After first turning heads as a naïve candy striper wooed by con man Leonardo DiCaprio in "Catch Me if You Can" (2002), Amy Adams became that rare actress to live up to expectations following her strong, nuanced performance as an optimistic and overly pregnant small town wife in the independent dramedy "Junebug" (2005). With that Academy Award-nominated turn, Adams was hailed as the next big thing and the actress failed to disappoint. She followed up with her widely-hailed, tongue-in-cheek performance of an animated fairy princess who finds herself transformed into a three-dimensional human on the streets of New York in the hit romantic comedy "Enchanted" (2007). From there, Adams only strengthened her position as a versatile actress with a wealth of talent after performances as the conflicted Sister James in John Patrick Shanley's "Doubt" (2008) and a single mother who starts a crime scene cleaning business in "Sunshine Cleaning" (2009). Naturally, she appeared in large-scale studio movies like "Night at the Museum: Battle of the Smithsonian" (2009), "The Muppets" (2011) and "Batman V. Superman: Dawn of Justice" (2016), though it was award-worthy films like "Julie & Julia" (2009), "The Fighter" (2010), "The Master" (2012) and "American Hustle" (2013) that kept Adams near the top of the list of her generation's most respected leading ladies.
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, 1997-2009). 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 picking up Best Supporting Actress nominations from the Golden Globes and Academy Awards 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). After appearing as Lois Lane opposite Henry Cavill in Zack Snyder's "Man of Steel" (2013) and in a supporting role in Spike Jonze's futuristic romance "Her" (2013), Adams co-starred in David O. Russell's ensemble drama "American Hustle" (2013), winning the Golden Globe for Best Actress and landing another Academy Award nomination. Although her lead performance as artist Margaret Keane in Tim Burton's "Big Eyes" (2014) was generally praised, the film itself was poorly received. Adams next returned to the role of Lois Lane in "Batman V. Superman: Dawn of Justice" (2016).
Cast (Feature Film)
Music (Feature Film)
Made feature debut in the satiric comedy "Drop Dead Gorgeous" opposite Denise Richards and Kirsten Dunst
Appeared in the independent comedy "Psycho Beach Party," a spoof of 1960's Beach Party/Gidget surfing movies
Made guest appearances on "That 70s Show" (Fox) and "Buffy the Vampire Slayer" (UPN)
Starred in the direct-to-video feature "Cruel Intentions 2"; originally filmed as a TV spin-off of the hit film "Cruel Intentions" (1999) titled "Manchester Prep" that was never aired
Played Leonardo DiCaprio's dimwitted fiancée Brenda in "Catch Me if You Can"
Cast opposite Matthew Perry and Elizabeth Hurley in the romantic comedy "Serving Sara"
Cast on the short-lived medical drama "Dr. Vegas" (CBS)
Starred in the romantic comedy "The Wedding Date" opposite Debra Messing and Dermot Mulroney
Breakthrough role in the southern drama "Junebug"; earned Oscar and SAG nominations for Best Supporting Actress
Played a romantic interest of John Krasinski on "The Office"
Co-starred in the indie comedy "Standing Still"
Cast in "Charlie Wilson's War" as the title character's chief of staff
Cast as a Princess Giselle in Disney's modern-day animation and live-action fairy tale "Enchanted"; earned a Golden Globe nomination for Actor in a Motion Picture Musical or Comedy
Cast as Sister James in the feature adaptation of John Patrick Shanley's play "Doubt"; earned Golden Globe, SAG and Oscar nominations for Best Supporting Actress
Co-starred in the romantic comedy "Miss Pettigrew Lives for a Day"
Played a single mother who starts her own crime scene clean-up business in the independent film "Sunshine Cleaning"
Portrayed author Julie Powell in Nora Ephron's "Julie & Julia"; screenplay adapted from Powell's <i>Julie and Julia: 365 Days, 524 Recipes, 1 Tiny Apartment Kitchen</i> and Julia Child's <i>My Life in France</i>
Portrayed Amelia Earhart in the adventure comedy "Night at the Museum: Battle of the Smithsonian"
Played a young woman who travels to Ireland to propose to her boyfriend in the romantic comedy "Leap Year"
Played the love interest of professional boxer Micky Ward in David O. Russell's "The Fighter"
Co-starred with Jason Segel in the family comedy "The Muppets"
Cast opposite Clint Eastwood in baseball drama "Trouble with the Curve"
Portrayed Beat Generation figure Jane Vollmer in feature adaptation of "On the Road" by Jack Kerouac
Co-starred with Joaquin Phoenix and Philip Seymour Hoffman in Paul Thomas Anderson's "The Master"
Played a supporting role in Spike Jonze's sci-fi romance "Her"
Landed the coveted role of Lois Lane in the 2013 Superman reboot "Man of Steel"
Co-starred with Christian Bale, Bradley Cooper, Jennifer Lawrence, and Jeremy Renner in David O. Russell's "American Hustle"
Played real-life artist Margaret Keane in Tim Burton's critical comeback "Big Eyes"
Reprised Lois Lane role in "Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice"
Reteamed with Jeremy Renner in Denis Villeneuve's sci-fi drama "Arrival"
Co-starred with Jake Gyllenhaal and Michael Shannon in "Nocturnal Animals"
Played Lynne Cheney in Dick Cheney biopic "Vice"
Starred as reporter-with-a-secret Camille Preaker on HBO mini-series "Sharp Objects"