Actress Amy Adams

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2011 Golden Globe nominee for her performance role in The Fighter explains why becoming a mother has made her enjoy acting more.

Amy Adams has won two Academy Awards nominations—for her critically acclaimed performances in the '05 indie Junebug and '08's Doubt—and built an impressive list of film credits. Initially an aspiring ballerina, she showcased her singing and dancing talents in the animated/live-action feature Enchanted and has also guest starred on several TV series. Adams was born in Italy into a military family and raised in Colorado. With a future in show business on her mind, she worked part-time at the local Hooters, while attending high school. She recently received a Golden Globe nod for her turn in The Fighter.


Tavis: Amy Adams is a two-time Oscar nominee whose notable films include “June Bug” and “Doubt.” Earlier this week she was nominated for a Golden Globe award for her latest project, “The Fighter,” yay. The film also stars Mark Wahlberg and Melissa Leo. Here now, a scene from “The Fighter.”
Tavis: So I saw you glancing. You wouldn’t stare at it, but I saw you glancing at the monitor over my shoulder.
Amy Adams: Yeah.
Tavis: So what do you think when you see your work in this film?
Adams: I try to look at it from someone else’s perspective, because I was there. What I really enjoy about that scene and what I enjoy watching is Melissa Leo and the sisters. They really crack me up, and the sisters, every time they talked in the movie it made me laugh, and even being there on set and filming, to watch it makes me laugh.
Tavis: So speaking of your character, how does one go about researching what it’s like to be a sassy bartender? (Laughter)
Adams: Well, luckily, it’s based on a real-life girl, Charlene – Charlene Fleming, who’s married now to Mickey Ward – so I had a little bit of footage on her and she came and visited a couple times. But just got too dig deep.
Tavis: So for those who have not seen the movie, the storyline is?
Adams: It’s the story of Mickey Ward and his family, Dicky Ecklund, his brother, who trained him –
Tavis: I love this – Mickey and Dicky.
Adams: Mickey and Dicky, that’s right.
Tavis: Yeah, two characters.
Adams: And their mother, Alice, who managed them. It just examines his life and his journey to the championship.
Tavis: You were interested in doing this particular role why, or what got you interested?
Adams: It was just a great role. David O. Russell came to me with about 20 pages, because they were working on Charlene a little bit. I’d met him on some other projects, and it was kind of a no-brainer, because I really wanted to work with David O. Russell, had met Mark before, really loved Mark, wanted to work with him, and had read with Christian and met Melissa, so it was just really – I couldn’t find a reason not to do it. So yeah, I was in.
Tavis: Yeah, that’s the best kind of work, when you can’t find a reason not to.
Adams: Yeah, exactly.
Tavis: What’s it like working with Mark Wahlberg? Mark is the thing – he’s the man these days.
Adams: He is the man. That’s what it’s like working with him, he’s the man. He’s powerful but humble. Just really committed as an actor and as a creator. I was at a Q&A the other day and he’s like, “I’m a hustler, I make things happen,” and he does. (Laughter)
Tavis: That sounds like Mark.
Adams: I have so much respect for that. I have zero hustle in me, so I really wish that I had a little bit of his hustle. I’m a little bit more laid back.
Tavis: We were talking when you came on the set, before we came on the air, about the “60 Minutes” profile recently about Mark, and I asked you had you seen it. I thought it was a wonderful piece. I think a lot of people, though, thanks to that “60 Minutes” piece, got a chance to know – for those of us who are Mark Wahlberg fans, you know the music, you know that part of the story.
Adams: Yeah, yeah.
Tavis: But I think people don’t know, to your point, of his – when you say he was powerful, I thought you were going somewhere different with that, and I understand the point you made. But he really is powerful in a variety of ways. He’s gaining power in this town as a producer, and I think a lot of folk in that special learned stuff about Mark they didn’t know about the total package.
Adams: Yeah. He makes things happen. He was like, “How do we film the fights in three days?” He contacted HBO and he was like, “This is what I’m looking to do,” and they came through, and it’s amazing. That’s what he does with everything, from the smallest thing to the biggest thing. He isn’t afraid to put the hours in and the work in, and I have mad respect for him.
Tavis: So congrats on the Golden Globe nomination.
Adams: Thank you.
Tavis: And the accent, did Mr. Wahlberg help you with that?
