“I grew up as a Mormon, and that had more of an impact on my values than my beliefs. I’m afraid I will always feel the weight of a lie. I’m very hard on myself anyway. Religious guilt carries over too. You can’t really misbehave without feeling badly about it. At least, I can’t.” —Amy Adams
Amy Adams is sugar and spice and everything nice. While she has proven time and time again that she can handle all sorts of roles (including comedy, tragedy and drama), the starlet, who went from years of cameos to full-on leading lady, continues to steamroll towards success. Her story is much like a fairy tale–when she first encountered a question mark early in her career, it was the advice of a pro who helped her believe in herself and make a big move. This ballerina has been unstoppable ever since. Read on to learn 40 facts about Amy Adams.
Amy Adams Facts
40. Old and Young Fashioned
Adams may look young, but she’s an old soul. Her favorite band is any singer/songwriter from the 70s, and if she had the opportunity to go to ANY concert, it would be Woodstock. She loves Janis Joplin because if she could have coffee with someone from the past it would be the troubled rock star, but she says the date probably wouldn’t involve coffee.
39. Mother Is Her Favorite Role
Adams’ is a family woman–she’s one of seven children–and says that it’s her family that makes her smile the most. She loves being a mom and the biggest thing she’s learned while taking on this role is to take things slowly and to be proactive at seeing the world through her child’s eyes.
38. Keep Calm, Carry On
Although she hasn’t been diagnosed with a formal phobia, nor are her symptoms too extreme, Adams has a very real fear of flying. She is also claustrophobic, and has social anxiety. She meditates and uses self-hypnosis to calm herself down, especially around her daughter; Adams doesn’t like to reveal her fear around her.
37. She’s Honest With Herself
For 2015, Adams decided it was best to not even try to make a New Year’s resolution. Usually what happens to her is that she’ll break any resolutions by the second week and then “fall into a spiral of self loathing.”
36. Amy Yogini
Although she’s been doing ballet ever since she was a child, her favorite exercise yoga. She also uses the activity to decompress.
35. She’s Still a Ballerina at Heart
It was Adams’ dream to become a ballerina. She applied herself determinedly, and trained as an apprentice at a local dance company. It was only when she was in the thick of it that she realized how rigid the training and lifestyle was, and thought she was better suited to a career in musical theatre instead.
34. But Did She See the Movie?
At the height of its global success and popularity, the New York Times Bestseller Fifty Shades of Grey was a book Adams confesses she only read because everyone else was reading it.
33. Italian Flair
Adams was born in Vincenza, Italy, but her family moved to the States when she was a child. Nonetheless, her favorite country to visit is still the boot-shaped European nation. She hopes, however, to one day retire in Colorado, where she spent the majority of her childhood.
32. Everything Happens for a Reason
If it wasn’t for Catch Me If You Can (2002) when Adams’ was cast as Leonardo DiCaprio’s teenage lover, we might not know Adams as the successful starlet we do today. She credits this film with being the pivotal point in her career.
31. A Pretty Cool Skill to Have
In the The Muppets (2011), there was a scene where both Adams and co-star Jason Segel were squished into a car–that was also full of Muppets. To save a little space, and make the scene go a little more smoothly, both actors were asked to learn to operate the Muppets occupying the seats beside them.
30. Childhood Re-Imagined
Adams was thrilled to be given the opportunity to learn how to work a Muppet. “Growing up, ‘wocka wocka’ was like my thing — I would tell a joke and then go, ‘Wocka wocka!’ I was a bit of a nerd,” she once said.
29. Food Fan
When it comes to food, Adams’ favorite is anything spicy! But for dessert, she can’t say no to strawberry ice cream, and admits her guilty pleasure is nachos.
28. Best Advice
After Amy Adams got a role in Drop Dead Gorgeous (1999), it was co-star Kirstie Alley who saw Adams’ potential, and encouraged her to move to LA to pursue an acting career.
27. Dogs Rule, Cats Drool
If given the choice, Adams would have to choose puppies over kittens. After all, she did grow up with an Irish Setter, so she’s been a dog person ever since she was little.
26. On the Road
Adams literally lives and breathes “Happiness is a journey, not the destination” because a perfect road trip for her doesn’t matter where you go. It’s all about who you’re with.
25. High Strung
While in high school in Colorado, Adams was diagnosed with ADHD and prescribed Ritalin, which she still takes to this day.
24. Pretty Good Surprise!
The biggest surprise of Adams’ life was when she found out she had aced her audition and got cast in Catch Men If You Can (2002).
23. The Soundtrack of Her Life
No stranger to singing and dancing like no one is watching, Adams admits she would be caught dancing alone to “Dancing in Heaven” from the film Girls Just Want To Have Fun. And if she were to strut it down the catwalk like everyone is watching, her song choice would be Def Leppard’s “Pour Some Sugar On Me.”
22. She’s Inspired by the Best
She considers Vogue editor Anna Wintour to be the “most stylish person” and her fashion icon is Grace Kelly, so it’s no wonder that Adams tends to veer towards classic Hollywood glamour, especially on the red carpet.
21. A Movie Trifecta of Inspiration
Every fabulous actress draws inspiration from a handful of movies! Adams’ favorite is Gone With The Wind; the movie that makes her laugh the hardest is Bridesmaids; and the one that makes her cry is Ghost.
20. Marriage Problems Solved
If Adams could have one superpower, it would be the ability to read people’s minds. She loves people watching and listening to conversations around her. Apparently, it drives her husband nuts because then that means she listens less to him, but “…if I could read people’s minds, we wouldn’t have this problem!”
