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Amy Adams Talks About 'Leap Year'

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Amy Adams in 'Leap Year'

Amy Adams in 'Leap Year'

© Universal Pictures
Dec 30, 2009 - Amy Adams' career is red hot, coming off of an Oscar-nominated turn in Doubt and starring roles in 2009 hits Night at the Museum: Battle of the Smithsonian and Julie & Julia. And now she's starting off 2010 with a bang, playing opposite Matthew Goode (Watchmen, A Single Man) in the romantic comedy Leap Year.

Adams stars as Anna, a bright young woman who decides to take matters into her own hands when her long-time boyfriend (played by Adam Scott) fails to pop the question in a timely manner. Following him to Dublin, Anna is determined to ask him to marry her. There's apparently an old Irish tradition that states women are allowed to propose to men on leap day, and that's what Anna is ready to do. Unfortunately, her travel plans get totally screwed up and she's forced into asking a bar owner/cab driver (Goode) who's hard up for money into driving her on an increasingly perilous journey across Ireland.

In real life, Adams is engaged to Darren Le Gallo, her steady since they met in acting school back in 2001. The couple is expecting their first child in 2010, and the pregnant Adams joked with journalists at the LA press junket for Leap Year that she'd actually considered doing something similar to what her character did when her relationship with Le Gallo hadn't advanced to the next level when she thought it should have.

"I thought about it," admitted Adams. "I waited for six years... I ultimately decided against it because I knew that that was important to my fiancé, now. I knew that was important to him. But I think if you had the type of relationship, where it would be okay with the guy, I don’t see anything wrong with it."

Anna is a practical yet romantic woman, and Adams feels she shares some of the same characteristics that make Anna tick. "I think I have both aspects of the character in me, and I think that’s why I was attracted to the character," said Adams. "I tend to be really pragmatic, but ultimately tend to be attracted to people who sort of pull me into more spontaneity. And I really learned that through surrender, the best experiences of my life have happened. And so that’s one of the things that attracted me to this story was sort of thinking you have control, losing control, and then finding an amazing life for yourself."

Taking a Trip to Ireland

Leap Year provided Adams with her first opportunity to visit Ireland, and actually being able to shoot on location went a long way in helping her get into the role. "I really started to understand being able to surrender your entire life for this place, and being able to fall in love with a place, and with the people of the place, because Ireland really has that quality. They’re so welcoming. You feel like it’s home. And being in Ireland really, really helped me understand Anna’s pull towards it. So, I think it was really important. It would have been harder to do in another location, I think," said Adams.

Adams filled her downtime in Ireland by exploring the area. "I walked everywhere in Dublin. I mean, it’s a great walking city. I went to organic farmers markets. I went to the pubs and ate great meals and met awesome people. We would have dinners every once in a while, and we would cook at different people’s houses," explained Adams. "It’s just very homey in Ireland. And it's kind of very comforting - very comfortable. Lots of fireplaces with peat moss fires and just really cozy."

The climate also helped – or hindered, depending on how you look at it – the cast and crew. "One of the days that was the most challenging, but also very funny to watch everybody try to operate in, was the day when I’m sort of walking, and it’s really windy, and you sort of notice it’s windy. But it was actually that windy," revealed Adams. "I mean, we were not planning on it being that windy - and it was freezing cold. But the winds were between 60 to 100 miles an hour. I mean, they were really, really strong. And there were times where I could barely actually make any progress, which became hysterical to me. And I’m not sure anyone else found it funny. But to watch everyone try to do their job, and this wind was definitely…it was fun. You try to laugh at those circumstances."

On the Set with Director Anand Tucker

Tucker's filmography includes 1998's critically acclaimed Hilary and Jackie and 2005's Shopgirl based on the Steve Martin book. Leap Year's his first big romantic comedy. Working with him on the film was very collaborative, with Tucker allowing his cast to change things up occasionally.

"It sort of depended on the scene. There was definitely scenes where we had a lot of room to improv, and then there were scenes – sometimes the scenes that are more timing-specific, you’re a little more constrained. But he definitely allowed for a lot of improvisation. Like the scene with the cows," said Adams, referring to when the cows blocked the tiny road Goode and Adams were traveling down. "I mean, you kind of have to be loose with that. I mean, you’re working with cows and they don’t cooperate. As much as you try to train a cow, I don't know…they’re not really programmed to cooperate."

Looking Into the Future

As for Adams' future plans, first up is the birth of her first child. Then she'll see what she wants to follow that accomplishment up with. "I’m working on some development stuff, and I don't know. I’m trying to work on my relationships. I think I’ve been gone so long. I’ve sort of had relationships that have been really great, and really supportive. But I need to sort of learn how to keep in touch with people better. And that’ll be a nice exercise, to have the time and have the focus to focus on other people, instead of just myself and my career," confessed Adams.

And those rumors of an Enchanted sequel? Adams doesn't know anything more than the rest of us. "I don't know if there’s going to be a sequel. I really don’t know. I mean, I’d be open if there was something put in front of me that was really great. But I think the film stands on its own. You know, some of my favorite films don’t have sequels so I love that it stands on its own. But I’d be willing to explore it."

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