Amy Adams stars in Miss Pettigrew Lives for a Day as Delysia, an afluent American actress and singer who, in 1939, hires Miss Pettigrew (Frances McDormand) as her governess, a poverty-stricken woman who learns a great deal from her new experiences in the lifestyle of the upper-class. Miss Pettigrew flirts a friendly fashion designer, Joe (Ciarán Hinds). Meanwhile, Delysia must choose between three men who all want her love and affection: Nick (Mike Strong), a nightclub owner, Phil (Tom Payne), a theater director who promises her the lead role in a play, and, finally, Michael (Lee Pace), a poor piant who wants to marry her. Amy Adams has previously acted in Junebug, for which she was nominated for Best Supporting Actress, Talladega Nights, Enchanted and, most recently, in Charlie Wilson's War. She will soon be seen with Meryl Streep in Doubt as well as in Julia & Julia. I had the privilege to interview the beautiful and talented Amy Adams.
Focus Features releases Miss Pettigrew Lives for a Day on March 7th, 2008.
NYC MOVIE GURU: What made you choose the role of Delysia?
AA: I don’t know if it was the character [itself] or Frances McDormand. It was an opportunity to show sexuality from a different point-of-view. There’s innocence about it. Everything was tongue-and-cheek and naughty, but not crude or crass. I knew [Frances McDormand] was playing Miss Pettigrew, so I went into the reading knowing that. She’s so perfect for it and I was obsessed with playing Delysia. It took over a year between the reading and when we [actually] made [the film, though].
NYC MOVIE GURU: What was the scariest part of playing your role?
AA: When you show up [on the film set], you do a table-read. That’s always the most frightening part of an experience because you sit down and you say the words for the first time. In a situation like this, that’s the first time a lot of these people are seeing what I’m going to bring to Delysia. I [just] delved into it.
NYC MOVIE GURU: What moments in your life were similar to how Miss Pettigrew changed Delysia’s life?
AA: I met Shirley MacLaine once and that was pretty cool. I met her briefly and just was in shock. She grasped my hand and I was too busy [thinking], “Shirley MacLaine is holding my hand!” That changed the course of things. My boyfriend definitely changed my life and my path. What Miss Pittegrew is saying is that when you open yourself up to the fact that someone can love you just the way you are and that you don’t have to change, that changes the course of your life. You’re not struggling to be someone else and you can now focus on who you are and where you’re going in your life. The acting teacher when I met my boyfriend in class was a Miss Pettigrew. She changed my attitude about a lot of things.
NYC MOVIE GURU: You’ve starred with Francis McDormand and now you’re starring with Meryl Streep in Doubt. What lessons have you learned from both actresses?
AA: Both of them are very genuine and have pursued their careers with a lot of dignity. That’s an amazing lesson for me.
NYC MOVIE GURU: Given that you’ve been working so hard lately, how you considered taking a vacation any time soon?
AA: It grounds me and makes me feel [purposeful]. So, taking a vacation just feels boring.