19. All in the Family
Adams’ dad loved theatre and dabbled in acting himself. When Adams was a little girl, he’d write plays and cast her in them. “I didn’t always want to rehearse, but I was the lead, so I was happy!”
18. Relatable Answer, Amy
Adams has made a pretty big name for herself. She’s got a great career and a happy, relatively private home life, but if she could switch lives with someone for a day, it would be with Oprah Winfrey. Um, wouldn’t we all?
17. Karaoke Sing Off
Karaoke is her thing. Adams has been known to hit up gay karaoke spots in LA and pull out a few show tunes like “Defying Gravity” from Wicked.
16. Cut From the Same Cloth
While on the set of Sunshine Cleaning (2008), Adams befriended Emily Blunt, like seriously best friend befriended Blunt. Blunt defines her relationship with Adams as sister-like, and says that it feels like they’ve known each other forever, with both having “a weird inner dialogue that we sort of know what the other one’s thinking.”
15. Christmas Gifts Sorted
On the set of Doubt (2008), Meryl Streep claimed that in order to get in the zone of her character, she spent all of her time on set knitting. As a result, she knitted the shawl she wears in the film and taught Adams how to knit, which sparked a friendship between the two actresses.
14. Singing Starlet
Adams’ musical theatre background helped her nab the singing roles in at least three movies: The Muppets (2011), Enchanted (2007) and Miss Pettigrrew Lives for a Day (2008); she did all her own vocals on these films.
13. Spring in Her Step
Even though her favorite holiday is Christmas, her favorite season, Spring, has really got her sprung!
12. Red Is Rad
While she looks absolutely ravishing as a redhead, Adams is actually a natural blonde. As a blonde, however, she found she was getting calls for “flirtatious and dumb” roles, but it was when she went red that she was approached for more “quirky and fun” parts. She undoubtedly believes that changing her hair color is what helped propel her career.
11. Workin’ on Up
Before being one of the highest paid actresses in 2016, Adams had guest roles on That 70s Show, Buffy the Vampire Slayer, and Smallville.
10. So Hot, It Hurts Your Job
While filming the historical comedy Miss Pettigrew Lives for a Day, Adams admits she was very distracted by her co-star Lee Pace because he’s “so dashing.” Her infatuation seemed to have caused quite a stir, because the director had to ask Pace to leave the set so Adams could focus on her scenes without distraction!
9. Random Act of Kindness
Adams’ father was in the military, and was she born on a military base in Italy. Growing up in an army family, she’s always been supportive of the troops. So much so that on a flight from Detroit to Los Angeles in 2014, she gave up her first class seat to an American solider, and happily sat in Coach.
8. Locking Lips
While Adams plays the more level-headed female lead in American Hustle (2013), Jennifer Lawrence does not; her role is much more unpredictable and unsteady. So to amp up the confrontational scene in the bathroom, Adams thought that after the little spiel Lawrence goes through, why not up the ante of her character’s craziness and actually have her kiss Adams on the lips. Adams brought up the idea to Lawrence, who immediately agreed, and it became the perfect touch to a meltdown!
7. Morning Sickness? No Biggie.
Adams is one ambitious woman. Even though she was pregnant with her daughter Aviana while filming, she still completed her role as Charlene in The Fighter (2010) as Mark Wahlberg’s character’s girlfriend. Her real-life partner is her longtime boyfriend, now husband, Darren Le Gallo, who she first met while taking an acting class.
6. Kids Say the Darndest Things
Adams stopped wearing so much make up at home when her daughter Aviana told her, “You look like Amy Adams when you do that–I just want you to be Mom.” And that was the end of that.
5. Need More Girl Power
In the wake of the Sony Hack in 2014, it was discovered that both Adams and Jennifer Lawrence were paid significantly less for their lead roles in American Hustle than their male counterparts, Christian Bale and Bradley Cooper.
4. The Cat’s Out of the Bag
When the 2014 Sony Hack revealed a deluge of private Hollywood emails, juicy details came out about Adams’ work in American Hustle. While most of the media focused on how the women were being paid less than their male counterparts, another email gained less attention, but nonetheless revealed some scandalous information. The email indicates that apparently Adams and director David O. Russell, who is notorious for his temperamental nature, didn’t see eye to eye, and it caused immense tension on set. In fact, Adams cried on set to the point where co-star Christian Bale felt like Russell was abusing the actress, and he needed to step in. As a result, Bale got in the director’s face and told him he needed to “stop acting like an a**hole.”
3. Not Her Thing
At 17, Adams worked at Hooters. At 18, she waited tables for a bit before realizing she wasn’t cut out for the job. As she said, “I was a hostess at Hooters, and that was sort of fun. I was 17, and then when I was 18, I waited [tables] for about a month. I wasn’t cut out to be a waitress, and I certainly wasn’t cut out to be a Hooters waitress. That was a short-lived ambition. Everyone would agree, if they could see me, Hooters isn’t necessarily the best way to describe me.”
2. So, No Autograph Then?
Once upon a time, Adams worked in retail at The Gap, when one day Whitney Houston walked in. A co-worker dared her to give Houston the “Gap Act,” to which Adams full-on complied! She walked up to the superstar like she had no idea who Houston was and said, “Hi, I just wanted to let you know about our sale items and make sure to check out our new colors.” Obviously, Houston looked at her like she had three heads!
1. Workin’ on up
When she was a child, her sister gave her the nickname Fish-Belly Blue because she was, and still is, pale. Her fair skin doesn’t take to the sun, and when she tries to get a tan, she just ends up with a rash. Once, even a grown man at a water park noticed her paleness, and yelled at her to go get a tan. As she said jokingly of the water park heckler, “Me in a swimsuit — that’s a lot of pale skin!”