Today we’re saluting Amy Adams for being brave enough to burn a professional bridge via an interview with GQ Magazine. Though she tends to keep a very low profile for the most part, the five-time Oscar nominee (seriously, Leo was nominated four times and won on his fifth; where’s all of the fanfare surrounding Amy’s ‘always a bridesmaid, never a bride’ experience with the Academy Awards? #InternationalWomensDay) decided to speak up about her plans, or lack thereof, to work with director David O’Russell in the future.
Admittedly, the Silver Linings Playbook director’s reputation had gone somewhat over our heads. We’d heard rumblings of him being a bit full-on, but isn’t that par for the course in Hollywood? And besides, isn’t he one of the most lauded directors in the business? If Jennifer Lawrence and Bradley Cooper’s recent filmography is anything to go by, this dude sounds like the God of directors. Reading what the soft spoken Amy had to say about her experience with this ‘creative’, however, and you’ll soon be left with a sour taste in your mouth.
Just because a movie is a critical and financial hit, does that give those who pull the strings free rein to throw tantrums and, as Amy uses the word herself, ‘abuse’ those on set? Nope. It’s BS and no amount of Oscars should make it acceptable. After a rough experience on The Fighter and one that went too far on American Hustle (for which Amy Adams and Jennifer Lawrence were famously paid less than their male counterparts), Adams has decided that there’s nothing to be gained by keeping schtum about such ‘insanity’.
“Even I was surprised on American Hustle, because on Silver Linings Playbook he had developed this wild, crazy way of working with Bradley and Jennifer… and it was mania. I was like: wow.”
He would talk and shout through every scene, screaming instructions at people while they worked. “I did a scene with Bradley where I have to hit him and he’s yelling at me, ‘Hit him! Hit Him! Hit him! Hit him! HARDER! HARDER! HARDER! Really give it to him this time!”
In conversation with GQ, Adams speaks freely about the misery she endured on set. Did he make her cry? “He did. He was hard on me, that’s for sure. It was a lot. I was really just devastated on set. I mean, not every day, but most.”
Amy admits that her sensitivity prevented her from taking a stand against O’Russell’s behaviour. “Jennifer [Lawrence] doesn’t take any of it on. She’s Teflon. And I am not Teflon. But I also don’t like to see other people treated badly… It’s not ok with me.”
At this point in the interview, GQ suggest that maybe his methods are forgivable if the movie’s a success. “No. It’s not OK with me. Life to me is more important than movies.”
As for the future of her relationship with David O’Russell? Will they work together again? “Not in the near future, no. I’ll never say never, but with my daughter being where she’s at, unless the role is less damaged and there’s a way to mitigate the insanity then probably not. I just want to be a good mom, you know?”
On the subject of the pay-gap, Amy admits that she felt she had to take the deal in order to take the part, for the sake of her career, but it seems in the time since the movie’s release, and the subsequent Sony email leaks, the distance there has allowed her to re-assess and, more importantly, speak up.
Did she know she was being paid less? “Yeah, I did. I didn’t speak about it before and I’m probably not going to speak about it forever, because I disagreed with… not Jennifer per se, but people who had opinions on how women should go about negotiating. The truth is we hire people to negotiate on our behalf, men and women… I knew I was being paid less and I still agreed to do it because the option comes down to do it or don’t do it. So you just have to decide if it’s worth it for you. It doesn’t mean I liked it.”
Adams praises her co-star Jennifer Lawrence for penning the Lenny essay on this issue a few months back: “What I liked is that it was not necessarily about getting paid, or not getting paid… It’s like we [women] have been conditioned to not be controversial, to not cause problems. It’s about finding your voice.”
How wonderful it is to see that perhaps with this telling GQ interview, Amy has finally found hers.