Date and Place of Birth
August 20, 1974 (Aviano, Pordenone, Italy)
Amy Lou Adams
5' 4" (1.63 m)
Aviana Olea (with husband Darren Le Gallo)
001. Biography (below)
003. Personal Quotes
006. Official Instagram
007. Bond Group Entertainment
008. The RightWay Foundation
A Girl from Colorado
|Amy Adams performing on stage in State Fair at Chanhassen Dinner Theater in 1997|
Throughout high school, Adams sang with the school choir, trained in ballet at the David Taylor Dance Company, was active in regional theater and focused on art and sculpture. Art teacher Larry Alexander said Amy "had the quiet intensity of a perfectionist." She belonged to something called "humanities," which was a theater hot spot. Amy never really belonged to any one group in high school, though. "I wanted to but I sort of fell through the cracks. It's not that anyone was mean to me; I just think that for the most part people were indifferent, and sometimes that hurts worse. You know, 'She's nice enough but...' And I didn't have time to do much of anything outside of school because of ballet."
From Dinner Theater to LA
|Amy Adams performing on stage in State Fair at Chanhassen Dinner Theater in 1997|
After graduating from Douglas County High School, Amy worked as a greeter at The Gap in Atlanta ("I lived in Virginia Highlands, Atlanta. I worked at the Lenox Mall in the Gap. I wanted to work in the stockroom, but I was just too peppy. I tried, they were like 'No, you have to be at the front of the store. You are the only person who will literally talk to everyone who comes in the store.'") and a waitress at Hooters ("It was fine. It took care of me for a while.") Adams moved to Minnesota's Twin Cities in mid-1990s and she landed a job with the prestigious Chanhassen Dinner Theater – the largest dinner theater in the country. Chanhassen director Michael Brindisi says: "Let's get down to the facts. Amy, Amy. She's a sweetheart. I discovered her, and I want a piece of her career." Brindisi first saw her when he was casting for Crazy for You in Denver. "She jumped right off the stage; she was just magnetic." Amy worked at the dinner theater for a total of three years. "They were great years. I loved it," she says. "There's such a work ethic involved in theater that you can't learn in LA... Working eight shows a week in the round — there is nothing like it in LA, that's for sure." It was while starring in the dinner theater that Adams and her undeniable charisma caught the eye of Michael Nelson, a film producer. The following year, she made her big screen debut as a goofy beauty pageant contestant in the mockudrama, Drop Dead Gorgeous (1999), which was filmed in Minnesota. The premiere of the film took Amy Adams to Los Angeles. Urged by co-star Kirstie Alley, she moved to the city of angels with her brother Eddie when she was 24-years old. "Moving to LA led me on a very different path than I had intended for myself. I think the idea of Hollywood didn't make any sense to me. It wasn't on my radar at all. Acting in films was like something that special people did. When I met people that were in films and realized that they were just people, it helped make it more of a reality. And having Kristie saying I could work... It's weird, sometimes you just need a little kick in the butt."
Catch Her If You Can
|Amy Adams as Brenda Strong in Steven Spielberg's Catch Me If You Can (2002)|
Next, Amy Adams scored herself a meaty film role as she was cast opposite Leonardo DiCaprio in Steven Spielberg's stylish con chronicle, Catch Me If You Can (2002). Casting director Debbie Zane showed her work to Spielberg, who showed it to DiCaprio and they were both immediately sold. Amy's performance as Brenda Strong was certainly memorable and acclaimed by both the critics and movie fans alike. "Catch Me If You Can - it was the first time I knew I could act at that level with those people. To be believed in by Steven Spielberg... It was a huge confidence booster. I knew I could work, but at what level? I still hope to discover more levels, but that experience, and the way I was embraced on that set, let me know I could do this." However, Amy was unemployed for a year after the film came out. "Amy got tons of attention for the role, and she deserved every bit of it," Spielberg says. "What surprised me was how little she worked after our film came out, which, by the way, was a big hit. But the offers were not pouring in for Amy. That was the part that should have launched her career," Spielberg continues. "But after the movie was released, she was no better off than she was before."
In 2004 Adams had a supporting role in the indie drama The Last Run, voiced several characters on King of the Hill and was cast in the CBS drama Dr. Vegas, in the role of Alice Doherty - but she was later fired after a contract dispute. "They were trying to change my contract and I said no to the compromise, so I was let go. I think for women, it takes a while to take control of decisions. You think that everything is fate or destiny, you don't really make your choices. I think that summer was the first time I was able to say that I didn't want to follow through with it and deal with the consequences. It was really empowering. At the end of the summer I was unemployed but I was happy and I was proud. I was like, you know what, I'm done with being pushed around." Dr. Vegas was cancelled shortly after. Amy Adams, however, was destined for far bigger and better things.
