Amy Adams Plays Julie Powell


Here’s an earlier press conference with the lovely Amy Adams, who plays Julie Powell in Ephron’s film:

Q: How important was it for you to be faithful to portraying the real Julie Powell?
Adams: I’ll start by saying that I still have not met Julie Powell, so I was faithful to my interpretation of her based on meeting her through her book and through her blogs and through Nora [Ephron] who spent an extensive amount of time with her. For me, in creating a character that was living in the world of our film was really important to me. Nora was really supportive of that, and like I said, she had spent so much time with them and had a really clear idea of how they existed in this film.

Q: Were you a good cook before taking on this role?
Adams: I was a decent cook. I wouldn’t call myself a good cook. I can follow a recipe, but sometimes my improvisation gets me in trouble.

Q: So you don’t create any of your own recipes?
Adams: Oh, I’m creative. I just don’t know that it turns out quite that well. I like hot sauce, so everything ends up being a little too spicy. Right now, I’m working a lot so I tend to be limited to like soup and popcorn when I’m working and nachos, but I can’t find a place where I’m working that will deliver.

Q: Did you have a chance to spend any time with your co-star Chris Messina before jumping on the couch and making out?
Adams: Yeah, we did. We had a rehearsal process. We have a similar sense of humor. We find the same things funny. So that’s helpful on set.

Q: What were the challenges of making it an interesting and dynamic relationship?
Adams: There was a lot of conflict I thought. There must be something that people are getting from this about them being happy, them being supportive of one another. It sad that we live in a society that what I see as a completely normal couple seems like an idealistically happy couple. I think that’s so sad [laughs]. I mean, they fight and they have disagreements. He walks out because she’s being selfish. There’s a lot that happens that I think is really dynamic and I think what’s being commented on that we don’t see in films a lot is a wonderful actor who showed up to support a female, playing a man supporting a woman in her pursuits. I think what’s people are seeing as ideal. Hopefully men will go see this movie and be like, “Wow, that’s something to aspire to.” Something we all hope for as women, I think, is to have that level of support and that happens on the other side of the film with Stanley Tucci’s character as well. What a wonderful gift to film that these men showed up for us to do that. So I applaud them.

Q: How did you feel about making a movie with Meryl and Stanley without beig able to have any interplay with them?
Adams: I really left that to Nora. She would sometimes tell us when a shot was getting really technical and why it was getting really technical, because she was going to use it to bring us into Paris. She was really good about letting us know about when she was going to go technically in and out. But Nora, and I think this is to her credit, really did an amazing job of taking you in and out of two completely different stories and two completely different time periods and spinning them together seamlessly. So I applaud her for that.

Q: Even though you didn’t have any scenes with Meryl, were you able to watch her on set and see her characterization of Julia Child?
Adams: Well, it’s Meryl so you know it’s going to be fantastic. When we sat down to the table read we were told that it was going to be really informal, just a couple of people. It wasn’t. There were about fifty, seventy people in the room and in walks Meryl. She’d just come from a fitting and she’s in Julia Child’s wardrobe. Even after working with her before and experiencing her brilliance and her work ethic, to see what she brought to the role of Julia Child in that table read, that was something that I definitely had in my mind when we were working. Definitely. I was sitting next to her. She’s awesome.

Q: Other than the bruschetta that was sitting around too long, how did this movie change your perspective on food and cooking?
Adams: There was a kitchen on set, in the studio and they would cook. Everything was fresh. There wasn’t any old bruschetta because they were making it and bringing you fresh ones and as soon as it looked like they weren’t fresh, you got a new one. So we were really spoiled with some amazing food. It’s really taught me a little bit more about the meditative effects of cooking and not just having to put a meal together, but really enjoying the process of cooking for friends and family.

Q: How were you able to eat so much food on camera without gaining weight?
Adams: Oh, Chris [Messina] got fat. Chris got huge. (laughs)

Q: What about the chocolate cake fight at the end?
Adams: Yeah. Nora didn’t tell us to do that. I think we were like, “We are not eating another bite.”

Q: Can you talk about your decision for always playing the nice girls?
Adams: I don’t know that I saw… I think maybe my challenge is making someone not nice. I guess I didn’t see her specifically as a nice girl. I saw her as very human and very flawed and sort of impatient and kind of at times selfish. But those are things that we all are. So for me it’s just about creating human beings the way that I see them as opposed to creating a caricature of a human being.

Q: Do you think we’ll ever see you play a bad girl again like you did in “Cruel Intentions II”?
Adams: Holla! Well, right now these are the roles that are coming to me and I’m not necessarily looking to play the bad girl specifically. If there’s a great role that’s written and she happens to be a little nasty, but I don’t want to do it just for the sake of doing it.

Q: Considering what a large part passion plays in this movie, what part does passion play in your own life?
Adams: No pursuit is an easy pursuit and this can sometimes be a real lonely pursuit and it takes a real love of what you do to get through the hard times. For me, I never call it real passion, I guess. I call it love. So for me it’s that, loving what I do so much, my desire to get better and to learn on every project and not just learn about acting and learn about people but learn about life and learn about myself.

Q: What are your feelings, not only about shooting in New York, but about New York in general? Do you think you could live here?
Adams: I love New York. To me it’s a bit of a fantasyland. It was the place when I was in Colorado that I wanted to go to because I was a dancer. I don’t know if I could live here. I think I’m a country girl. I think that I like keeping it my fantasy of coming here and working here and experiencing New York. I’d love to try. It takes a tough person to live in New York, a very resilient person. I think I might have outgrown that stage in my life. I think that L.A. has softened me up a little bit. I like a yard. It does soften you up.

Q: If you could start a blog about anything, what would it be, and how do you feel about how the internet has treated you over the years? Chris said he didn’t even know what Twitter was.
Adams: I called it “Twatter.” I didn’t know. (laughs) I don’t think I would blog. I really don’t think that I would start a blog. I don’t have that much dedication. It’s hard enough to keep a journal. I was always one of those girls who wanted a big long diary and I would always start and then be like, “Oh, this is no good.” I would judge my writing in my diary. The stream of consciousness thing doesn’t work for me. I’m too much of a perfectionist within myself. It would take me days to edit down to the way I wanted it to sound. But as far as the affect, I think the voice of the public is interesting. It’s an interesting thing. I think it has more of an affect on my family than it has on me because they tend to believe everything they read and take everything personally and when someone says something mean I think they have a hard time with it. I’m a little less affected. I’m kind of on the cusp of that technological thing and so for me just trying to keep up with everything… yeah. Like I said, emails have to be just a few words because otherwise I’d go back and spell-check.

Julie & Julia opens everywhere on Friday, August 7.