February 20, 2008

Written by Nicole Pedersen

I have to admit something. In the past, I have had trouble distinguishing between Amy Adams and Isla Fisher. I mean, they’re both cute, bubbly red heads. One was in “Wedding Crashers” one was in “Talladega Nights,” who wouldn’t be confused? When I first saw “London” I thought “Hey, it’s that girl from “Junebug.” Shameful I know; and I call myself a pop culture expert.

2008 is going to be the year that forever distinguishes Amy Adams for me.

While Isla Fisher is busy with baby, Ms. Adams is appearing in no fewer than four high profile films (two, “Doubt and “Julie & Julia, with Meryl Streep) including a Sundance hit called “Sunshine Cleaning” and the sequel to “Night at the Museum.” She is performing one of the Oscar nominated songs from her blockbuster “Enchanted” at this year’s Awards and she is currently gracing the cover of Elle.

In the midst of all of this Amy activity is the March 7th premiere of her latest movie “Miss Pettigrew Lives for a Day,” starring Frances McDormand. Adams plays Delysia Lafosse, an American actress in 1939 London who juggles men with the help of her new “social secretary” Miss Pettigrew (McDormand).

For a full synopsis and clips from the film check here.

I recently attended a press junket for the film held by distributor Focus Features. Frances McDormand was not in attendance (too busy picking out a dress for hubby Joel Coen’s big Oscar night?), but as a consolation we did all get a nice goody bag and Amy Adams and her “Pettigrew” love interest Lee Pace did sit for interviews.

Amy Adams was just as sweet and friendly as you all could imagine, so I decided to let the question about working at Hooters slide. She talked about how her former co-star Kirstie Alley (in “Drop Dead Gorgeous”) inspired her to move to Hollywood and about the perception that she is “boy crazy,” as well as the joys of working with Meryl Streep, and the perils of gazing at “Pushing Daisies” star Lee Pace.

Remember, “Miss Pettigrew Lives for a Day” debuts on March 7th. And if you want to read what Lee said about Amy first, check here.

Question: Tell us about Delysia; what you saw in her and what you changed from the script.

Amy Adams: Well, I don’t think I necessarily changed anything from the script. I think the script provided such a great character… She’s a little bit manipulative… she’s self-centered and she has a lot of faults, how can you, at the same time, give her a soul?… That was really attractive to me, to get to sort of play a person who has several different veneers that she puts on, I mean she is an actress so that was fun.

Question: Did you find yourself channeling the ghosts of Judy Holliday and Carole Lombard?

Amy Adams: It was something I thought about a lot and I watched the movies… I really felt that she was the kind of person who would’ve watched movies and act like that in her own life so, I tried to channel them.

Question: What is your favorite movie from the period?

Amy Adams: From that period? “Gone with the Wind” I watched it when I was 13 and it changed my life forever…

Question: How glad are you that you took Kirstie Alley’s advice to drive out to Hollywood?

Amy Adams: I’m very glad. It knocked me on a completely different path than I had intended for myself. I think the idea of Hollywood just didn’t make any sense to me. It wasn’t on my radar at all. Acting in films was something that special people did so when I met people that were in films and realized they were just people it helped make it more of a reality… sometimes you just need a little kick in the butt.

Q: You’ve sung in your last two movies, is that something you want to explore?

Amy Adams: I love singing on stage. I don’t have any plans for an album because me singing pop music is just shockingly bad.

Q: You’re singing at the Oscars…

Amy Adams: Yes

Q: All three songs?

Amy Adams: No, I was like, if I get through the first one I think I should just count my blessings. But, Kristin Chenoweth is singing the second one so, no pressure. I was like ‘did you have to pick the best singer in musical theatre?’

Q: Were you surprised that all three songs got in?

Amy Adams: It’s not surprising but… I wasn’t expecting that. I thought one, maybe.

Q: You are doing two back to back movies with Meryl Streep, how was that?

Amy Adams: It’s amazing, she’s great.

Q: Did she stay in character the entire time you filmed?

Amy Adams: Not really, she didn’t. But, at the same time, if she did I don’t know that I would notice. 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.

Q: What about your leading men, can you say something unique about them?

