Amy Adams has come a long way since her smash hit "Enchanted" and is the lead in a new romantic comedy about a pragmatic woman who travels to Ireland to propose to her equally pragmatic boyfriend in "Leap Year", but of course she meets Irishman Mathew Goode who offers her a lift to Dublin and the mismatched couple eventually falls for each other. For Adams, herself recently engaged, it was a change being the star of a romantic comedy. She talked about the film and her own marital plans with Paul Fischer.
Question: Now, it seems to me there are two aspects to this character. The kind of pragmatic character, the pragmatic side of her, that knows why she’s involved with this guy, and all that kind of thing. And then there’s the ultimately romantic side to the character, that – what she discovers along the way. Which of those two aspects do you think you’re closest to?
Adams: I mean, I think I have both aspects of the character in me And I think that’s why I was attracted to the character. Because I tend to be really pragmatic, but ultimately tend to be attracted to people who sort of pull me into more spontaneity. And I really learned that through surrender, the best experiences of my life have happened. And so that’s one of the things that attracted me to this story. Was sort of thinking you have control, losing control, and then finding an amazing life for yourself.
Question: Are you spontaneous, then?
Adams: No, I’m not. I mean, I try to be. I work on it. I guess me working on being spontaneous is me not being spontaneous. [LAUGHTER] I think I’ve just answered it. So, probably not as much as I’d like to be.
Question: It occurred to me that a lot of the romantic comedies we’re seeing these days feature very high-powered women having to learn to take it a little slower. Why do you think that’s been such a popular theme that people are responding to?
Adams: I think because women are taking more and more responsibility in the workplace and at home, and we’re really trying to have it all. And I think it’s very relatable to women and men today, to sort of see that in film.
Question: Is there any part of you that thinks you might like to see them get a little comeuppance, too? They’re a little too overboard sometimes?
Adams: I think the men probably enjoy that. I think in this film, especially, Declan really enjoys it. And he’s so masculine, I think men will really enjoy watching him enjoy Anna suffering a little bit.
Question: What do you think about the whole proposal aspect, about the female proposing to the male? Is that something you would ever consider?
Adams: Yeah. It’s something I would consider. I thought about it. I waited for six years. And – I ultimately decided against it, because I knew that that was important to my fiancé, now. I knew that was important to him. But I think if you had the type of relationship, where it would be okay with the guy, I don’t see anything wrong with it.
Question: Six years.
Question: You’re very patient.
Adams: Well, the second year was a little airy. I was not as patient. And then I just realized I had to relax, and enjoy the journey with him.
Question: He’s still your fiancé, isn’t he?
Question: You haven't married already.
Adams: No. No, we have not.
Question: Can you talk a little bit about the directing process? Did the director leave you some room to do what you wanted to do, or get in the environment before you did the scene? Or has it been straightforward?
Adams: It sort of depended on the scene. There were definitely scenes where we had a lot of room to improv, and then sometimes the scenes that are more – you know, timing-specific, you’re a little more constrained. But he definitely allowed for a lot of improvisation. Like the scene with the cows. I mean, you kind of have to be loose with that. I mean, you’re working with cows, and they don’t cooperate. As much as you try to train a cow, I don't know [LAUGHTER] – they’re not really programmed to cooperate. So, he was really great on his feet. And in dealing with the elements. In Ireland, we were always outside. And rain and wind, and – you know, sunny when it was supposed to be raining, raining when it was supposed to be sunny. So, we really had to be really loose. And I think that was something I took from the film. Is just – loosening up all around.
Question: How important is working on location for a story like this? How does it inform your performance?
Adams: It informed it a lot. Especially being in Ireland. I really started to understand being able to surrender your entire life for this place, and being able to fall in love with a place, and with the people of the place, because Ireland really has that quality. You feel like it’s home and being in Ireland really, really helped me understand Anna’s pull towards it. So, I think it was really important. It would have been harder to do in another location, I think.
Question: Do you have any superstitions or traditions that you follow?
Adams: I don’t. I was actually talking about this earlier today, before I started talking to everyone. Where, I love certain cultures because of their traditions. And I sort of miss tradition. And that’s something I’m going to try to really instill in my own family, is a lot of tradition.
Question: Any superstitions of anything?
Adams: I used to have a lot of superstitions, and then I realized that it was kind of hogwash. So. And once I let go of them, I relaxed a lot. Like, I used to – if I had a project that I was – had auditioned for, and I was getting close to getting it, I didn't want to tell anybody, because I thought then I wouldn't get it. When in reality, that really had no bearing on whether or not I got a part. But I sort of let go of a lot of those things.
Question: How was it working with Matthew Goode? How was he as a colleague?
Adams: Oh, he’s great. He’s so – you guys’ll see. He’s so charming and funny, and he’s smart. And – he brought so much to this role. And he really – he just enjoyed playing Declan, and that was so much fun. I love the character of Declan. So, he was absolutely perfect in it.
Question: With the holidays coming up, is there any Christmas gift you’re hoping to get, or one you’re planning to give?
Adams: What am I planning to give? Well, I can't say, because then my family will know, because it’s on their list. I almost was like, “Well, I’m giving”—no, I’m not going to say that. Yeah, I have some stuff I’m going to give. I haven't really – I always feel strange asking for presents. I usually tend to ask for something that’s a little more homemade. I like pictures of my nieces and nephews. Or like, my sister sometimes made calendars with everybody’s birthday on it – which, for me, is a life-saver. Because I forget what day it is. I don’t live in a world of dates, you know? And someone’s birthday will come and go. And two days later, I’ll be like, “Wait, that was the fourth? I totally missed my brother’s birthday.” And my family’s very forgiving. But that’s a great present for me. Something like that.
