AMY ADAMS Biography - Actors and Actresses


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Name: Amy Lou Adams                                                                           
Born: 20 August 1974 Vicenza, Italy                                                           
Amy Lou Adams (born August 20, 1974) is an American actress and singer perhaps                 
best known for her Oscar-nominated role as Ashley Johnsten in Junebug and her                 
Golden Globe Award-nominated role as Giselle in Enchanted.                                     
Adams was born in Vicenza, Italy, the daughter of American parents Kathryn                     
and Richard Adams, who was a U.S. serviceman stationed in Italy. She grew up as               
one of seven children in Castle Rock, Colorado and was raised in the Mormon                   
religion, although her family left the church after Adams' parents divorced when               
she was 11 years old. Throughout her years at Douglas County High School,                     
she sang in the school choir and trained as an apprentice at a local dance                     
company with ambitions of becoming a ballerina. However, after graduating                     
from high school, she decided that she was "never going to be that good [at                   
ballet], no matter how hard [she] work[ed]" and entered musical theater, which                 
she found was "much better suited to [her] personality".                                       
To support her community theater habit, Adams worked at Gap as a greeter and at               
Hooters as a hostess and a waitress, a fact which has "become [her] entire press               
career a while". She began working professionally as a dancer at Boulder's                     
Dinner Theatre and Country Dinner Playhouse, where she was spotted by a                       
Minneapolis dinner-theater director. Along with her family, Adams moved to                     
Chanhassen, Minnesota, where she continued to work in regional dinner theater.                 
While she was off work nursing a pulled muscle, Adams auditioned for the                       
satirical 1999 comedy Drop Dead Gorgeous, which was being filmed in Minnesota,                 
and was cast in her first film role. Persuaded by her Drop Dead Gorgeous co-star,             
Kirstie Alley, Adams moved to Los Angeles, California in 1998. Shortly after,                 
she was cast in Fox Network's television series spin-off of Cruel Intentions,                 
Manchester Prep, in the role of Kathryn Merteuil. The series did not live up to               
the network's expectations and following numerous script revisions and two                     
production shutdowns, it was canceled. The filmed episodes were then re-edited                 
to be released as the direct-to-video film, Cruel Intentions 2.                               
From 2000 to 2002, Adams appeared in a series of small films like Psycho Beach                 
Party while guest-starring on television series such as Charmed, Buffy the                     
Vampire Slayer, Smallville and The West Wing. She then appeared in Steven                     
Spielberg's Catch Me if You Can as Brenda Strong, a role which was "supposed to               
be [her] big break" but she "was unemployed for a year after that". Adams                     
starred in The Last Run in 2004 as well as voicing characters on animated                     
television series King of the Hill. In the same year, she was cast in the                     
television series, Dr. Vegas, in the role of Alice Doherty before she was fired               
after a contract dispute.                                                                     
Right after she left the show, she received the script for Junebug, a low-budget               
independent film, and auditioned for the role of Ashley Johnsten on the                       
following day. Director Phil Morrison decided to cast Adams as the innocent and               
talkative Ashley after "[l]ots of people looked at Ashley and thought, 'What's                 
the sorrow she's masking?'" and the fact that Adams "didn't approach it from the               
angle of 'What's she covering up?' was key." The film was shot in 21 days in                   
Winston-Salem, North Carolina and premiered at the 2005 Sundance Film Festival,               
where she won the Special Jury Prize for her performance. After the                           
theatrical release of The Wedding Date, in which Adams appeared alongside Debra               
Messing and Dermot Mulroney, Junebug was released in theaters by Sony Pictures                 
Classics. Adams received further numerous critical accolades and awards for her               
performance in Junebug, including the National Society of Film Critics award for               
Best Supporting Actress and the Independent Spirit Award for Best Supporting                   
Female. She was also nominated for Best Supporting Actress - Motion Picture at                 
the 12th Screen Actors Guild Awards and Best Supporting Actress at the 78th                   
Academy Awards. The Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences invited Adams to               
become a member in 2006.                                                                       
Although Junebug had a limited audience, Adams' critical acclaimed performance                 
in the film helped to increase interest in her acting career. Adams went on to                 
appear in films like Standing Still and Talladega Nights: The Ballad of Ricky                 
Bobby, and played the recurring guest role of Katy on the television series The               
Office. After providing her voice for the character of Polly Purebred in Walt                 
Disney Pictures' Underdog, Adams starred in Disney's 2007 big-budget animated/live-action     
feature film, Enchanted. The film, which co-stars Patrick Dempsey, Idina Menzel,               
Susan Sarandon and James Marsden, revolves around Giselle, who is forced from                 
her 2D-animated world to real-life New York City. Adams was amongst 300 or so                 
actresses who auditioned for the role of Giselle, but she stood out to                         
director Kevin Lima because her "commitment to the character, her ability to                   
escape into the character's being without ever judging the character was                       
overwhelming". Enchanted was both a commercial and critical success with                       
critics calling it a star-making vehicle for Adams the way Mary Poppins was for               
Julie Andrews. For her performance, Adams received a Golden Globe Award                       
nomination for Best Actress - Motion Picture Musical or Comedy and a Critics'                 
Choice Award nomination for Best Actress. Three of the film's songs were                       
nominated for Best Original Song at the 80th Academy Awards including "Happy                   
Working Song", which Adams performed live at the ceremony. After Enchanted,                   
Adams appeared in Charlie Wilson's War as the title character's administrative                 
assistant, which saw her co-starring with Tom Hanks, Julia Roberts and Philip                 
Seymour Hoffman.                                                                               
In 2008, Adams starred in Sunshine Cleaning, an independent film which was shot               
in and around Albuquerque, New Mexico from February to March in 2007.                         
Directed by Christine Jeffs, the film premiered at the 2008 Sundance Film                     
Festival as one of the most anticipated titles but received somewhat mixed (though             
primarily favorable) reviews and was not sold as quickly as expected.                         
Following Sunshine Cleaning, Adams filmed Miss Pettigrew Lives for a Day in                   
London, England with Frances McDormand and Doubt, an adaptation of John Patrick               
Shanley's play of the same name also starring Meryl Streep, Philip Seymour                     
Hoffman and Viola Davis. She is set to film Julie & Julia next and will portray               
Amelia Earhart in Night at the Museum 2: Escape from the Smithsonian. Adams is                 
also scheduled to host Saturday Night Live on March 8.