By accident or design, Amy Adams has taken on a series of increasingly high-profile roles in films where her characters were the buoyant, bright center of a world that was besieged by some form of darkness. But if audiences have begun to see her as the same shiny happy character in every film in which she appears, Adams razes those expectations in 'The Fighter,' offering a mesmerizing turn as the tough-talking bartender, Charlene, who helps Mark Wahlberg's Micky Ward turn around his life and fulfill his destiny in the boxing ring. The role isn't just an about-face for the actress's public persona, it's a triumphant demonstration that her previous characterizations were, ironically, just like this one -- an act, and a brilliantly believable one at that.

We sat down with Adams at the Los Angeles press day for 'The Fighter,' where after two days of interviews she nevertheless rallied for a showdown with our stalwart reporter. In addition to talking about the appeal, personally and professionally, of Charlene, she examined the collaboration she shared with her co-stars and director, David O. Russell, and reflected on the prospect of being typecast -- and transcending those expectations -- as an actor.