Amy Adams: Oscars one day, Muppets the next

By Neil Smith
Entertainment reporter, BBC News

Image caption,
Adams was born in Italy to American parents who raised her a Mormon

Actress Amy Adams may have missed out at the Baftas and Oscars for her role in The Fighter but she still has plenty of tricks up her sleeve.

One minute she is trading verbal jabs with Mark Wahlberg and Christian Bale in the critically-acclaimed boxing biopic.

The next she is sharing the screen with Kermit the Frog, Miss Piggy and the rest of the fuzzy cast of the all-new Muppets movie.

It must be fun to be Amy Adams, if a little disorienting.

Last week, for example, she travelled to London to attend the Bafta Film awards before going straight back to America and her nine-month-old daughter Aviana.

The 36-year-old was nominated in the best supporting actress category - a prize that Britain's Helena Bonham Carter received for her role in The King's Speech.

The occasion was unusual in that it did not pit Adams against her Fighter co-star Melissa Leo, who went on to win the Oscar for best supporting actress.

"I don't know why Melissa wasn't nominated (for a Bafta)," says the actress, who was previously up for a Bafta in 2009 for her supporting role in Doubt.

"I think she's fantastic. We have fun together and we had fun on the film."

Adams admits Leo, 50, has been doing "pretty well" at this year's prize-givings, having picked up gongs at the Golden Globes and Screen Actors Guild awards ahead of her Academy win.

But Adams was happy to be nominated.

"I came on [The Fighter] at the last minute and it's extremely validating," she says of the nomination.

"It's always good to be a part of a film that's received in this way."

Image caption,
In The Fighter Adams plays a barmaid who becomes the lead character's girlfriend

Adams certainly makes an impression as Charlene, the tough-talking girlfriend of Wahlberg's pugilist protagonist Micky Ward.

So does Leo as his domineering mother Alice, while Welsh-born Bale won the best supporting actor Oscar for playing Micky's crack-addicted older brother Dicky.

What of Wahlberg, though? While Adams, Bale and Leo have been singled out for praise, his unshowy portrayal has been largely sidelined.

"I do think that sometimes quieter performances don't get the same kind of attention that the louder performances get," his co-star admits.

"It just goes to show Mark's passion for the project that he has been supportive all the way through of all three of us getting the attention we are getting.

"Mark is nominated for an Oscar as a producer and I know that means a lot to him," the actress goes on.

"So I don't feel from him that he feels he is missing out on anything."

The same might be said of the real Charlene, who - unlike Micky and Dicky - has studiously kept herself out of the limelight.

"That's more of her personality - she stays in the background a little bit," says Adams. "She was at the premiere but she doesn't draw attention to herself.

"She said she liked the film but she did not like that I was wearing so few clothes. She did not enjoy that."

Image caption,
Both Adams and Leo were nominated for this year's best supporting actress Oscar - Leo won.

As adept at light comedy as she is with heavy drama, Adams' eclectic CV contains roles in the Disney fantasy Enchanted, race-car comedy Talladega Nights and culinary fable Julie & Julia.

She will soon be seen in On the Road, based on Jack Kerouac's seminal novel, while there are plans afoot for her to star in a biopic of tragic rocker Janis Joplin.

"Hopefully it will be able to capture her truth," says the actress. "That's what you always hope when you're playing somebody of note like that."

And then there is The Muppet Movie, a new big-screen vehicle for the anarchic puppets that sees them return to the old theatre where they presented their classic TV show.

"I don't know if it's because I grew up watching them or if it's because I'm a bit nutty, but I completely believed them as my co-stars," Adams says of Jim Henson's legendary creations.

"I had wonderful moments listening to them and watching them where I relived parts of my childhood."

The Fighter is out now in the UK. The Muppet Movie will be released on 17 February 2012.

Related Internet Links

The BBC is not responsible for the content of external sites.