Amy Adams for Backstage Magazine

Backstage Magazine

Inside a stark Hollywood photo studio, Amy Adams’ detailed phrasing while discussing her acting process conjures finger-painted fridge notes, candles with lost wicks, and a garage-strung tennis ball patting a windshield. “I like lived-in characters,” she says. “I want a character to feel like that’s who she’s been her whole life. I don’t want it to feel like a performance,” adding, “I want it to feel like someone you know.”

The women she brings to the screen are so convincing, it’s easy to imagine encountering them at crosswalks after the end credits living the new life you’ve dreamt up for them: Ashley Johnsten (“Junebug”) rode her first plane and had another baby; Sister James (“Doubt”) left the church to counsel sexual abuse victims; Julie Powell (“Julie & Julia”), worn down by the competitiveness of foodie Instagram accounts, returned to rustic cookery.

Although Oscars have eluded Adams five times, she’s in the awards conversation again for Adam McKay’s Dick Cheney biopic “Vice” and her recent work on “Sharp Objects,” which has already made her a front-runner in 2019’s Emmy race (not to mention a lock for the upcoming SAG Awards).

Adapted from Gillian Flynn’s novel, the eight-part HBO miniseries, which debuted in July, enlists Adams as Camille Preaker, a St. Louis crime reporter doubly imprisoned by words. We pick up years after Camille has extracted herself from the Missouri Bootheel and her mother Adora’s (Patricia Clarkson) manicured claws, only to be sent back to investigate the murder of a local girl. Forced to again write herself out of small-town America, she manages her anxiety by quietly and constantly pouring vodka into her water bottles while resisting the urge to etch another 350 cries for help into her skin—from “INJURY” to “WRONG” to “VANISH.” Her addiction to self-harm—revealed in parsed-out flashbacks—mandates a dress code of long-sleeved forced modesty; almost every inch of her skin remains covered, despite the sweltering Missouri heat.

During the 91-day shoot, daily scar application took one to three hours. “Because they’re head to toe, I had to stand up pretty much in my underwear,” says Adams. “Being confronted with the sight of me every day as [my skin] would transform and standing there feeling really vulnerable, it really fed the character.”

Long before arriving on set for director Jean-Marc Vallée (“Big Little Lies”), Adams (also an executive producer on the project) started her preparation by “mining” details from Flynn’s text and ordering numerous books on self-harm. She spent “hours and hours and hours” with her acting coach, Warner Loughlin, whom she refers to as her “acting therapist,” since “essentially we go in and break down the characters…discussing [their] past[s] and moments and motivations.

Vallée was against the use of voiceover, “so it was really important to me to be able to communicate her inner monologue just through acting,Adams says. “There’s a sadness and an intensity about her, but she’s also very raw and very vulnerable, and also very compassionate, like strangely compassionate.

Her character’s compassion comes through best in her relationship with her charming but manipulative younger half sister Amma (Eliza Scanlen), and Adams decided she wanted to help cast the role. (She also had a say in who played Detective Richard Willis, the love interest she chases to question each suspect and witness; the part went to her onscreen “Julie & Julia” husband Chris Messina.)

For Amma, Australian teenager Scanlen “just was undeniable.” In the audition room, Adams recalls, “She not only kept up, but she got ahead,” meaning “with every slippery trick I was trying to use to see if she could [handle them,] engaging, disengaging, saying a line really quietly…just seeing how she’ll react to things,” Scanlen rose to the challenge. When Vallée encouraged Scanlen to show affection, the young actor crawled onto Adams’ lap and stole a kiss. Theirs is an at first cautious chemistry that blossoms as the season and their relationship progresses, and Scanlen’s scenes with Adams are some of the show’s best.

Developing a rapport with her co-stars was necessary for Adams’ preparation, but getting ready for “Sharp Objects” also meant constructing Camille’s sense memories. “You kind of tell yourself the stories of what happened to the character,” she says, explaining how she assembles from scratch a very specific set of recollections for the women she plays. For example, filming “Arrival” required many instances where her character, Louise Banks, pined for the little girl she’d lost. “To think about my daughter, a trigger would be the smell of the shampoo in her hair,” says Adams. Her process involves putting these manufactured memories “into my body as reality,” ergo “just a real big mind bend.” Although these thoughts are assigned to characters, “they feel really real, because you go into detail.

