Many little boys and girls grow up wanting to be a superhero, or at least play one in a movie, but how many want to be a superhero's love interest? Well when it's Lois Lane, it turns out quite a few. This was the case with Academy Award Nominee and Golden Globe Winner Amy Adams.
During her press tour for her first outing as the famous raven-haired reporter (a detail which her incarnation rejects), Adams is quoted as saying that this was the role she was "born to play." She was, without question, a pretty solid "get" for the studio, being that her resume boasted 5 Oscar nominations. So really, the union sounds like a match made in heaven.
Amy Lou Adams was born in Italy to American parents. Her father was a US serviceman and was stationed there for the earliest years of Adams' life. She was raised as a Mormon with her six siblings in Colorado. As a young woman, Adams aspired to become a ballerina, and danced in companies in Colorado and Minnesota before her career was cut short by an injury.
She worked as a Hooters hostess before auditioning for 1999's Drop Dead Gorgeous about a pure-hearted aspiring journalist (Kirsten Dunst) and a pageant mom (Kirstie Alley) who would do anything to insure her daughter's (Denise Richards) success. The beautiful, peppy, and very sexually active dim-wit, Leslie Miller (Adams), is one of the few perceived obstacles that doesn't die a horrible death.
Most would consider her role in the Leonardo DiCaprio starrer Catch Me If You Can (2002) her breakout performance. No one does adorable, doe-eyed (slightly emotionally unstable) simpleton better than Amy Adams. No one. Her work in Catch Me If You Can seemed to set the tone for her career going forward.
Adams picked up her first Oscar nomination for the independent film, Junebug in 2005 at the age of 31. In it, she played the energetic and nearly cringe-inducingly sweet pregnant wife of a husband who doesn't know how to relate to her emotionally. Her curiosity is larger than the small southern town where she lives with her in-laws, and so she attempts to exist vicariously through the experiences of her well traveled, British sister-in-law. Although she lost the award to Rachel Weisz that year, her performance made a permanent mark on the industry around her, and she was well on her way to becoming the star we regard her as today.
In 2006 she stretched her comedic wings (again) as Will Farrell's love interest in the NASCAR spoof, Talladega Nights, in which she delivered what I still consider to be one of the greatest motivational speeches in cinematic history. Honestly, I'm only partially joking.
Her possibly most recognizable role came from 2007's romantic comedy, Enchanted. Adams took full advantage of her naturally wide-eyed princess demeanor to play... a wide-eyed, real life princess. Adams' Giselle is a cartoon princess living happily in her colorful kingdom full of talking animals who help her sew her clothes, until one day a prince (James Marsden) comes along and they fall in love. However the prince's step mother (Susan Sarandon) wants to keep her crown and the kingdom, so she banishes Giselle to a place without happy endings - New York City. As per usual, Adams is unbelievably charming and the film is undeniably likeable for audiences of all ages.
Adams was also featured in Charlie Wilson's War that year alongside Tom Hanks and Julia Roberts.
She started 2008 with another critically acclaimed independent film, this one called Sunshine Cleaning. Adams plays a single mother who, along with her sister (played by Emily Blunt) decide to open up a crime scene cleaning business. It's a dark comedy looking at the strange family dynamics created by the loss of a parent at a young age. Sunshine Cleaning is touching, pointedly comical, and well acted.
2008 was also the year she earned her second Oscar nomination, this time for starring alongside Meryl Streep, the late Phillip Seymour-Hoffman and Viola Davis in Doubt. Adams plays Sister James, a nun who teaches history at a Catholic school in Boston in the 1960s and is unsure as to whether or not Father Flynn (Seymor-Hoffman) is carrying out an "improper" relationship with one of the students. That year she lost the supporting actress category to Penelope Cruz.
in 2009 she played Amelia Earhart in Night at The Museum: Battle of The Smithsonian as well as a blogger who decides to cook her way through Julia Child's cookbook in Julie & Julia, a role that many thought was unfairly snubbed of awards consideration.
Adams racked up a third supporting actress Oscar nomination in 2010's David O Russell film, The Fighter. The film follows a boxer's (Mark Wahlberg) unlikely road to the lightweight title with the help of his half brother (Christian Bale). Adams, playing almost thoroughly against type, gives a superb performance as the foul-mouthed spit fire, Charlene. She lost the award to her co-star, Melissa Leo, whose performance (in my opinion) was noticeably inferior Adams'.
Warning - this clip contains profanity:
In 2012 Adams starred opposite Jason Segel in The Muppets, which I'm sure was thoroughly charming and adorable, with Clint Eastwood and Justin Timberlake in the sports drama Trouble With the Curve, where she was in all honesty the redeeming factor, and then picked up her 4th Oscar Nomination for her supporting role in The Master with Phillip Seymour Hoffman and Joaquin Phoenix. The Master told the story of a fictional character's run in with augmented versions of the creator of Scientology and his wife (Seymour Hoffman and Adams). That year she lost out to Les Miserables actress Anne Hathaway.
It was in 2013 that Adams first joined the DC Universe as Superman's leading lady in Man of Steel. Although it seems to me like she's playing a mix between Lois Lane and Lana Lang rather than a true Lois, she's still undeniably likeable. Here's hoping she survives through 2017's Justice League Part 1. For a more in depth look at my thoughts on Adams' Lois, click here.
That year Adams also collaborated with Joaquin Phoenix again in Her, the story of a man who falls in love with an operating system. Adams played the girlfriend he had before his infatuation with Scarlett Johansson's voice began.
2013 was a busy year for her. After four nominations in the supporting actress category, Adams finally played a lead role that the Academy paid attention to in 2013's American Hustle. The film centered around a con-man (Christian Bale) and his equally savvy mistress (Adams) who successfully swindle unknowing marks out of millions, but eventually get caught by Bradley Cooper's eccentric FBI agent. They negotiate for a lighter sentence by agreeing to help take down a corrupt politician (Jeremy Renner) with no help at all from Bale's less-than-sane wife (Jennifer Lawrence). Adams' performance was admirable, but wasn't enough to beat Blue Jasmine's Cate Blanchett.
In 2014, Adams was nominated in the comedy/musical category of the Golden Globes for her leading role in the retelling of the bizarre true story behind the wildly popular "big eyes" paintings from the 1950s aptly named Big Eyes. Adams plays Margaret Keane, the real painter of the famous images whose husband took credit for her work for 10 years before she took him to court over the issue. According to the real life Margaret, Adams did a marvelous job, and the foreign press agreed. After 16 years, Amy Adams finally won an award for her acting.
She returned as Lois Lane in the recent Batman vs. Superman: Dawn of Justice and is already signed on for Justice League Part 1 coming in 2017.
Adams' upcoming projects include the television adaptation of my favorite Gillian Flynn novel, Sharp Objects. Adams will play a reporter, Camille Preaker, who unwillingly returns to her hometown to write about two brutal murders that have taken place. In her investigation, her painful past is unearthed, forcing her into a downward spiral.
In the coming years, I sincerely hope to see Adams giving her thank you speech at the Oscars. Lord knows, she deserves it.