ONE-TIME OSCAR NOMINEE FOR 'JUNEBUG’ IS HUMBLE AS CAN BE AND AN EXPERT AT 'ENCHANTING’ ALL OF HOLLYWOOD
"But if "Junebug" brought Adams into the public consciousness, it was as Giselle, the animated princess who comes to life in Disney's "Enchanted," that she threatens to bypass Reese Witherspoon as Hollywood's reigning queen of sugar, spice and everything nice.
Now, Adams co-stars with Frances McDormand in "Miss Pettigrew Lives for a Day," a Depression-era-style farce about a dowdy governess (McDormand) who inadvertently becomes social secretary to Adams' ditzy young starlet. The film, which opens Friday, produces some old-school laughs, while proving the boundlessness of Adams' ability to seduce with a smile.
I watched a ton of old films. There were three actresses in particular that I watched, but people can draw their own conclusions as [to who they were] when they watch the film.
You sing in this film as you did in "Enchanted." Were you always a naturally talented singer?
I wanted to be a great singer, so I was loud, but it's something I've had to work really hard at. I lost a lot of confidence [in it] being a dancer, because I was never really seen as a singer. So it took me a long time to come back around to singing.
You performed a song from "Enchanted" at the Oscars, but Kristin Chenoweth sang one of the other nominated songs. Were you let down that you didn't get to sing that, too?
Oh, no. I think it's perfect. It's funny...when I was training, one of the pieces of advice I got is: Pick a voice that you like and that you think is the right tone for Giselle. I got the "Wicked" soundtrack and listened to Kristin, who was a huge inspiration for how I approached Giselle. I met her, actually, while I was rehearsing, and I sang in front of her. I said, "OK, if I can sing in front of Kristin and hold it together, it's a step in the right direction."
You recently filmed the drama "Doubt." With all the comedy you've done, was that a welcome diversion?
Absolutely. 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.
Did you approach that role differently from how you approached your comedic roles?
Not necessarily, because I always approach comedy with the same sort of seriousness that I approach drama. I think that's why I respond to comedy - it's people acting very serious about inappropriate things, and that's funny. But I don't put films in genres when I read them. I go more in depth when I have to create deeper emotion, but I knew with "Doubt" we'd be going into a rehearsal situation, and the actor I'd be working with would inform so much of my character.
You've had a few roles at this point that could be considered breakthrough roles for you. Which one has changed your life the most?
"Catch Me If You Can." It was the first time I knew I could act at that level with those people. To be believed in by Steven Spielberg . . . it was a huge confidence booster. I knew I could work, but at what level? I still hope to discover more levels, but that experience, and the way I was embraced on that set, let me know I could do this.
"I was completely obsessed with pop culture growing up."
I was super into "Dirty Dancing" and the song "She's Like the Wind." It was like, "That's the best romantic song ever written." I wasn't introduced to a more artistic reality until much later.
I love nachos, burritos, enchiladas - I like it all. But I go for the chips, salsa and guacamole, so I'm usually so full by the time the food comes that I have three bites. It's a bit of an issue.
["We Belong to the Night" by Pat Benatar] is a really good karaoke song for me. I sang it at the wrap party for "Doubt."
I love "The Nutcracker" because it's part of a tradition - I love Christmas - and it was the only ballet I did as a professional ballerina. I quit before I got to do much more.
Source: Larry Getlen / The New York Post