Channeling Camille necessitated three months of Adams exploring the fictional journalist’s anger and sadness. “That need to relieve yourself of pain, to make your pain visible, was something I identified with,” she says. “I get to work out my crap by playing these characters and exposing myself in a way that feels relatively safe,” reasoning that the strength her family provides (plus the stress relief of yoga and hiking) is why she knows she can “come back” from emotionally taxing shoots.

The one step Adams didn’t take while developing the character was seeking out actual survivors of self-injury. “That felt so personal, and I never want to feel like I’m exploiting someone else’s pain,” she says.

However, Adams did look to sit down with Lynne Cheney, whom she portrays in “Vice”—McKay’s much-awaited follow-up to his Academy Award–winning “The Big Short”—but for the sake of creative license, the filmmakers did not pursue the family’s input. A biopic of George W. Bush’s running mate, “Vice” (out Dec. 25) brings together the talents of Christian Bale (Dick Cheney), Sam Rockwell (Bush), Steve Carell (Donald Rumsfeld), Tyler Perry (Colin Powell), and many others.

A lot of times, you’ll walk away from the movie and you’ll be thinking about a specific part or a specific scene, and I was left with the sum of the parts just blowing me away,” she says of the film, whose producers include Brad Pitt and Will Ferrell (who played Adams’ paramour in another McKay entry, “Talladega Nights: The Ballad of Ricky Bobby”).

Both she and now three-time co-star Bale (“The Fighter,” “American Hustle”) “approached our characters with a lot of respect and compassion, and then it’s our job as actors not to judge the characters we play,Adams says. “So it’s interesting now on the other side of it, because I know it’s going to [inspire] very interesting conversations, [and] I actually am still in defense of my character.

Upon accepting the role of second lady, Adams laughs that she merely “knew who [Lynne Cheney] was, and I knew that Eminem mentions her in one of his songs, so I knew her point of view.

She continues, “I really came to like and respect her as a woman. She’s very self-motivated, she pursued her education, she has a Ph.D; she didn’t just sit by, she had jobs of her own. She’s very outspoken—whether I agree with what she says all the time or not, she’s not afraid to use her voice for what she believes in. I could probably do a little more of that.

Still quite self-aware, Adams says that she is beginning to worry less about how others perceive her and her choices. Back in the auditioning phase of her career, she says, “I just constantly did not present myself well or wore the wrong thing, or I was very nervous and my energy was somewhat socially awkward.” Meanwhile, on sets, she “didn’t want to seem like the weird actor acting like the character.

Eventually, she accepted that “I’m weird, and I’m going to be walking around, saying lines, talking to myself, and whatever the quirk is that my character has. I’m going to be doing that, and you all will think I’m nuts—and I might be.

It took time to get to this point, she admits. “[In the past,] I got caught up in thinking about things that weren’t that important, like being successful or getting the right job or having the right anything. No, it wasn’t that [I was turning down roles], it was just that I wasn’t kind to myself about my failures, and so one failure would feed into another failure and another because I couldn’t get ahead of it,” she remembers. “I was auditioning, but I was too nervous because I felt too much riding on it.

Now, it’s easy to look back and say that, but at the time, I was ready to pack it up…. I was doing a television show, and I had been let go from the television show, and that’s when I was like, Clearly this industry and I are not—at least this part of it, film and television—aren’t gelling.” She considered heading to New York or exploring teaching in order to find happiness in the pursuit rather than the result. Then she landed “Junebug,” a role she says came as a result of “letting go.”

With practice, she’s learned to balance the thick skin of an artist with the vulnerability required for creative flow. “Care!” she advises. “Everyone’s like, ‘Oh, I act like I don’t care.’ That’s my least favorite quality in people. I care way too much,” she says, laughing. “You put all of it into the work, into the preparation.

Check the photos in our gallery:

Photoshoots > 2018 > #014 Backstage Magazine

Amy Adams receives Golden Globes nominations

The nominees for the 2019 Golden Globes were announced on Thursday (December 06), and Amy Adams was announced as a nominee to Best Actresses in a Limited Series for Sharp Objects. Vice is also leading the nominations, counting a total of 6, including Amy as Best Supporting Actress. Adams received three nominations, since she’s producer of Sharp Objects.

