Amy Adams talked about motherhood, aliens, communication, being inspired by her professor-sister, director Denis Villeneuve and all things Arrival when she stopped by the Paramount Pictures portion of out big all-day The Contenders Presented By Deadline event at the DGA Theater.

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In front of a packed audience of Oscar and key guild voters, the five-time Academy Award nominee discussed playing a professor and linguistics expert brought in to try and talk to the aliens who have mysteriously landed in several different hot spots around the world. The movie has become a hit for the studio and continues to generate strong word of mouth despite being a cerebral take on the sci-fi alien genre — and is about as far from Independence Day as you can possibly get.

As Adams puts it, the film is really about being a mother, and she even joked that trying to communicate with aliens is much like trying to talk to her 6 year old sometimes. It is a busy season for Adams, who also stars in Nocturnal Animals which opens wide Friday.

Check out our conversation above.