Q&A with Bob Brauss
Amy Adams sparkles in just about everything she plays. Even if it's someone with layers of tarnish on her reputation.
In "Miss Pettigrew Lives for a Day," Adams' Delysia is an amoral American actress trying to get ahead in pre-war London by juggling affairs with three men. When she hooks up with the down-and-out governess of the title, played by Frances McDormand, the women's very different world views have salutary effects on one another.
Born in Italy into a large Army family (Amy's the middle of seven siblings) and raised in Colorado, the 33-year-old Adams has been on a roll since her 2005 Oscar-nominated turn as a pregnant Southern chatterbox in "Junebug." She first opened eyes in "Catch Me If You Can" in 2002. Then she earned raves for her work in "Enchanted" and played a significant role in "Charlie Wilson's War."
She has the recurring part of Katy the "Hot Girl" on "The Office," and she co-stars with Meryl Streep in no less than two upcoming films, "Doubt" and "Julie & Julia." All that, and she really does seem very nice. But, like most of her characters, there's a lot more to Amy Adams than that. Some would describe Delysia as free-spirited. I would say that she was a beautiful disaster and a bit misguided.
But instead of judging, just giving her a helping hand in the right direction like Miss Pettigrew did, that would be the thing to do.
I think I'm a little bit more private than she is. I'm much more private than she is! And I'm a little bit more monogamous ... I'm 100 percent more monogamous than she is, actually. But I can be flirty and I'm a bit boy crazy, and I definitely approach life with a lot of energy, so we have that in common.
Do you have a significant other?
I have a boyfriend of 5 1/2 years. He's an actor and an artist, Darren Le Gallo. He knows. We're very secure; you have to be.
Delysia shares with the girls of "Junebug" and "Enchanted" a wisdom beneath the ditziness.
There's a sense of hope to her, y'know? She definitely is more worldly and more manipulative of situations. But I do think, in her soul, that she's a romantic and is an optimist. You do find out that she has a softer side.
You have a knack for making extreme characters compelling.
It's an opportunity to ... I want to be careful not to say play a stereotype, but when we initially meet people in life, we tend to see them in a very one-dimensional way. Then, the more we get to know them, the more we are able to find out who and what they really are. I'm attracted to that in the writing of characters, that you really do spend time with them as you go. It makes it fun to rewatch the movie, too, knowing that (giggles). I wouldn't feel comfortable going to the caricatured extremes that these characters go to if there wasn't that other side of the coin. I don't know if I would take the sort of risks that I take with them.
Tell us about your singing and dancing talents.
I come from dinner theater, so I used to hoof it eight shows a week.
Did you ever work on Broadway?
I didn't, no. This is me being cheeky and sort of dumb, so you'll have to forgive me, but we shot "Enchanted" on Broadway, so I can say I've worked on Broadway! Actually, my joke is I've worked in Broadway, because I came out of the manhole in Times Square. Oh well - waah-waah.
It must be cool to get to show off your skills on the big screen.
It's really nice to have the opportunities that I have right now. I'm very grateful for them and I understand the position that I'm in, and that there are a lot of people who work very hard and never get the chance to do what I'm getting to do, so I am extremely grateful. There's Earnest Amy. You just met her.
Is there a Cynical Amy out there, too?
Only about certain things. But I'm not overly cynical. One thing I have in common with my characters is that I'm very open to new ideas. I love for people to disagree with me.
Think the slow and easy route prepared you better for success?
I came out to L.A. when I was 24, a bit older than most. It absolutely benefited me; there's no way the person I was at 18 would've been able to handle Los Angeles. Not that there's anything wrong with Los Angeles, but the industry and its pressures ... it was good for me, personally, to wait.
We hear you used to be a Hooters hostess.
Yes, sir, I was. Honestly, I was a dancer and I used to run around in leotards and tights. I didn't really quite get it; I was so naive about that. I thought, wearing tights or tight shirts, what's the big deal? But I learned that there is a difference. Being a hostess there was sort of fun, though. I was 17.
Any thoughts on being Disney's reigning princess?
I know that getting dolled up and buying all the costumes, the perception can be that it focuses on the wrong thing. But I think the tales themselves usually illustrate really strong-willed girls who break free of preconceived notions about them and set out on their own paths. So I think there's a positive element to it that could be focused on, not just pretty pretty princess.
Source: Bob Strauss / La.com / Mac Prescott