Anthony D’Alessandro is Managing Editor of AwardsLine.
When it comes to straddling comedy and drama, few performers possess range and commercial longevity. Count Amy Adams as one of those few. In the afterglow of her Oscar-nominated turn as the filter-less Southern-fried Ashley in 2005’s Junebug, Adams continues to rally Academy voters for her somber roles (her suspicious nun in 2008’s Doubt and her Gaelic gal in 2010’s The Fighter) as well as families for her Disney films (last winter’s The Muppets and 2007’s Enchanted). In her latest role as Peggy Dodd, the woman behind Philip Seymour Hoffman’s philosophical cult leader Lancaster Dodd in Paul Thomas Anderson’s The Master, Adams brings a fierce gravitas to every scene she’s in, even when she isn’t speaking. When deconstructing her process, Adams is literally speechless: “The mystery of working with Paul is part of the wonderful experience. You have to invest in the moment and invest in the experience. Of course, you can ask questions. But I always find that living the experience is the answer.”
AwardsLine: You can play comedy and serious drama equally. Was achieving this dynamic something you and your talent reps planned or was it serendipity?
Amy Adams: It wasn’t so much that we sat there and had a strategy meeting. I finished The Muppets and was looking for what I would be doing next, and The Master presented itself. I do like to challenge myself and have it feel like different experiences in developing characters. Then I went from The Master to Superman. So it’s something I’m looking for from project to project rather than an overall strategy.