person ever, and to see him kind of talked about like that was really hard for me, because he’s really such a respectful director.”

Listen the interview below:

Amy Adams on her career, life, motherhood, and Oscar

The Telegraph published yesterday an amazing interview with Amy Adams, in which they talked about pretty much everything. Her life before being famous, her earlier career, working with DiCaprio and Tom Hanks, about Aviana and being a working mom, about having post-natal depression (which came out as a huge surprise to me), about the pressure and the feelings on her wining an Oscar and, of course, about Big Eyes.

Playing Keane – whose husband, Walter, for a decade passed off her Big Eye paintings as his own – has heightened Adams’s interest in art. ‘Now Darren will take me to these underground art shows and exhibitions, and you can see how her influence lives on.’ She hasn’t yet heard Keane’s reaction to the film, and when I read to her what the 87-year-old painter told a newspaper in October – ‘It was really traumatic. Christoph Waltz looks like Walter, sounds like him, acts like him. And to see Amy going through what I went through… It’s very accurate’ – Adams looks relieved. ‘That’s really what you want when you’re playing someone. Not to traumatise them,’ she adds with a prettily lopsided smile, ‘but to be accurate.’

One of my favourite parts of the article is this one:

One of seven children, Adams was raised a Mormon until the age of 12, when her parents divorced and left the Church. ‘It instilled a certain work ethic in me,’ she says. ‘Everybody was always expected to pitch in and help around the house.’ There’s a glass-half-full legacy too. ‘My aunt always used to say, “A happy day keeps the blues away,” and I loved her for that. I read something recently about how the way we greet our children in the morning dictates so much of their self-worth during the day, and of course it can be hard if you’re up early and tired, but I try to put a smile on and be cheery with my daughter [four-year-old Aviana]. Non-morning people would probably find that really annoying,’ she laughs.

Go to The Telegraph to read the full interview.

How ‘Big Eyes’ Star Amy Adams Became the Darling of the HFPA

Amy Adams is one of that talented actresses and everybody knows it. She’s also the most award nominated actresses of her generation. The Hollywood Reporter published this article this week, talking about Big Eyes and how Amy is the full package. Check it:

With the possible exception of Meryl Streep, it is hard to think of an actress who has been more consistently good — and often great — over the past decade than chameleonic Amy Adams, whose run of excellence really began in 2005 with Junebug.

The 40-year-old’s incredible body of work since — which includes more than 25 films and has been highlighted by standout performances in Enchanted (2007), Julie & Julia (2007), Charlie Wilson’s War (2007), Doubt (2008), The Fighter (2010), Trouble with the Curve (2012), The Master (2012), Her (2013) and American Hustle (2013) — has collectively produced five Oscar noms and five Golden Globe film-related noms. (Among female performers, only Streep has more of the former within that same span, while Streep and Judi Dench have more of the latter. Not bad company to be in!)

I predict that the tally of the latter count will increase by one for Adams — and, yes, Streep, too, for Into the Woods — on Dec. 11, when the nominations for the 72nd Golden Globes will be announced. Adams is vying for a slot in the best actress in a musical or comedy category, which is rather thin this year, for her latest performance, as the unique painter Margaret Keane in Tim Burton’s Big Eyes, and I think she’s going to get it. Is it the finest film that she’s been a part of? Absolutely not — many have found it a bit too lightweight and glossy and expect it to face an uphill climb at the Oscars — but that is entirely in spite of, not because of, Adams’ work in the film.

Continue reading How ‘Big Eyes’ Star Amy Adams Became the Darling of the HFPA

73 Questions to Amy Adams

Vogue followed Amy to her Vogue covershoot and asked her 73 questions about her life and work. Check it:

‘Inside the Actors Studio’ Announcing Amy Adams Interview

Oscar-nominated actors Matthew McConaughey and Amy Adams are heading to Inside the Actors Studio in the middle of Academy Award voting.

Bravo announced Thursday that it has set two back-to-back James Lipton sit-downs with the two stars in mid-February.

Lipton’s interview with Adams, who won the Golden Globe for her American Hustle role and is Oscar-nominated for best actress, will air Wednesday, Feb. 19 at 8 p.m. EST/PST.

The Hollywood Reporter