With her polished Hollywood charms, five-time Oscar nominee Amy Adams is one of our favourite red carpet veterans. At the 2014 Golden Globes, Adams took home the Best Actress trophy for her work in American Hustle. As memorable as her winning role were the jewels she wore on the red carpet: $8million worth of Lorraine Schwartz pieces, including a 30ct Asscher-cut diamond pendant, a 12ct rose-cut diamond ring, and 10ct diamond earrings mounted in yellow gold. “I’m too sexy for the Golden Globes,” Adams laughed.
Growing up in Italy, the bubbly redhead loved to sing and dance. A daughter of a US Army serviceman, Adams and her family moved from one base to another, finally settling in Colorado when Adams was about eight years old. The middle child of seven, Adams started showing her acting prowess by staging home-grown theatrical productions from her dad’s scripts. She sang with the state choir, trained in ballet, and was active in regional theatre.
It was in a Minnesota dinner theatre where she got discovered and cast as a determined beauty pageant contestant in the comedy Drop Dead Gorgeous. She went on from movie after movie, until she got cast in the critically acclaimed Junebug, which brought her the first Academy Award nomination. A second nomination followed with the movie Doubt, where she portrayed a timid and innocent nun, and then a third and a fourth for her supporting roles in The Fighter and The Master, and finally, a fifth for a leading role in American Hustle. With her two new movies, Arrival and Nocturnal Animals, creating a buzz in the Oscars, a sixth nomination, or possibly a first win, is highly anticipated.
How are you on the red carpet?
Being on the red carpet isn’t a natural environment for me. But I know that it’s part of the job. I like getting ready. I like all the people that come over, my whole team that makes me look effortless for two hours. It’s the process of getting ready and the people who I work with that make it fun. I tend to be a little bit more conservative and a little more modest than some. But I think I am just getting to a point in life where I just want to have fun and experience things. And that being said, I do have a daughter, so I am probably not going to be doing anything too risqué. But I will step out of the comfort zone a little more easily now.
I know how much you appreciate jewellery. Every once in a while do you get to keep the jewellery you wear in a movie?
I very much love the jewellery that I wore, for example, in American Hustle. There was a Gucci bracelet I really liked, but apparently it’s a vintage. And I thought, ‘Oh, if this was costume, maybe I could talk them into it.’ But it was lent to us by Gucci and it was a vintage, and it was really beautiful. But my own jewellery collection tends to be really basic. I like more classic pieces, things that I can wear with everything. I don’t follow trends in jewellery too much. On the red carpet, like at the Oscars, I very rarely make jewellery statements.
If we had a chance to peek into your jewellery box, what would be the most valuable items we will find?
Probably my watch or my engagement ring.
Is your relationship with clothes as specific as jewellery?
I have a complicated relationship with clothing. But I do like very simple lines and very classic shapes. I have a friend who’s a costume designer, who was talking about how we shape our identity through our clothing. And I suddenly realised I had spent most of my life trying to fit in, like choosing clothes based on what other people were wearing. I know, it’s so crazy. And so I went into this whole strange clothing identity crisis. And this wasn’t that long ago. My daughter, on the other hand, has such a strong sense of self. So you kind of wonder when do we depart from our strong sense of identity and sense of self and start trying to conform.
Yet you like to dress up.
I wish I was more stylish! I tried to be stylish, but it’s great because I get to be stylish in my work and I get to wear fantastic dresses. But when I am not working, I am a mother and so I end up dressing down a lot. I have that plight of most mothers, that you have to be comfortable and be able to move, especially at the playground. But then I’ve got the paparazzi following me. So I look like a slob. But something has got to give, and I choose to be able to move around with my daughter over fashion.
How do you get ready for a red carpet?
It starts out really tidy because I am lucky enough to get to work with a stylist and her team. Everybody is just so awesome and we try stuff on, and then my assistant packs it very neatly. And then after a day, it looks like a mess [laughs]. But it’s fun. On occasions like this, where I am doing two films (Arrival and Nocturnal Animals), I have a lot of different outfits.
How much has your sense of fashion changed over the years?
I actually probably enjoy it more now. I like the hunt. I’m a hunter-gatherer, so I love a bargain and a hunt. But I can’t really go into consignment stores like Goodwill anymore, and that’s where I used to love to shop. I do a lot of online shopping now, that’s how it changed. But definitely, by wearing these amazing designers and dresses that have been made for me, it does spoil me a little bit. I’ve never been someone who really felt that my clothes defined me, so I have fun with it. But I am just as happy to go home and climb into a pair of great fitting, comfortable jeans. I enjoy the process of dressing up, but I just like dressing down at home, too.
Image opener: Adams at the 2015 Golden Globe Awards, wearing a Versace gown and Tiffany & Co. jewellery
Image courtesy of Tiffany & Co.