The Role That Changed It All
|The lovable Ashley Johnsten in Junebug (2005)|
Although Junebug had a limited audience, Adams' critically acclaimed performance in the film helped to boost the interest in her acting career. Amy went on to appear in Standing Still (2005) and Talladega Nights: The Ballad of Ricky Bobby (2006), where she played an assistant to Will Ferrell's NASCAR racing protagonist. She memorably confesses her love for him in a bar and then consummates that love in one of the booths. Amy played the recurring guest role of Katy on the television series The Office, an experience which she calls "one of the best experiences I could have had as an actress." She filmed a cameo for Tenacious D in The Pick of Destiny (2006) because she's a fan of Jack Black, had another small role in Fast Track (2006) and provided voice for the character of Polly Purebred in Walt Disney Pictures' Underdog (2007).
Making Dreams Come True
|A star-making performance in Disney's Enchanted (2007)|
Sunshine Cleaning premiered at the Sundance Film Festival in January 2008. In it, Amy plays Rose Lorkowski, who, in order to raise the tuition to send her son to private school, starts an unusual business - a biohazard removal/crime scene clean-up service, together with her unreliable sister (Emily Blunt). Next up for Amy was Miss Pettigrew Lives for a Day (2008), a drama-comedy set in 1939 London. In it Amy plays the glamorous actress and singer, Delysia Lafosse, opposite one of her personal favorite actresses, Frances McDormand. Miss Pettigrew received mixed reviews but Amy's performance was received favorably. "She's a survivor. She's a bootstrap girl", says Amy of her character. "She's living a life that isn't organic to her, and I can honestly say that I feel that way at times. In a way, everybody does, but I never thought I'd be where I am today, so I really related to her in the struggle to survive."
In late 2007 Amy began filming the intense drama Doubt in New York with two of her acting heroes, Meryl Streep and Philip Seymour Hoffman. In Doubt, which opens at the end of the year, Streep plays a nun suspecting a priest of abuse, and Adams is a nun caught in the middle. It's an adaptation of John Patrick Shanley's Pulitzer Prize-winning play. "The character had no vanity, so you never worried about what you looked like. I learned to listen and not talk. It's a hard lesson. It's a good one to know," Amy says. "It taught me about simplicity, and that I'll never be Meryl Streep. It's not a bad thing! It goes back to having your own path. She's so exquisite, just so exquisite." After Doubt, Amy re-teamed with Streep for Julie & Julia (2009). She's Julie Powell, an amateur chef who decides to cook her way through Julia Child's classic cookbook. Streep plays culinary legend Julia Child. Up next for Amy Adams is the role of the legendary Amelia Earhart in Night at the Museum 2: Escape from the Smithsonian (2009).
Hollywood's 'It Girl'
|Chasing Amy: Adams on set for the annual Vanity Fair Hollywood Issue cover shoot|
In January 2009 Amy Adams garnered multiple award nominations for her restrained and innocent performance in Doubt; including a BAFTA, Golden Globe, two Screen Actors Guild Awards, and her second Academy Award nomination for Best Supporting Actress.
As of late Amy has appeared in several big Hollywood productions. She appeared alongside Matthew Goode in Leap Year in March of 2009, as an uptight woman who travels to Dublin to propose to her boyfriend on leap day, Feb. 29, following an Irish tradition in which women propose to men on that day and the man has to say yes. When weather derails her trip, she enlists the help of a surly Irish innkeeper to make an unexpected cross-country trek to pull off the perfect proposal in time. Daughter of the Queen of Sheba was written by Karen Croner is based on the bio of NPR correspondent Jacki Lyden, centers on how a woman uses her mother’s madness and delusions to empower herself. Finally Ten Best Days of My Life will not only see Amy starring but also will make her debut as a producer. She became involved with the project after Shawn Levy (attached director) discovered her reading the book while filming Night at the Museum 2. In it, Amy Adams will play a woman who dies and goes to heaven but is in danger of being demoted to a lower level of paradise unless she can prove herself by recounting her 10 best days.The novel was published by Penguin last May.
During her private time, she enjoys hosting dinner parties and going out to eat. She loves Mexican food. Adams lives in Los Angeles with her boyfriend of seven years, artist/actor Darren Le Gallo, and two dogs, named Pippy and Sadie. She recently gave birth to a precious baby girl, named Aviana Olea Legallo, on May 15, 2010.
There is definitely something very special about Amy Adams. She's a versatile talent and her approach to acting is natural and fresh. On screen she is absolutely irresistible - she simply sparkles! Perhaps co-star Meryl Streep says it best: "Amy has a little light on inside her that burns — sometimes a soft light, sometimes a hot little blue flame, but you are aware always of the light. It is her immediacy as an actress, that present quality that makes her special."
For more details regarding Amy's movies, please see their individual information pages.
Biography © Amy Adams Fan 2008 • Last Updated: July 2010