Amy Adams stars with Mark Wahlberg, Christian Bale and Melissa Leo in THE FIGHTER, based on the lives of boxing brothers Mickey Ward and Dicky Eklund and it’s out on DVD and Blu-Ray in the UK right now.
Adams, who was Oscar nominated for her role as boxer Micky Ward’s girlfriend Charlene in THE FIGHTER, is engaged to actor Darren Le Gallo with whom she has a baby daughter, Aviana, born in May and named after the Italian city Aviano where Amy was born.
Q: The movie was incredible.
Thank you, thank you very much. I’m very proud to be a part of it. I think that Christian and Mark and Melissa and all of the supporting characters….
Q: And how was that experience, when you read the script, and you read about all these weird people, sort of family of dysfunction and you actually get to meet them and find out that they are more extreme maybe?
I’m one of seven kids, so like, I was like, yeah, that’s about right. (laughter) It’s like my family but without an accent. It was really great and they were really inviting, but definitely characters, they’ve got a lot of energy, but they were so gracious and sweet and funny, I mean, here we are like dramatizing their life, and it can go one of two ways, so I think we ended up pretty lucky that they were so supportive.
Q: One of the main themes for me in this film was loyalty. What does loyalty mean to you and how do you define it and how far do you take it?
I take it pretty far I would say, I have a lot of professional loyalty, a lot of familial loyalty. I take it pretty far, it’s hard for me to cut someone out of my life that isn’t working, I’ve had to do that in the past and that’s really not fun. I don’t enjoy that at all. It’s almost easier to take the abuse. (laughter) It is, I don’t know why, but then when they are gone, you are like, oh what took so long, but it’s so hard for me because I do have a loyalty and I do have a respect history, and experience that you share with people, so it’s always hard.
Q: So how are you dealing with new life as a mom and juggling a career and all that stuff?
I’m tired, (laughs) but I’m good, I’m enjoying it, I’m really enjoying it, I’m not as clever as I once was, I forget words…
Q: That comes back though.
Does it? Yeah, I’m afraid to make any big life decisions at this point, cause I have not had eight hours of sleep in over a year, which I’m sure many people can empathize with, but I really, really like it, and I don’t feel like there’s a big sacrifice, I feel like my life is just so, everything has been beneficial from having my child, I feel, I’m much happier with myself, I’m much happier with other people.
Q: Do you look at your fiance differently now because he’s the father of…?
Yeah. I do. The loyalty to him is different. (laughter) Not like that, but I mean, I understand that like it forever seems like an abstract idea with somebody and then you have a child and you realize wow, no matter what happens with us, we are in each other’s lives forever, because we share this bond. And so that definitely changed my loyalty to him, and before you get in an argument, and it would about like winning the argument, and now it’s about solving a problem, we will have words and now we just can’t have words and just be done with it, we are like no, we’ve got to work through this, because we’re not going to bring this energy into our home, so it’s definitely changed. And he’s awesome with her.
Q: He’s good with diapers and that kind of stuff?
Oh yeah, he’s right in there, and that’s very attractive. He’s really natural with it and he feels really comfortable and she adores him, just adores him.
Q: In regards to career and movies, for a young mother, a shoot like this must be great, 33 days and done with it, but you didn’t have your baby when you did it, but for future projects, would this be something that you take into consideration and say, well we need you in Costa Rica for three months, and you need to fly to Rome for another three months for the shoot, would you do it now or not?
We’ll see. I think it’s going to be project specific and it’ll be what’s going on in her life. If she seems to be the kind of kid that’s really flexible, and can come and it doesn’t seem to cause her a lot of trauma, let’s do it, let’s see the world. If she’s someone who needs more of a home base, I’m going to have to sacrifice something. So it’s going to be a day to day thing.
Q: Do you make sure that you have a date night, something like that?
Yeah, we try date night once a week, I get a little busy sometimes, but we try to do that.
Q: But are you always looking at the Blackberry or you can actually have a proper date night?
You know what’s funny is that we look at the Blackberry only because during the day we send each other pictures of her (laughter) and then we are like look at her, and look at this, and so we end up talking about her and looking at pictures of her all night. Which I hear a lot of people do, but we are just so impressed with her, she’s really cool.
Q: Onto your character, how would you describe her in your eyes? What kind of woman is she?