Question: How surprised are you by the success that you’ve attained since Enchanted, which was an unexpected hit, I guess, for you, and kind of your breakout movie. Is there going to be a sequel to that film?
Adams: I don't know if there’s going to be a sequel. I really don’t know. I mean, I’d be open if there was something put in front of me that was really great. But I think the film stands on its own, and I think some of my favorite films don’t have sequels. So, I love that it stands on its own, but I’d be willing to explore it. And as far as the success – I mean, I think in this field, it’s always – it’s got to stay a surprise, and you’ve got to stay grateful for it. And you have to understand that – how cyclical it all is, and enjoy the ride. So.
Question: Can you think of a day in your life when things were just disastrous, and it was just Murphy’s law all the way, to relate to your character?
Adams: Sure. Yeah. I mean – [LAUGHTER].
Question: Can you share it?
Adams: No! I’m like, “No way.” I think yesterday was one of those days. You know? You just wake up on the wrong side of the bed, and you’re sucking lemons all day, you know? You just can't seem to get ahead of yourself. And you try to have a good attitude, and it just seems that there’s one roadblock in front of the next.
Question: Well, what do you do to end up coping with it?
Adams: I go to sleep. [LAUGHTER] Hope – think about the coffee. You know, I try to get through the day. And usually the next day is completely different. You know.
Question: What are you doing next, do you know?
Adams: Well, I just finished The Fighter, with David O. Russell. And then I’m taking some time off right now.
Question: For how long?
Adams: I’m not sure. Probably ‘til next summer. Yeah.
Question: When you look at projects that you want to do, what do you look for in a project, above and beyond a good script?
Adams: I think that there are different things that attract me to each project. Sometimes it’s the director. Sometimes it’s just specifically the story. Sometimes it’s specifically the character. But when I look, it’s usually a combination of those things together. And sometimes it’s the mood that I’m in, you know? Like, I feel like, “Oh, gosh, I just worked on this really heavy drama, and I just need to do something – I just want to have fun and let loose,” you know? So it’s different things that drive my decision.
Question: Is there a story you’d like to do? Or, something you’d like to develop yourself?
Adams: Yeah. Yeah, I’m actually starting to produce more, and to be involved more in development. And I’m looking forward to that, and to try my hand and see how I like that. Because I really enjoy the creative process of bringing a movie to life. And I look forward to being more involved in that.
Question: Do you remember why you wanted to become an actor in the first place?
Adams: I don't know that there was the singular moment. I knew I wanted to be a performer. I didn't know that I would specifically be in film. I actually never thought I would be in film. I always sort of envisioned being on the stage. But it was probably quite, quite young, like anyone who is drawn towards performance. I think I just – I loved – it’s kind of silly. But, my Dad would write these skits for us to perform. We have seven kids, so it’s – we would do these skits. And just the rehearsal process with my Dad and my brothers and sisters, then sort of even then coming up with a character, and sauntering around. I just had fun with it. And I knew that I enjoyed it. And then I wanted to be a doctor, but I couldn't pass chemistry. And so I was like, “Well, I guess – I guess I should do something that I enjoy, and that is a little easier than that.” So.
Question: Were you the class clown?
Adams: No. No, I wasn’t. In high school, I was so painfully self-aware, that I guess I probably couldn't – how I thought of myself would probably be very different than how other people thought of me. But I thought of myself as just like – painfully awkward, and dorky, and – I don't know. Had a lot of hair. Was kind of weird. Sang a lot in the hallways. You know. I think I was a dork in the best way possible. Like, I loved it, but I didn't necessarily fit a niche in high school.
Question: So, you weren’t in the cool kid table.
Adams: Honestly, I read a book in the corner at lunch time. I liked to read. Not, like, Shakespeare or anything. I read, like, romance novels. [LAUGHTER]. So, thus Leap Year. I would have read Leap Year, and been like – aah! Yeah. And also I read other books. But I used to steal my stepmom’s romance novels.
Question: How important is it for you to able to balance this career, and impending family. You’re about to start a family, and that kind of stuff. Is it going to be a challenge for you? Are you thinking about how you’re going to be able to balance both sides of your life?
Adams: Of course. I think any woman that intends on having a career and a family simultaneously – they think about the challenge of balancing. And then also balancing that with the relationship, and keeping that going. It’s definitely something that’s on my mind. I’m really lucky, I have a great support team around me. And I think that – I’m just going to look at it as an adventure, and not try to plan too far ahead, and just do it what I think is best in the moment. I mean, it’s all new to me. So, I guess I’ll keep you posted.
Question: You mentioned maybe taking a year off. What are some personal projects you’re hoping to accomplish in that time?
Adams: Well, the baby. I’m hoping that that project is accomplished successfully. Yeah. That’s – but aside from that, I’m working on – like I said, I’m working on some development stuff, and – I don't know. I’m trying to work on my relationships. I think I’ve been gone so long. I’ve sort of had relationships that have been really great, and really supportive. But I need to sort of learn how to keep in touch with people better. And that’ll be a nice exercise, to have the time and have the focus to focus on other people, instead of just my career and myself.
Question: What’s it like working with David Russell?
Adams: It was awesome. I loved it.
Question: What sort of character did you play in that?
Adams: I play – I play Mark Wahlberg’s character’s girlfriend, who’s kind of – she’s kind of a straightforward, a little bit rough around the edges, kind of Boston girl. So. Bartender.