Adams: In the sense that I listened to him and I knew. Mark’s not going to be the person who turns around and he’s like, “What are you doing?” He’s not going to do that, but I knew he wasn’t going to let it get out of hand, so I felt very safe in his hands.
Tavis: Macro-wise, how are you making decisions and choices these days about your career, where you want to take this, the kinds of roles you do want to do, the things you don’t want to do, something you might want to reprise, I don’t ever want to do that again. How are you holistically looking at this career now?
Adams: I just had a baby, so it’s kind of –
Tavis: Congratulations on that.
Adams: Thank you.
Tavis: What, seven months?
Adams: Seven months ago, yeah, so it’s still coming back into work. I’m on the second film now after having my daughter, so I think it’s going to be a day-to-day process. I’m lucky enough to get really interesting and diverse roles offered to me, and I just hope that that continues. I just want to keep expanding as an artist and really try new things, but at the same time I absolutely love the work that I’ve done, and I’ve just been really lucky. That’s how I feel. So I think it’s a day-to-day process.
Tavis: Is it working at all like you planned it or dreamt it would work, or dramatically different, the career unfolding, that is?
Adams: So dramatically different. (Laughter) I won’t tell you what I thought I’d be doing, because I don’t want to offend anybody who’s actually doing it.
Tavis: Oh, come on. No –
Adams: No, no.
Tavis: Tell us, come on. You’re not going to offend anybody.
Adams: No, but it might, it might. I came from dinner theater. I moved out to L.A. – I’d hurt myself, so I moved out to L.A. and I was like, “Let’s just give it a try and let’s just see what this particular choice has in store for me,” and I’ve just been really, really lucky, I have to say.
You put the work in and the time, but ultimately, I met up with a really great manager right away and a great agent right away, and I just got really lucky.
Tavis: The first baby?
Adams: Yeah.
Tavis: Okay. So two questions, then.
Adams: Okay.
Tavis: How’s motherhood, seven months in?
Adams: Awesome. Awesome.
Tavis: Awesome – you love this.
Adams: I really love it, yeah. It’s hard.
Tavis: More than acting?
Adams: Well, yeah. I’m like, “Uh.” Sorry, Av.
Tavis: You had better say yes. (Laughter)
Adams: Sorry, Aviana.
Tavis: Like, “Tavis is asking trick questions.”
Adams: No, no, no, it’s just so – I mean, they’re completely different things. If anything – the reason I paused is because motherhood has made me enjoy acting more, because I’m so –
Tavis: That was my second question, so you’re psychic.
Adams: Yeah. Well, yes, I am psychic. (Laughter) I’m glad we can talk about that. (Laughter) No, it’s – I took a pause because I really love acting more now that I’ve had my daughter. I like the world more now that I’ve had my daughter.
Tavis: Why is that?
Adams: Because she’s in it, and the focus is off of me, and that is freedom, that I no longer am the most important thing in my life. As much as I didn’t want to admit before I had a kid that I was maybe self-centered, I was so self-centered. I didn’t even realize how self-centered – like, my small day-to-day dramas, everything was just so different, and now she’s my priority.
But yeah, I can’t think about the dangerous place the world is. I walk into every environment – like I’m walking in here and I’m like, “Oh, how do you baby proof stairs like this?” I could never. (Laughter) Everything becomes a danger. How would I bring her in here?
We were on an airplane a couple days ago and it seemed like everybody was contagious and I was, like, you know? Yeah, it’s scary, but at the same time she is – I hope that I can be the kind of mom that she can be a benefit to the world, and how to make the world a better place. I really hope that. No pressure, Aviana. (Laughter) She’s going to be like, “You.” (Laughter)
Tavis: I was just thinking, speaking of – you mentioned the Q&A you did recently; I just did a Q&A recently and somebody asked me about hosting the show, and I was saying that the thing I love most about doing this show is that every night, I’m not sure if it’s true or not, but I go home every night at least feeling smarter, because every day I learn something.
Today I learned from you that the reason for my self-centeredness is that I ain’t got a baby yet. (Laughter) So anyway, I’ve got to get to work.
Adams: Yeah. I don’t want to say anything.
Tavis: Yeah, you didn’t want to say that, but you said it anyway.
Adams: I’ll be very careful. (Laughter)
Tavis: The movie is called “The Fighter.” She stars along Mark Wahlberg and a wonderful cast. Her name, of course, Amy Adams. Amy, good to have you on the program, and all the best to you.
Adams: Good to have – good to be here. (Laughter)
Tavis: Glad to have you here.
Adams: Thank you.
Tavis: For more of my conversation, visit our website at
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Last modified: April 26, 2011 at 12:28 pm