Charlene is the kind of woman who makes you earn it. She’s tough, you are going to meet her with a wall, and then it’s up to you to break it down. And she’s not going to give you any clues on how to do it, you’ve got to figure it out yourself. But when you get through, she’s actually very loyal, really fierce, very tough. It’s interesting playing somebody who’s real life it is, but at the same time, it’s not her story, so I know why she is how she is, but it’s not mine to tell, it’s hers. So that’s been a very tricky thing.
Q: She’s kind of a good influence I guess on Mickey right, she opens his eyes in terms of like what his family is…
They are a good influence on each other. She was maybe making some mistakes before she met him as well.
Q: So how hard was it losing the weight? You look great.
Thank you. I’ve got a little more to go before I’m back, but I feel pretty great I have to say. It’s hard to prioritize, working out, it’s not one of my priorities. I had this big fantasy of like getting in shape, and I worked out really hard for like two months, and then I was like, ugh, it’s good enough. But you know what I mean, I had this big sort of like, I’m going to be a butterfly now, and that’s not going to happen. I look fine, and I’m more than happy with fine, because I just have so much going on, that’s not my first priority.
Q: So how do you keep the energy up?
Sugar, (laughter) coffee, it’s a decision actually for me, but I’ve trained myself to do that where, it sounds so simple, but like even this morning I woke up at five o’clock in the morning, and she had woken up and I knew it was going to take awhile to get back to sleep, and I was like, well, I can either get really frustrated about that I have a whole day in front of me or I can make the decision now that I’m just tired, I’m not sick, there’s nothing wrong, I’m just tired. So, I made that decision, and I feel okay.
Q: I like in this film that your character is a former high jumper…
Yeah, she is though. (laughs)
Q: Do you actually have a scene where you had…
Q: Had you done it before?
Not in high jumping, I did track and I was a long jumper. But I’m a bit vertically challenged, the real Charlene is a lot taller than me, so not only was the high jumping scene a challenge, but just being her in general because as a human being, she has a lot more presence than I do, she’s got a lot more energy, well, I’m not going to say that she’s bigger, you’re not big Charlene, (laughter) her energy, and she’s taller, I have a friend who’s tall and she can’t hide in a room, like as a small girl, I can kick off my heels and so I can become a part of anything. And she has a big personality, so I wanted to fill up the room the way that she did. But the high jumping, I mean, I did the running, and I landed, but that graceful backover, that was not me. I’d love to pretend it was me, but it is not. Clever editing.
Q: The difference between Charlene and her mother, Mickey’s mother, can you talk a little bit about that, why is that so difficult for them in the beginning?
Because they are having a power struggle over a human being, because Charlene doesn’t think that Alice is being the momager and that’s like annoying to Charlene, that’s not the best opportunity for Mickey as she sees it. And she knows that Mickey has this opportunity, he’s to go to Vegas to train and get paid, and he’s saying no because of his family and so he’s giving up a lot for his family, but his family is not giving up anything for him. And it’s not equitable. And so she has to come around and she that he is where he’s at and he’s given these opportunities because of his family’s involvement. I mean, that’s a lot, she doesn’t necessarily see that right away.
Q: Can you relate to them, would you step in and say this is not the way you should go with your life?
Yes. I actually am working on not being quite as openly opinionated about things, but I have definitely said to friends I don’t think this is working and I don’t think your friends are really nice to you and I think you should know that.
Q: Would you say that men are harder to convince, if you talk to women in terms of being open, are men more proud maybe to listen?
Men are not hard to convince. (laughter) No, I’m kidding. (laughter) Men are easy to convince, no, I’m teasing.
Q: Men are pretty stupid.
I’m going to let you say that, and that’s not going to come out of my mouth, no, (laughter) I would say that it’s depended, because I have male friends that have hurt me just as, I don’t think it’s any different, I’ve met some pretty stubborn women, that’s for sure, so I can’t make that divide.
Q: How is the physical part for you in this film? I love that scene on the porch….
