Over the past several years, Amy Adams has risen from supporting player to global star. With a breakout performance in the 2005 independent feature Junebug and a career-changing role in the 2007 blockbuster Enchanted, along with roles in such films as Doubt and Julie & Julia, the actress has carefully selected roles that display her talents at both drama and comedy.
Soon after she read the script for the romantic comedy Leap Year, Amy Adams agreed to play the film’s leading lady: controlling businesswoman, Anna Brady. On a quest to get married to the perfect guy, Anna finds herself in Ireland, at the mercy of a local who is helping her chase after her boyfriend of four years on Leap Day, so that she can take advantage of an old Irish tradition and propose to him herself.
During the press day for Leap Year, Amy Adams talked about working in Ireland, her love for romance novels and waiting for her own proposal for six years. Check out what she had to say after the jump:
Question: What do you think about women proposing to men? Is that something you would ever consider doing?
Amy: Yeah, it’s something I would consider. I thought about it. I waited for six years, and I ultimately decided against it because I knew that that was important to my fiancé now. I knew that was important to him. But, if you have the type of relationship where it would be okay with the guy, I don’t see anything wrong with it.
You were very patient to wait for six years.
Amy: Well, in the second year, I was not as patient, and then I just realized I had to relax and enjoy the journey with him.
You haven’t gotten married yet, right?
Amy: No, we have not.
This character has her pragmatic side and her romantic side. Which is more like you, in real life?
Amy: I think I have both aspects of the character in me, and I think that’s why I was attracted to the character. I tend to be really pragmatic, but ultimately tend to be attracted to people who pull me into more spontaneity. I’ve really learned that, through surrender, the best experiences of my life have happened. One of the things that attracted me to this story was thinking you have control, losing control and then finding an amazing life for yourself.
Are you spontaneous at all?
Amy: No, I’m not. I try to be. I work on it. I guess me working on being spontaneous is me not being spontaneous, so probably not as much as I’d like to be.
A lot of the romantic comedies these days feature high-powered women having to learn to take things a little slower. Why do you think that’s such a popular theme?
Amy: I think because women are taking more and more responsibility in the work place and at home, and we’re really trying to have it all. It is very relatable, to women and men today, to see that in film.
Do you think that people enjoy seeing them get their comeuppance?
Amy: I think the men probably enjoy that. In this film especially, Declan really, really enjoys it. He’s so masculine that I think men will really enjoy watching him enjoy Anna’s suffering a little bit.
Did you get to do any improvisation on the film?
Amy: It depended on the scene. There were definitely scenes where we had a lot of room to improv. Sometimes for the scenes that are more timing specific, you’re a little more constrained, but he definitely allowed for a lot of improvisation, like in the scene with the cows. You have to be loose with that. You’re working with cows and they don’t cooperate. As much as you try to train a cow, they’re not really programmed to cooperate. He was really great on his feet, and with dealing with the elements in Ireland. We were always outside and there was rain and wind. It was sunny when it was supposed to be raining and raining when it was supposed to be sunny, so we really had to be loose. Something I took from the film was just to loosen up, all around.
How did shooting in Ireland help inform your performance?
Amy: It informed it a lot. I really started to understand being able to surrender your entire life for this place, and being able to fall in love with a place and with the people of the place because Ireland really has that quality. They’re so welcoming that you feel like it’s home. Being in Ireland really, really helped me understand Anna’s pull towards it. I think it was really important. It would have been harder to do with another location.
Do you have any traditions or superstitions of your own?
Amy: I don’t. I love certain cultures because of their traditions and I miss tradition. Something I’m going to try to really instill in my own family is a lot of tradition. And, I used to have a lot of superstitions, and then I realized that it was kind of hogwash. Once I let go of them, I relaxed a lot. If I had a project that I had auditioned for and I was getting close to getting it, I didn’t want to tell anybody because I thought then I wouldn’t get it, but in reality that really had no baring on whether or not I got a part. I let go of a lot of those things.
How was it to work with Matthew Goode?
Amy: Oh, he’s great. He’s so charming and funny, and he’s smart. He brought so much to this role. He just enjoyed playing Declan, and that was so much fun. I love the character of Declan, and he was absolutely perfect in it.
Amy: Sure, yeah. I think yesterday was one of those days. You just wake up on the wrong side of the bed and you’re stuck all day. You just can’t seem to get ahead of yourself, and you try to have a good attitude, but it just seems like there’s one road block in front of the next.
What do you do when that happens?
Amy: I go to sleep. I try to get through the day. Usually, the next day is completely different.
Were there any funny things that happened on set while you were making this?
Amy: There was a lot. One of the days that was the most challenging, but also very funny to watch everybody try to operate in, was the day when I’m walking and it’s really windy. You notice it’s windy, but it was actually that windy. We were not planning on it being that windy, and it was freezing cold. The winds were between 60 and 100 mph. They were really, really strong. There were times where I could barely actually make any progress, which became hysterical to me. I’m not sure anyone else found it funny, but to watch everyone try to do their job in this wind was definitely fun. You try to laugh at those circumstances. Then, when the rain started, it stopped being fun because then it was pelting rain while you were walking and trying to look cool.
What did you guy do while you were in Ireland?
Amy: Oh, all sorts of things. I walked everywhere in Dublin. It’s a great walking city. I went to organic farmer’s markets, I went to the pubs and ate some great meals. I met awesome people. We would have dinners, every once in awhile, and we would cook at different people’s houses. It’s just very homey in Ireland. It’s very comforting and comfortable. There’s lots of fireplaces with fires. It’s just really cozy.
What did you think of the food?
Amy: It’s the meat things I have trouble with, but the food there was really good, actually.
Was that your first time in Ireland?
Amy: It was.
Are you part Irish yourself?
Amy: There’s gotta be some in there. I felt right at home. But, I don’t know for certain. I know that I have a lot of English and Northern European, but I’m not sure. I felt really at home there, though.
Did you do most of your own stunts, like when you landed in the mud?
Amy: Oh, yeah. She did this forward roll and anything where I could get hurt, but I did the final flip, face first.
Amy: I don’t know that there was this singular moment. I knew I wanted to be a performer, but I didn’t know I would specifically be in film. I actually never thought I would be in film. I always envisioned being on the stage. But, I was probably quite young, like anyone who is drawn towards performance. It’s kind of silly, but my dad would write these skits for us to perform. There are seven kids, so we would do these skits, and just the rehearsal process with my dad and my brothers and sisters, and even then coming up with the character and sauntering around, I just had fun with it and I knew that I enjoyed it. And then, I wanted to be a doctor, but I couldn’t pass chemistry, so I was like, “Well, I guess I should do something that I enjoy and that is a little easier than that.”
Were you the class clown?
Amy: No, I wasn’t. In high school, I was so painfully self-aware that how I thought of myself was probably very different from what other people thought of me. I thought of myself as just painfully awkward and dorky. I had a lot of hair and was kind of weird. I sang a lot in the hallways. I was a dork, in the best way possible. I loved it, but I didn’t necessarily fit a niche in high school. I would read a book in the corner at lunchtime. I liked to read. Not Shakespeare, or anything. I read romance novels. I would have read Leap Year. I read other books, but I loved romance novels. I used to steal my step-mom’s romance novels.