Best Performance by an Actress in a Leading Role in a Series, Limited Series or Motion Picture Made for Television – Amy Adams
Best Television Limited Series or Motion Picture Made for Television – Sharp Objects
Best Performance by an Actress in a Supporting Role in a Series, Limited Series, or Motion Picture Made for Television – Patricia Clarke

Best Performance by an Actress in a Supporting Role in a Motion Picture – Amy Adams, Vice
Best Motion Picture, Musical or Comedy – Vice
Best Performance by an Actor in a Supporting Role in a Motion Picture – Christian Bale
Best Performance by an Actor in a Supporting Role in a Motion Picture – Sam Rockwell
Best Screenplay, Motion Picture – Adam McKay
Best Director, Motion Picture – Adam McKay

The ceremony itself will air on Sunday, January 6, with the duo of Andy Samberg and Sandra Oh hosting.

Amy Adams attends “Vice” Special Screening

On December 05, Amy Adams attended a special screening for her upcoming movie ‘Vice‘ held Los Angeles.

Check the photos in our gallery:

 Appearances & Public Events > 2018 > Dec 05 │’VICE’ Special Screening, Los Angeles

Amy Adams attend the SFFILM Awards

Amy Adams attended the 2018 SFFILM Awards held at the Palace Of Fine Arts Theater on Tuesday on December 3, 2018 in San Francisco, Calif.

The Oscar-nominated actress was joined at the event by Michelle RodriguezWidows director Steve McQueenJohn C. ReillySorry to Bother You writer-director Boots Riley and Vice director Adam McKay at the annual fundraising celebration honoring achievement in filmmaking craft supporting the organization’s various year-round initiatives, especially SFFILM Education.

This year’s edition of the dinner and awards presentation event — leveraging its new position in the fall after a wildly successful move in 2017 — honored Steve with the Irving M. Levin Award for Film Direction; Amy with the Peter J. Owens Award for Acting; and Boots with the Kanbar Award for Storytelling.

Adams was wearing an black jumpsuit and Jimmy Choo shoes.

Check the photos in our gallery:

Appearances & Public Events > 2018 > Dec 03 │SFFILM Awards Night in San Francisco

Amy attends ‘Vice’ Press Conference in LA

On November 30, Amy Adams attended a press conference for her new movie Vice, alongside her co-star Christian Bale.

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Appearances & Public Events > 2018 > Nov 30 │’Vice’ Press Conference in Beverly Hills

Stranger Things Star Sadie Sink Sits Down With Her Redheaded Role Model Amy Adams

InStyle If you’ve been sucked into a Stranger Things binge over the last year, then you already know actress Sadie Sink as Max Mayfield, Hawkins, Indiana’s resident tomboy who can usually be found in jeans, T-shirts, and other skateboard-friendly staples from the early ’80s. But what you might not be as familiar with is Sink’s incredibly chic off-screen style, which has been garnering just as many rave reviews as her beloved Netflix series.

Working alongside stylist Molly Dickson, the 16-year-old star has put a youthful spin on everything from classic Chanel to quirky-cool Miu Miu, the latter coming in the form of a flirty tea-length creation made just for her to wear to the Golden Globes this year. Most recently, she turned heads at the Emmys in a custom Hiraeth dress with intricate shoulder detailing (below) that she dreamed up with her pal and the brand’s founder Rooney Mara — not too shabby.

While it’s clear that she’s already developed a knack for choosing looks that land her on our best-dressed list, Sink told InStyle she’s still learning the ins-and-outs of the fashion biz and is often inspired by her fellow actresses who have been hitting their mark on the step-and-repeat for years.

Her biggest style crush of late? Five-time Oscar nominee Amy Adams, who shares Sink’s love for modern, feminine gowns, as well as similarly striking red hair, porcelain complexions, and delightfully cheerful dispositions. “Amy has been a role model and a style crush of mine for a long time,” says Sink. “When I was little, I loved her in Enchanted and The Muppets, and then when I was older, in movies like Arrival. And her style is cool and always so smart.”

So for our January issue, we connected Sink with her fashion icon to talk shop. On the agenda? The boots that Adams swears by (Rag & Bone for the win), risky red carpet choices, and why redheads should indeed wear red. Listen in on their chat below.

Sadie Sink: Amy, you’re one of the main reasons I wanted to start acting. And your style is so elegant, smart, and awesome.

Amy Adams: Aw thanks, sweetie. You’re so great in Stranger Things.

SS: Thank you! My personal style is always going through different phases. How would you describe your look right now?

