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Amy is on the cover of “The Hollywood Reporter” for the annual Actresses Issue. Amy appears on the cover with Oscar-hopefuls Julia Roberts, Lupita Nyong’o, Octavia Spencer, Oprah Winfrey and Emma Thompson. There’s no video yet for the roundtable, but you can check pictures in our gallery, and read the Amy’s part on the roundtable below. For read it completely, go to The Hollywood Reporter website.
Putting together THR’s roundtables always is a complicated affair, but perhaps none this year was quite as tricky as the Actress Roundtable. First came the matter of coordinating six busy performers’ schedules — a project that began way back in the summer and especially was complex given that 12 Years a Slave’s Lupita Nyong’o, 30, lives in Brooklyn, Emma Thompson (Saving Mr. Banks), 54, in London, and Amy Adams (American Hustle, Her), 39, has been juggling back-to-back movies.
Next came the challenge of getting enough time with the actresses to include an hourlong conversation, the requisite grooming, behind-the-scenes video and an elaborate photo shoot. Finally came the complication of having each participant’s lawyer vet television releases so that this roundtable can be broadcast in December on PBS. With all this, it’s no surprise that the final t’s were crossed mere hours before the roundtable got underway Nov. 9 in Los Angeles, when an amazingly candid conversation took place among Nyong’o, Thompson, Adams, Oprah Winfrey (Lee Daniels’ The Butler), 59, Julia Roberts (August: Osage County), 46, and Octavia Spencer (Fruitvale Station), 43. A few tears were shed.
What’s the best or worst piece of advice you’ve been given in Hollywood?
AMY ADAMS: You spoke of Steven (Spielberg) — he gave me some amazing advice. I wasn’t able to cry for him — me, too — in Catch Me If You Can, and through tenderness he came up to me and said: “Can you close your eyes for me? Think about Brenda, think about how much she loves and how much she has to give.” I opened my eyes, and he goes, “Let go and lead with this.”
WINFREY: Oh, I could just cry right now.
ADAMS: And when Steven Spielberg tells you to do that, you can cry.
What’s the scariest moment you’ve had?
ADAMS: I was trapped in the Atlas Mountains on Charlie Wilson’s War. That was scary.
ROBERTS: [Amy and I] were filming in Morocco, and they had built this refugee camp at the top of the Atlas Mountains, and this storm came and blew the camp away and destroyed the roads, and I had two very small children to get back to in Marrakech. It was bananas.
Are there roles you won’t play?
THOMPSON: Well, apart from the muff shot and things like that — but let’s not go there (laughter) — there was a patch of time when I was in my 30s and just started [being offered] a whole string of roles that basically involved saying to a man, “Please don’t go and do that brave thing. Don’t! No, no, no, no, no!” That’s a trope, the stock woman who says, “Don’t do the brave thing.” I said no to all of them. I’m so proud.
ADAMS: It’s what sells, right? It’s a business. It will make a difference when we as women can support each other and celebrate each other.
Do you still have to audition for things?
ADAMS: I’ve been on so many auditions, I started treating it as my acting class. I would just pretend I was shooting the scene because I figured I had to learn from it. But the problem was, then I thought I could experiment, and so I just did some really dumb things. I would go in and wear costumes, take props. I think sometimes they just thought I was mad.
THOMPSON: Do you mean you felt that you’d sacrificed small portions of personal dignity?
ADAMS: Well, that, yeah.
THOMPSON: Which I think is vital in this profession. It’s all far too respectable now.
ADAMS: I said that a long time ago: “My dignity is just that.”
Is there any one role you would love to play?
ADAMS: I’m such a nerd. I just love musicals; I would love to go and do a musical on Broadway. Maybe I’ll just do a benefit or something. Two-night-only kind of thing.