Amy Adams: Unique? I don’t know… I feel squirelly talking about it. Here’s why- I have come across as boy crazy because I’m like ‘Oh, my gosh, he’s so cuute.’ That’s how I’ve been, so I’m kind of trying to be more professional… because I sound like, you know, that actress who, like, really overly enjoys all of her male contact… There is this story with Lee where the director asked him to leave the set because I was staring at him. ‘Cause I am a little boy crazy… Lee had come in on a day where he wasn’t working and he was across the room and he just looked so dashing. He looked like an old movie star lounging there in his cowboy boots, like Steve McQueen across the room and I was, like, “Oh, wow.” And the director was like, “What are you doing?” I was, like ‘I’m sorry, I wasn’t listening. I was looking at Lee. I mean look at him over there leaning.’ And the director walked over and said ‘you’re distracting Amy with your presence so you need to leave.’ –I was mortified, mortified.

Q: What was it like working with Frances?

Amy Adams: It was excellent… I have always loved her work and so to get to act opposite her and do comedy opposite her and to realize that we have a similar approach to certain kinds of comedy; it was really, really fun. Her work ethic and her professionalism is just unbelievable…

Q: How comfortable are you with your “IT-ness”

Amy Adams: Until this junket I didn’t even know about it. I always equated “IT” girls with having a certain kind of sexuality… It’s not something that I associate with myself at this time, but I’ve been working which is so grounding and you don’t, sort of, get a sense of the outside world when you’re working, and also when you’re in New York because New York is its own universe. So we’ll see when I go home…

Q: With “Enchanted” and this film, being comedy, do you see yourself as funny?

Amy Adams: I’m silly. I’m a silly person. I can be ridiculous, like, annoying I’m sure. But what I like about both those roles is that there’s a little bit of pathos underneath, a place to center the characters because they’re both really out there.

Q: Are you at all concerned, at this point about getting typecast?

Amy Adams: Not at this point. Right now I’m just doing what I enjoy… I enjoy playing upbeat characters, I really do, because you take those characters home with you, whether you intend to or not, so playing depressed people, it’s just a bummer…

Q: Talk about “Sunshine Cleaning” and what your co-stars were like…

Amy Adams: Well, Emily Blunt is like my English twin… The two of us together we would exhaust people… it’s so nice to have someone who’s your peer who you can absolutely, without any question, cheer for… when she was cast I was originally, completely intimidated because I’d seen “Summer of Love” … I was like ‘Girl’s got chops’ …I really felt that she was my sister, I still really do….

Q: Did you read the book “Miss Pettigrew” by Winifred Watson?

Amy Adams: No, I asked if I should read it and I was told not to read it beforehand… I have read part of it since and it is quite a bit different.

Q: Did you get to keep the costumes?

Amy Adams: No, I didn’t get to keep the costumes. You know I have to be honest; I see the costumes as my character’s wardrobe so I would feel so weird, you know, but I would have kept the jewels…

Q: I hear you’re slated for “Night at the Museum 2?”

Amy Adams: Yes, I’m in negotiations right now for that…

Q: Have you seen the script?

Amy Adams: Yes.

Q: Can you tell us anything?

Amy Adams: Nope.

Q: What’s it like when you go back to your home town?

Amy Adams: I haven’t been back to my hometown, I think, since I left it. It was one of those places for me. I was ready to leave.

Q: Did you know “Junebug” was the movie that would launch you when you saw it?

Amy Adams: I had no idea… I had done “Junebug” and then after that I finished my obligation on a television show and I was really considering moving to New York and pursuing theater. Because I was like, ‘I don’t know if LA and I are a good match, I’ve been out here for so many years and I’m still not happy, I’m still not, sort of fulfilled as an artist, what can I do?’ … Then it premiered at Sundance and things changed.

Q: You’ve been working a long time to become an overnight sensation…

Amy Adams: Most people who aren’t 18 do…

Q: How do you keep your private life private?

Amy Adams: I’m not that interesting. I don’t do interesting things… I’m a little bit older so I don’t have a nightlife that really involves anything beyond going to get Mexican food… I don’t know what it is, I think there would be a lot of people in LA who do not appreciate that attention but get it, so, in a way, its really luck that they haven’t found me that interesting yet.

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