AA: Well, my red-carpet style is more classic, but my personal style is very bohemian slash mom. I love prints and long, flowy dresses that are basically muumuus — but very classy muumuus [laughs].

SS: I’m into the flowy thing too, but I like feeling supercool and edgy on the carpet. What’s been your most memorable look?

AA: I loved the silver dress that Tom Ford sent me for the Oscars [below]. It had this great deep V, and it was not necessarily something I would’ve asked him for, but when I got it, I said, “Oh my goodness. This is so beautiful.” He dressed my character in Nocturnal Animals so impeccably, it has reminded me to work toward that in my life too. Collaborating with designers in that way is a real privilege, isn’t it?

SS: Yes! My Miu Miu gown at the Golden Globes was the first time I had anything custom-made for me [below]. And for the Emmys, my friend Rooney Mara designed a dress for me with her brand, Hiraeth. It’s so neat to see a sketch turn into a full-on look. I still have a lot to learn, though …

AA: When I was 16, everything I knew about fashion was from the mall. There was a girl at my school named Kim that had really good style and I just wanted to look like her [laughs]. So I think you’ve got me beat — how about that?

SS: Ha! I’m just starting to know what I like and what I don’t and develop a distinct look. It’s become easier to speak up for myself.

AA: Yeah, over time I’ve learned that it’s OK to take chances, and it’s also OK for people not to like what you’re wearing. I used to get really caught up in if people liked it, and now it’s more about how I feel in it. It’s fun! I don’t take it so seriously anymore.

SS: I’ve seen you wear red, and you pull it off so well.

AA: Oh, I love red on red. When my hair color is really intense, I tend to stay away from bright colors, though. Not sure why.

SS: They always say [redheads] should stay away from brights, but I usually just wear whatever I want.

AA: You should! When you’re young, you can get away with it. But I look like a cat lady in brights. I do love blue, though, in literally any shade.

SS: My character in Stranger Things has inspired me to wear more color. Which of your movies has influenced your style?

AA: I’d say American Hustle. I became a lot less self-conscious after that role. I think it freed me up a little bit.

SS: Is there any particular style or trend that you’re gravitating towards right now?

AA: Prints! And flowy dresses. I used to like more body-conscious silhouettes, and now I’m feeling a little more flowy. I think that just has a lot to do with how I’ve changed as a person. I’m a mood dresser.

SS: What’s the biggest fashion risk you’ve ever taken?

AA: Sometimes the dresses that I thought were home runs become the risky ones. There was a butterfly print dress that I wore to a film festival in London and it was really different that anything I’d worn before, but it was also cut really far down on both sides of the bodice. As soon as I started walking on the red carpet, I was like, “Oh, this could be a problem.” For me, risk has little to do with fashion and more to do with the roles that I take and putting myself out there in that way.

SS: That makes sense. Is there something you buy over and over? For me, it’s bags. I have so many of them, but I just keep wanting more.

AA: I have a Rag & Bone boot problem. First was the Newbury, and then the Margot, and then the one with studs. They’re all so comfy.

SS: Comfort is number one for me with shoes. I like to do a test walk in heels to make sure I won’t fall or get crazy blisters.

AA: Anytime you want high heel training, let me know! I can teach you to walk in 6-inch ones if you want.

SS: Please do because I need the help [laughs].

AA: You’ve got time! I don’t think I could’ve worn heels at 16. I was a dancer in musical theater and on pointe, so that’s how I learned. I really love high heels, but if they kill my feet, that’s the only thing that’ll send me home before the end of a party.

Sadie Sink stars in Eli and the third season of Stranger Things, both out in 2019. Amy Adams stars in Vice, in theaters December 25. And for more stories like this, pick up the January issue of InStyleavailable on newsstands, on Amazon, and for digital download on Dec. 7.

Amy Adams receives Satellite Awards Nomination for “Sharp Objects”

The nominations for the 23rd annual Satellite Awards have been announced by the International Press Academy (IPA) and Amy Adams received a nomination for her work in Sharp Objects!

Actress in a Miniseries & Limited Series or a Motion Picture Made for Television
a.Amy Adams – Sharp Objects, HBO
b.Laura Dern – The Tale, HBO
c.Dakota Fanning – The Alienist, TNT
d.Julia Roberts – Homecoming, Prime Video
e.Emma Stone – Maniac, Netflix

Sharp Objects also received nomination for Miniseries & Limited Series.

The IPA awards will be handed out in February.