Wednesday, February 27, 2008

Video interview on the set of Miss Pettigrew

Cineplex Entertainment has uploaded a video interview of Amy Adams, recorded on the set of Miss Pettigrew lives for a day. She talks about her character Delysia, working with Frances McDormand and Lee Pace. You can view it here.

In the movie's production notes, Amy adds that the film "is a female-driven story that originated from a female perspective; the journey is about finding out what - and who - is right for you, what is truly best for you, and about being true to yourself even as you step outside of your comfort zone."

While McDormand was the only choice for Miss Pettigrew, the prospect of playing the second lead female role in the story - and opposite McDormand, no less - yielded no shortage of interested actors and discussion among the filmmakers. Producer Stephen Garrett says, "Because Miss Pettigrew and Delysia are diametrically opposed to one another in terms of personality and experience and attitude to the world, the casting of Delysia was absolutely critical for that to work properly."

It was only when Amy Adams arrived for a meeting that the filmmakers sensed they had found their Delysia. Garrett says, "There is a spirit and joie de vivre to her that is unique and utterly infectious. I'm referring to not only Delysia but also Amy herself."

"First of all," marvels director Bharat Nalluri, "Amy has unbeatable comic timing. She also has an extraordinary vulnerability that she brings to the screen. It's rare to find an actor who has both."

Screenwriter David Magee adds, "She's just so exciting to watch in Enchanted. What with that and her tremendous Academy Award-nominated performance in Junebug, it's very clear that she is going to be huge."

Producer Nellie Bellflower says, "Amy is beautiful and sexy, and also has the ability to be funny - verbally and physically - without losing any sense of innocence. What we saw in Junebug and then witnessed firsthand is that she removes any barrier between the characters she inhabits and the audience."

The same could be said of Adams' own connection to Delysia; "I responded to Delysia as soon as I read the script," she explains. "I am attracted to optimistic people and characters. Delysia is so vivacious and energetic and full of life, and she's really resourceful - which is important, because she has a lot going on that she must juggle. If she had a modern motto, it would be 'Fake it 'til you make it.'

"Knowing that Frances was going to play Miss Pettigrew - and I have always been a great admirer of her work - I was excited about what we might be able to achieve together. She turned out to be such a generous and joyful person to work with, while keeping everything professional and authentic. She mined all the humor from the script - and I tried to follow her lead, on a wing and a prayer…"

McDormand assesses, "In lesser hands, the character of Delysia would not have been as funny. Not every actor understands the rhythm of the language from that period. With all that fast talking, you cannot really improvise. Amy understood all of this, and our director did, too."

Nalluri was keen to stoke the chemistry of McDormand and Adams, "since the two characters are so very different yet come to see their similarities in terms of what they want and need out of life. I also knew that Frances and Amy together would make for a dynamic - and comedic - duo".

"At the first script reading, they were both so wonderful together that it set the whole tone for the film - and the style we shot it in. They brought the characters to life, and so I knew then even better how I was going to approach the work. When you're doing comedy, I've found it's best to set it up, give the actors a nice frame, and then let them do their work."

McDormand clarifies, "Bharat saw to it that Amy and I were in the same frame for the scenes with physical comedy. In a way, we were emulating Lucille Ball and Vivian Vance; two women moving through spaces together and dealing with situations."

Golden Globe Award nominee Lee Pace (star of the hit television series "Pushing Daisies") plays Michael, Delysia's pianist: "There aren't enough films like this today, about people falling in love and making the choices about what they value in life. Also, when I heard Frances McDormand and Amy Adams were starring, I knew I had to do it. I remember watching Amy in Catch Me If You Can and wondering, 'Who is that? She's fantastic.'"

Adams, in turn, sees Pace as having "an old-fashioned leading man quality, able to convey vulnerability and tenderness in addition to a sexy masculinity. Having him to act opposite made our scenes easy."

In the crucial scene where Delysia performs in Nick's nightclub with Michael, it is Adams' voice - singing in-character - as Delysia - that audiences will hear. Pace reveals, "Amy had a ball playing Delysia; she saw the character very clearly and just went for it, all day long!"

Source: Focus Features and Cineplex Entertainment

No comments: