Also Credited As:Amy Lou Adams
|Actor, Producer, Music|
|Amy Lou Adams on August 20, 1974 in Vicenza, IT|
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Amy Adams was born on Aug. 20, 1974 in Italy, where her father was stationed with the Armed Services. She grew up as the middle child of seven in Castle Rock, CO, where her family - a "bunch of hams" - used to regularly stage homegrown theatrical productions from dad's scripts. Throughout high school, Adams sang with the school choir, trained in ballet, and was active in regional theater. After graduating from Douglas County High School, she began acting professionally in local dinner theater and augmenting her income as an overly enthusiastic greeter at The Gap. Adams moved to Minnesota's Twin Cities when she landed a job with the Chanhassen Dinner Theater - the largest dinner theater in the country - and it was while starring in the theatre's production of "Brigadoon," that Adams' sparkling energy and delicate red-headed features were spotted by a film producer. The following year, she made her big screen debut as a determined beauty pageant contestant in the comedy, "Drop Dead Gorgeous" (1999).
Urged by co-star Kirstie Alley, Adams moved to Los Angeles, CA where she quickly landed in the cast of "Manchester Prep," a TV series prequel to the film "Cruel Intentions" (1999), where Adams played the first of a series of generic "mean girl" characters. When a conflict arose between Fox Broadcasting and Columbia TriStar, shooting ceased and the existing footage was edited into the forgettable straight-to-video feature "Cruel Intentions 2" (2000). Adams began to showcase her feisty personality with guest spots on "That 70's Show" (Fox, 1998-2006), "Charmed" (The WB, 1998-2006), and "Buffy, The Vampire Slayer" (The WB, 1996-2003), to name a few. In 2000, Adams sent up 1960s style beach comedies in the campy thriller, "Psycho Beach Party" (2000), kick-starting a string of increasingly visible film roles.
The romantic comedy "Serving Sara" (2002) was a certifiable bomb, though Adams' supporting role did lead to a similarly tiny role in "Pumpkin" (2002), a dark indie comedy starring Christina Ricci. Adams finally got some widespread attention for her onscreen pairing with Leonardo DiCaprio in Steven Spielberg's stylish con chronicle, "Catch Me If You Can." Playing a hospital candy striper romanced down the aisle by an imposter doctor, Adams' brace-face performance was hilariously and memorably earnest. The rising actress scored several television gigs in 2004, landing a recurring role on the short-lived "Dr. Vegas" (CBS, 2004), and voicing several characters on "King of the Hill" (Fox, 1997- ). Adams gave a solid performance as Debra Messing's bridezilla sister in the romantic comedy "The Wedding Date" (2005), but the bigger news that year was Adams' outstanding performance in the critically acclaimed indie, "Junebug."
The humorous drama revolved around a sophisticated Chicago art dealer visiting rural North Carolina and her husband's family for the first time, including his loser brother and his very pregnant, very chatty wife (Adams). Adams brought an appealing innocence and great comic timing to the role, stealing the spotlight and earning a Special Jury Prize at the 2005 Sundance Film Festival, a Best Supporting Actress nod from the National Society of Film Critics, and an Academy Award nomination - rarer than hen's teeth for a film with a microbudget of under a million dollars. Following in the wake of "Junebug," Adams - who seemingly came out of nowhere - landed in her first blockbuster, "Talladega Nights: The Ballad of Ricky Bobby," where she played an assistant to the NASCAR racing protagonist (Will Ferrell), who memorably confesses her love for him in a bar and then consummates that love in one of the booths.
Adams' considerable comedic talents were not enough to save critical duds "The Ex" and "Underdog" in early 2007, though by year's end, the actress found herself with another Academy Award nomination - this time for her starring role in Disney's "Enchanted" (2007). Director Kevin Lima first considered Adams for the role as an animated princess banished to the real life streets of New York because he thought her radiant, wholesome look seemed itself plucked from a classic Disney feature. But Adams brought more than that to the star-making role; she nailed the optimistic, guileless tone of the fantastical princesses of Disney's past - i.e., Cinderella and Sleeping Beauty - ensuring the film's gentle parody did not succumb to disingenuous irony. The film was a rousing success with audiences and critics alike, garnering Adams Golden Globe, Critic's Choice, and Satellite Award nominations.
Wrapping up her break-out year as a film star, Adams played a supporting role as a loyal, adoring assistant of the Texas governor in "Charlie Wilson's War" (2007), starring Tom Hanks and Julia Roberts. Adams also appeared in two independent releases the following year - the dark comedy about a crime scene clean-up crew, "Sunshine Cleaning" (2008), and the 1930s-set comedy about an unwitting cabaret star "Miss Pettigrew Lives for a Day" (2008), starring Frances McDormand. She then co-starred in the Oscar-bait drama, "Doubt" (2008), adapted from Jon Patrick Shanley's Pulitzer Prize-winning play. Adams played Sister James, a timid and innocent nun who becomes wary about the attention charismatic Father Flynn (Philip Seymour Hoffman) has been paying to one of their students, which leads iron-fisted Sister Aloysius (Meryl Streep) on a moral quest to prove something is amiss. Adams was nominated for her second consecutive Golden Globe, this time for Best Supporting Actress in a dramatic motion picture. She also earned an Academy Award nod for the same category.
Adams continued her hot streak with another winning performance in "Julie & Julia" (2009), playing Julie Powell, an author and blogger who chronicled her attempt to make all the recipes in Julia Child's (Meryl Streep) famed cookbook, Mastering the Art of French Cooking. Though much of the praise fell upon Streep for her performance as Child, Adams was also recognized for another job well done. After taking a step back with the ill-received romantic comedy "Leap Year" (2010), Adams returned to the dramatic fore with a hailed performance in "The Fighter" (2010), a rags-to-riches tale of "Irish" Micky Ward (Mark Wahlberg), a working-class boxer from Massachusetts who tries to redeem his half-brother (Christian Bale) after a precipitous fall. Adams' performance as Ward's love interest earned her Golden Globe, Screen Actors Guild and Academy Award nominations for Best Supporting Actress. After starring alongside Kermit the Frog and Miss Piggy in the long-awaited return of "The Muppets" (2011), it was announced Adams was cast as Lois Lane in the latest "Superman: Man of Steel" (2012) feature reboot, directed by Zack Snyder. Meanwhile, she found herself nominated as Best Actress at the Golden Globes for her performance as the loyal wife of a quasi-religious movement leader (Philip Seymour Hoffman) in Paul Thomas Anderson's critically acclaimed film, "The Master" (2012).