It seems Amy Adams has made it practically impossible to go to the movies these days without her. She stars in two A-list films: Arrival, a sci-fi thriller, and Nocturnal Animals, a noir psychological drama, both very different but equally compelling. In Los Angeles to promote both movies, Amy catches up with MiNDFOOD.
In Arrival you play a linguist – do you have a knack for languages in your own life?
I am not great at foreign languages but I feel so much of communication is about seeing the person.
I know you’ve said when you read the Arrival script, you were fascinated by the concept. What did you like about these aliens?
The concept I grew up with in relation to aliens was E.T. and Star Man which I loved. They were here to learn from us or gather something from our planet that didn’t have to do with destroying us. And that is my hope of what it would be like.
You always look so put together with beautiful clothes and makeup. Do you enjoy it?
I am lucky enough to get to work with a stylist and her team. I try stuff on and then she packs it very neatly and then after a day, it looks a mess. But it’s fun. A different day, a different dress and occasions like this where I am promoting two films, I have a lot of different outfits. I get to wear Tom Ford which I think every man and woman can appreciate. It’s an awesome privilege.
You played a princess in Enchanted nearly ten years ago. Looking back, how do you see your career trajectory?
I do pinch myself but my everyday life isn’t like today with you where people dress me. Unfortunately, I have been snapped many times looking unfortunate and in unflattering outfits carrying toilet paper. And that is just what it is. So my everyday life feels very pedestrian and wonderful and beautiful but when I do interviews and get to see some of the effects of the films that I do have on people, that is the real joy for me. Being at the film festivals is so great because you get to interact with the audience more than you do as a film actress.
Tom Ford directs you in Nocturnal Animals – how would you describe him in one word?
Did he ever tell you what dress looks good on you or offer any fashion tips?
No. (laughs) Trust me, I was very insecure and I had to get over it because he is very meticulous. He can seem intimidating but he is actually quite warm.
You’ve said that being a mother has made you more compassionate as a person. What kind of impact has your mother had on you?
My mum made me tough. My mum is compassionate but she never let me give into my fears. I was a naturally fearful child, whether it be a new situation where I felt shy or if it was a physical challenge, I would say, ‘I am scared.’ And she’d say, ‘Good. You should do it.’ And she always supported me trying new things and never let me allow my fear to keep from doing something. I think I have taken that forward.
How hard is it when you go on trips? Lots of working mothers find it difficult to leave their kids.
It’s really hard for me to leave, but I have to cover it up because I don’t want my daughter to see me emotional about leaving. I call it crying in the closet and that is what I do a lot as a mum. It’s fine when you go in the closet and have a nice cry. But yeah, I don’t like leaving. I don’t think any mother does. I have tried to see it as an opportunity to take time for myself or develop friendships, but at the end of the day I can’t trick myself. It’s like, ‘Nah, I would rather be home.’
Is there a ritual you and your daughter have before and after a trip?
I take her out to dinner sometimes but I try not to make a big deal of it. I don’t want to build up anxiety and I just make sure and communicate upcoming events and we’ll write it on the calendar together so she knows when I am leaving. We usually do that a long way out, as soon as I know about it so I can see that it’s coming and she can track the days till I get back. And then I always bring her a present which is a really bad habit because I travel a lot and now she is like, ‘Where is it?’ She is six. (laughs) So it’s not as cute now because she is like, ‘Is that it? Is that is what you brought me?’ I brought her bottle caps last time and she wasn’t impressed. (laughs) She was like, ‘What are these?’ But no, she is a good girl, I am teasing.
In both movies there are a lot of closeups. How do you feel about that?
Trust me, it’s gotten worse! I would love to say that I watch these movies and remove all vanity, but it’s impossible. And as a woman who is not 20, you see everything.
Well, you looked very glam in Nocturnal Animals.
Thank you. That was a lot of makeup.