Amy Adams never planned to take on so many dark, gritty roles. After all, she first became known for playing sweet and innocent characters in movies such as Junebug, Enchanted and Doubt. “I intend to do something light, but I keep being offered these beautifully complex roles,” says the actress, 46, whose later performances include well-reviewed turns in The Master, Nocturnal Animals and Sharp Objects. “I don’t know what it says about me, that I’m really attracted to the psychology of [people’s] damage,” she told Parade during a recent COVID-safe Zoom from her home in Los Angeles, where she’s been isolating with her husband, artist Darren Le Gallo, and their daughter, Aviana, 10.
Enter her next tense psychological thriller, The Woman in the Window (May 14 on Netflix). She’ll star as Anna Fox, a woman questioning her own reality as she struggles with her mental health and agoraphobia, with an intense fear of being outside her New York City brownstone apartment. When Anna thinks she witnesses a murder while watching her new neighbors from her window, she is forced to confront the traumas of her own life. The film takes on new significance since nearly everyone has spent the previous year in some kind of state of quarantine, peering out of windows themselves. “Given how isolated we’ve all been, I’m curious to see people’s response to the film,” she says. “If it’s more triggering, or if they have more empathy.”
The Woman in the Window, based on the New York Times bestselling novel by A.J. Finn (the pen name of writer Daniel Malloy), also stars Julianne Moore, Jennifer Jason Leigh and Gary Oldman. It was directed by Joe Wright, who is so consumed by detail, he had Adams run up and down the stairs more than 25 times while hyperventilating. Wright “wanted it to feel like a fever dream of anxiety, and that’s what it felt like,” she says.
But making the movie wasn’t all dark and heavy. “Any time you work with me, there’s a blooper reel,” Adams says, adding that her mistakes usually involve her cursing like a sailor when she messes up. When she had forgotten her daughter was on set one day and she messed up a lot, well, that was the day “we started a swear jar,” she says with a laugh.
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