Amy Adams Big Eyes InterviewAmy Adams is a relentlessly nice person. You can get this sensation just by spending a few minutes with her in a Midtown hotel room, flanked by publicists and studio personnel. And its this inherent niceness that makes her perfect for something like Tim Burton's "Big Eyes," the true life story of painter Margaret Keane (played by Adams), who popularized a series of paintings (and, later, mass produced prints) that featured waifish children with huge, saucer-like eyes. Of course, she didn't get any of the credit for it (and a fraction of the acclaim and financial rewards), because her overbearing husband Walter (Christoph Waltz) took it all for himself. Adams and Margaret share something else, though: a determination and strong-willed resilience, which makes her even more perfect for the role.

When we sat down with Adams, we discussed what initially turned her off about the script and why she circled back many years later, what it was like working with Tim Burton, how this compared with the recently-shot "Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice," and whether or not they're ever getting around to making a sequel to "Enchanted."

Moviefone: In the press conference you mentioned that you read the script four years ago. How long have you been attached?

Amy Adams: I wasn't attached four years ago. Another actress was attached. And I really liked the script and I liked the story but I was looking for what I believed were more confident characters, less victimized characters. I just didn't see it from the same perspective as I did after I had been a mom for a little while.

And then you met her.

Well, ultimately it became empowering for her. The time still, when you speak to her, weighs heavily on her. But she doesn't say, "I don't know how Walter could do this to me," she says, "I don't know how I let this happen." She takes culpability for her involvement. But she spoke to me about her fear and her lack of options in her mind.

When did you start meeting with her?

I only met with her, before we started filming, once. But I spent a very long day with her and she's the type of person who really gets to the heart of the matter, eventually, when she trusts you. She wants to know what your relationship is with God and I think she wanted to know that I was comfortable speaking about Jehovah, so she got down to what my beliefs were. So we got close pretty fast.

You passed the test?

Yeah!

Had you been aware of these paintings before and what did you think of them?

I was aware of them. I like them very much. I really do. And having played Margaret, I'm very defensive when I hear people mocking it. I'm like, "You know you bought a poster, come on now." But I've always enjoyed them. I remember having an argument in humanities over Norman Rockwell with these people who said that he wasn't an artist. And I love Norman Rockwell. He evoked an emotion and a time and a period. Who is to say what art is? It's more of a personal sensibility. I've been engaged in many debates about highly reproduced art in humanities before. But I really, really love them. When you look at some artists today and you see her influence, it's hard to question. There's a whole movement in Los Angeles you can find. I definitely have a thing about paintings of young girls on wood.

And you have a painting of hers now. What is it?

Someone else commissioned it, but now I have it. And she did my eye. So I have a painting of my eye now from Margaret Keane.

You had said you wanted to work with Tim Burton for a long time. Why?

I just loved his sensibilities. The actors always look like they're having a good time. They always look like they're able to do something different and unique and just his way of storytelling has always been really engaging to me.

Did it live up to those expectations?

Yes! It was really fun. I was just off of "American Hustle" and I was just spent. I was just like, I don't know if I can ever act again. I was so tired. And I didn't know what I was doing. And it was wonderful. It was completely invigorating and inspiring. He invites you to play.

Were you disappointed that this isn't a more stereotypically "Tim Burton-y" movie?

No. Because I think that the nature of the way that he works, I don't think it changes based on the film that he's working on. I feel like I got to work with Tim Burton. I now understand what that experience is and I love it. He's very patient and it is just this wonderful, creative sensibility and he invites your ideas. Even if he doesn't agree with them, he tells you in a way that doesn't feel personal. It doesn't feel like an attack in any way. And I just felt so respected and he really honors the actor and what they bring.

You made "American Hustle" and "Big Eyes" very quickly. It's only been 11 months since "American Hustle" came out.

Yes.

Then you're on something like "Batman v Superman." You're in that one right?

Yes. I just got done with that. We had been filming for six months.

And that doesn't come out until 2016.

Yes, it was a totally different experience.

What was it like getting back into that crazy big-budget world?

It's always fun going back to it, and I always feel that working on films like "American Hustle" and "Big Eyes," it always serves my growth and my need for complexity. And I think I can bring that to the films. So I take it just as seriously. I take things far too seriously, if I had to critique myself. I put a lot of energy and effort and research there.

So you give it your all, whatever it is?

I try!

But the bigger movies obviously will be responsible for paying the college tuition of your child.

I hope my child decides to go to college. Right now, she wants to be a doctor and I support that. If she wants to be something else, I'd support that too. But since she was two, she's been, "I want to be a doctor. I want to help people." It's very sweet.

So you enjoying switching back and forth between the smaller and larger projects?

Yes, I really learn from each film I'm on. "Man of Steel," that was the first film of that nature that I had worked on. And I learned a lot.

How many of these things are you locked into?

Locked?!? I'm trapped! [jokes] No. I'm committed through the next one. I know that.

How is it to bring all of these new people into that world?

It was fantastic. I didn't get to work with Gal that much but just having another girl on set, when I did get to work with her, was so much fun. That kind of energy was great. I worked away with the people that I worked with before, which was wonderful.

How was Ben as Batman?

He's hot! Sorry, Jen. I have the utmost respect for your relationship, but he looks fantastic. And the work that I did with him, I think it's going to be great.

With as much passion and commitment as you obviously bring to it, it's hard to think that you don't have your say. But it's also this giant machine.

Well, I also respect that if they ask for my opinion, I'll give it. But a lot of the time I think my job as an actress is to execute the vision of the filmmaker and I understand that. But at the same time, if I feel like something's really not working, I'm definitely vocal about it. In a collaborative way.

Have little kids come up to you and recognized you as your Superman character?

Boys do. Little girls are still on "Enchanted."

Why haven't they done another "Enchanted"?

I don't know. Maybe because it's a perfect standalone movie. Do you know what I mean? It has a great beginning, a great middle, and a great end. I watched it recently, because I typically don't watch my work a lot, and I thought, I really like that movie. It was nice to revisit that work and have really positive feelings about it. But I think it works so well. Maybe.

Disney is pretty good at making sequels.

Well, it will have to be called "Decrepit" if they wait too long.

categories Interviews, Movies