Amy Adams has played a nun, a Disney princess, and has four Oscar nominations to her credit, but the latest version of the Superman saga, Man of Steel, opening today, is the fulfillment of a childhood dream. “I grew up watching Superman and loving the characters,” says Adams, confiding that her first crush was Christopher Reeve, who played Superman in the 1978 film. She had a guest role in Smallville on TV, but lost the part of Lois Lane in Superman Returns to Kate Bosworth, so she was eager to take on such a modern incarnation of the iconic role.
No mere damsel in distress, “Lois was still the intrepid reporter, but she was going to be on the inside and a part of the solution, not be part of the problem,” says Adams of the film, directed by Zack Snyder and produced by Christopher Nolan. At the same time, “I wanted to make sure that I lived up to everyone’s vision” of the fearless Lane. It’s a trait Adams can relate to.
“I can be pretty fearless,” Adams says. “I don’t put myself in physical trouble, but I would say emotionally I do.” But when it comes to her 3-year-old daughter, Aviana, all bets are off. “I’m a very fearful mom. I’m a worrier,” she admits. “But getting over a fear is more impressive to me than not having any. The challenge is getting past your fear. That’s where strength comes from.”
Born in Italy while her father was in the Army and raised in Colorado as one of seven kids, young Adams studied dance and worked at a dinner theater in Minnesota. While nursing an injury, she auditioned for and got a part in the movie Drop Dead Gorgeous (1996), which was filming locally. From there, she moved to Los Angeles and earned small movie and TV parts until her breakout role in the indie Junebug (2005) landed her the first of her Oscar nominations as Best Supporting Actress.
Playing the wide-eyed princess Giselle in Enchanted brought Adams mainstream success and parts in Julie & Julia, Leap Year and The Muppets, and Oscar-nominated turns in Doubt, The Fighter and The Master cemented her leading lady status. Now 38, she has a few films coming up, of which the most buzzed about is the title role in Janis Joplin: Get It While You Can.
She’s also relishing her real-life role as mom to Aviana, who clearly takes after her mother when it comes to fancying Superman. “She really liked Henry [Cavill] in the suit, I have to say,” says Adams. “She tried to give him a little cheek grab, which was very funny. She wanted to touch the suit and she happened to be at rear-end height so she reached out and gave it a little touch.”
As for finally getting the chance to fly with Superman as Lane, Adams says with a smile, “It was very nice day’s work.”
Photo credit: Clay Enos/Warner Bros.