Yeah it was fun, it was really fun, it was I mean there’s so many times in life, you just kind of want to get in a good brawl and have it be all in just good fun and here you could call ‘cut’ and it felt like you got just a lot of endorphins released and…
Q: As a lady though, women hardly ever fight…
Oh, it was so fun, and a lot of the roles that I’ve played have been so subdued or they are not the person that they would, they internalize things so I’m not necessarily the one like yelling and screaming, I’m usually like the one in the corner looking scared. So, it was nice to have an outlet, cause normally I go home from work and I’m all just pent up, from like in Doubt, I would come home and just feel like ahhh, I’d feel crazy cause my character never really gets to have that moment of release and here it’s nice, she’s got a couple moments of release, and it feels good.
Q: So what do you do, do you throw plates around the room or what do you do when you’re angry?
Ooh, I get mad…
Q: What does it look like when you get mad?
I don’t know, you’d have to ask my fiancée, it’s probably not pretty. I probably look like a crazy woman. (Laughter) I most likely look like a crazy woman. I don’t know, I have different ways of getting mad, but I always know that going for a walk, leaving the situation is very good for me, creating some distance, which my fiancée is very from me like that, he wants to talk it out, and I’m like, no, really, you should let me go for a walk, and then we can talk about it.
Q: So do you have a wedding date set?
No. I do not. We had them set in the past and they’ve come and they’ve gone, so we are planning it, we just don’t know exactly.
Q: When did you realize when you were working on this that this is something special?
I don’t know, I mean it was special for me when I was working on it that I try not to, weirdly I try not to base the movie on the final product, because you really don’t know what you’re going to get at the end. Or how people are going to respond, so it was a special movie for me when I was making it, I’m really glad that people are responding to it of course, I’ve been on the other end of that, where people aren’t responding and that’s no fun.
Q: Which one?
I’ll let you choose. (laughter) But this is a lot more fun and you work on a set and everybody puts in so much energy, not just the actors, the catering, the craft service, and the gaffers, everybody is putting in tons of hours and you never know if anyone’s even going to see the film, so, this is awesome that you guys like the film and it’s getting such a positive, people are enjoying it.
Q: You have a very lot of young girls who look up to you, what sort of reaction do you get when they see you in the street?
It depends, a lot of times they are really shy to talk to you, a lot of times it’s the parents that sort of are like, do you mind if my daughter, you know, which I think is so charming actually that there’s still that innocence in the world, but it’s nice and I think about that actually. About that young girls do see my work and see how I present myself and I think it’s, especially having a daughter.
Q: Do you think you’ll keep her away from the business, like Christian seems very intent on not bringing her into this whole movie star lifestyle…
I don’t know, it kind of depends on her, I don’t know her well enough yet, she’s…
Q: She doesn’t have an agent yet?
Not yet. She’s pretty cute though. (laughter) She’s really cute and it will be hard if she wants to do it, but I think that I would just want to provide her with the right kind of support and the right sort of grounding base at home, but if she were to go and do it, she would understand about craft and about commitment and then it wasn’t just like, ooh, I like the attention and I really like that there’s a seat with my name on it, you know, I want her to understand what acting is, so if she understood that, sure.
Q: Is there anything from your own upbringing that’s pretty important to you that you want to pass on to her?
Being polite, sharing I think, because she may be an only kid, I can’t say for certain, but she’s not going to have seven siblings, (laughs) so I’d like her to understand, I want her to learn how to work for what she wants, I don’t want to spoil her. It’s going to be hard. (Laughter)
Q: That never works.
I know, but I want her to understand that she’s part of a world society, that it’s not just about, I think that I’m very lucky and I’ve got a really great job, but I want her to understand that there’s a whole world out there that lives differently than us. So that’ll be important.
Q: Can you talk about working with Christian?
It’s awesome. What do you want to know? (laughs) Well, he’s amazing…
Q: Were you intimidated by knowing you were going into a project with him?
No, I had read with him before I actually, when people screen test there’s actors that read opposite them, and when he screen tested for Batman, I had read opposite him. So I feel like I had acted with him before, and I actually was jumping at the opportunity to get to be opposite him in a scene, because I knew the power that he had as an actor, and when someone is that powerful, if you surrender yourself to it, it elevates you. And so I felt that with Mark, I felt that with Melissa, when somebody is that committed and that powerful, you surrender yourself and so I was looking forward to it, because I knew he was going to bring it, so I better bring it.
Q: What’s the dress?
THE FIGHTER is out on DVD and Blu-Ray in the UK now.