Amy Adams stars as a princess lost in the real world in the romantic comedy, Enchanted, directed by Kevin Lima and co-starring James Marsden, Patrick Dempsey and Susan Sarandon. Adams plays the sweet and innocent Giselle, the epitome of an animated fairytale princess, in the Disney film which mixes animation and live-action.
Giselle finds her perfect match in Prince Edward (Marsden) but on the day they're to be married, the evil Queen Narissa (Sarandon) banishes her from their cartoon world. Emerging from a manhole in Times Square, the animated Giselle turns into a flesh and blood woman, lost and alone in New York City. Fortunately, a divorce lawyer (Dempsey) with a cute kid and a good heart takes her in off the streets. But despite that act of kindness, Giselle quickly learns NYC isn't a fairytale town and happily ever after isn't a guaranteed ending to every story in the big city.
Amy Adams Press Conference
How did you get comfortable with this character and know who she was?
Well, when I first read the script, I felt like I knew who she was and I felt that it was something I understood, oddly enough. I think that I've always been attracted to characters who are positive and who come from a very innocent place. I think there's a lot of room for discovery in those characters, and that's something I always have fun playing. And I didn't treat it like it was a joke. I treated it like it was Chekov and maybe they sensed my sincerity.
What were the challenges of shooting out of continuity and finding your place?
It's always challenging when you're shooting a film. Shooting things out of order and keeping continuity on all levels is always, for me, the most challenging thing. In this character in particular, we paid really close attention to how her emotions tracked. Her different levels of vulnerability and her physicalness was something we tracked very closely.
Did you watch every Disney animated film since 1937?
Well, I wish I could say that I spent hours in front of them but the truth is that I had done so much of that in my childhood and my teenage years that I already knew them so well. There was no need to study. So if anything, I kind of tried to avoid them because I didn't want to do an imitation of one of the previous princesses. I wanted to create a new character.
Kevin [Lima, the director] had done such a wonderful job. He did art and he had it all along the walls of Disney. He had us come in and prerecord our voices so that he could storyboard out the whole film. So for each scene I knew exactly what he was looking for in the physical nature of the character and the emotional nature of the character, what shots he intended to use. It was really helpful for me in this world.
What did you think of the cartoon version of yourself?
I was flattered. I was a little intimidated. Her waist is a lot smaller than mine so I thought there'd be no late night Mexican food binges while shooting this. But I thought they did a really good job at capturing some of my quirks and my movements. I run pigeon-toed and she does too. Sometimes you get self-conscious because you know they're looking for what will define this character. I just think they're so wonderful. Like I said, I grew up watching those films and James Baxter's animation so it was a huge compliment to me to be animated by him.
Did you perform for the traditional animators?
We did. We actually recorded the scene of me arriving to the wedding. We treated it as though we were shooting a film and recorded that scene so that they would have it for reference for the animation.
What was the biggest challenge, the rain or the big white dress?
I think it's a toss up. Any scene where I had the white dress was grueling. It weighed about 45 pounds and the entire weight was on my hips, so occasionally it felt like I was in traction. But also doing the last sequences with the dragon, it initially was a much longer sequence which I guess terrified the kids too much. It was a much longer sequence so I spent a lot of time wet in the rain in a harness hanging off the sword trying to climb. I did not look very graceful so that was somewhat grueling, but it was also fun and challenging.
Was the best experience singing and dancing in Central Park?
Yeah, I recommend to all of you to go sing - you might not get the same results as Giselle but there's something so freeing about it, really. No, that scene was just exhilarating. I think when we come around the Bethesda Fountain, I remember arriving on that day and just really remembering my first time visiting New York and seeing the Bethesda Fountain. And to realize that I'd now be doing a musical around it, which for me is fantastic, I just really had a really wonderful time.
Was it challenging to find the right balance in the character?
It was. That was one of the things that interested me about taking this role was that challenge of making her fun and coming from the animated world so that you would believe that, but also that she was grounded and human and based in enough emotion that she would resonate. That was a really big challenge and something that I was very conscious of.
How does it feel to have a doll of yourself?
It's pretty surreal. My mom called yesterday morning and was like, "I keep looking at that box and that picture looks like I dressed you up for Halloween as a princess." Leave it to your mom to put it in perspective. It's just so unreal."
Are you signed for a sequel?
I believe that's in the contract.
Have they talked to you yet?
No, they haven't really pitched any ideas to me. I kind of don't want to speculate yet. I'd rather, unless they're really interested in me coming into a creative meeting which we'll see, but I would rather enjoy this process right now rather than think about that.
Page 2: Amy Adams on Musicals, Animals, and Charlie Wilson's War