Amy Adams' New Role in Sci-Fi Thriller Proves Hollywood Is Finally Taking Her Seriously
She may not have won the Oscar, but it appears just coming close to it was enough to get Hollywood to finally start giving Amy Adams the roles she deserves. After years of playing second fiddle in films ranging from The Master to Doubt, Adams played a major character in last year's American Hustle, and now, it looks like she has no plans to go back to supporting parts anytime soon. On Wednesday, it was reported that Adams might star in Story of Your Life , a sci-fi thriller directed by Prisoners' Denis Villeneuve.
Based off a short story by sci-fi author Ted Chiang, Story of Your Life follows a linguist (Adams) hired by the military to communicate with an alien spacecraft after it unexpectedly lands on Earth. It's up to Adams' character to determine whether the visitors are here in peace or threat, and during the course of her communication with them, she experiences vivid flashbacks that reveal important clues to the mystery.
According to Villeneuve, Story of Your Life won't begin filming until early next year, so it's going to be a long while before the thriller hits theaters. That gives us plenty of time, though, to get excited for Adams' first major, solo leading role. Year after year (literally — she's earned five Oscar nominations in nine years) — Adams has proved that she's one of the most talented actors in Hollywood, and more than capable of handling lead roles. Yet every movie saw her in a supporting part, and despite all the acclaim her performances received, the idea of an actress as skilled as Adams constantly playing back-up was frustrating.
Then, last year, American Hustle came along, featuring Adams in the first starring drama role of her career, albeit as part of an ensemble. Her performance as Sydney/Lady Edith garnered unanimous critical acclaim, and, for the first time, Adams' practically inevitable Oscar nom came in the Leading Actress category, not Supporting. And now, it appears that Adams has no intention of going back to the roles of her past; with the exception of the Batman/Superman movie, all five of the actress' upcoming films star her as the lead.
There's Lullaby, a drama co-starring Garret Hedlund; Big Eyes, a biopic directed by Tim Burton; Object of Beauty, based on the Steve Martin novel; an untitled Janis Joplin biopic; and, now, Story of Your Life. With the latter movie, one would expect someone like Jessica Chastain or Charlize Theron to be cast, actresses for whom leading drama roles are second nature. Yet with Adams on board, those women now have some serious competition — but it's the best thing that could happen. Adams' leap to leading roles will surely mean an increase in the number of female-centric movies produced by Hollywood, especially ones of Oscar caliber. Now that Adams is no longer content to play "wife of," "daughter of," "girlfriend of," etc., women in Hollywood have a better chance than they did before.
Taking on lead roles is also a great move for Adams' own career, not to mention a bold one. Her history of supporting parts has earned her an astonishing number of Oscar nominations, but never elevated her to a level of overwhelming fame. It was a good place to be for an actor, but for Adams, getting the chance to play major parts must've meant more. You can't blame her; when Hustle was released, Adams was suddenly in the spotlight, respected and admired by a bigger audience than ever before for her film, her interviews, even her choices on the red carpet. In a matter of months, she became a movie star.
And judging from her upcoming slate of projects, the actress should have no problem staying one. All of the films sound promising, especially Big Eyes, the Joplin biopic, and Story of Your Life, which seems like Zero Dark Thirty mixed with Close Encounters. Mark your calendars, because the next few years are going to be all about Amy Adams, and you won't want to miss a single moment.