Amy Adams on handling "Sharp Objects"
Writer: Naseem Randhawa
Amy Adams plays an alcoholic crime reporter who has a dark past of her own in "Sharp Objects".
It seems that television is not only in its golden age, but also in its prime in delivering great murder mystery series as well as documentaries.
The latest one that has got tongues wagging for more (rightfully so too), is the current weekly offering from HBO called "Sharp Objects".
If the title sounds familiar, that's because the 8-episode miniseries is adapted from the critically-acclaimed Gillian Flynn novel of the same name... and if Gillian Flynn sounds familiar as well, that's because it is the same author who delivered great adaptations like "Gone Girl" (2014) and "Dark Places" (2015) from her books to the big screen.
In "Sharp Objects", viewers are treated to a slow-burn "True Detective"-style murder mystery starring the ever-brilliant Amy Adams as the lead.
Oscar winner Adams plays, crime reporter Camille Preaker who is assigned a story in her hometown of Wind Gap, Missouri to investigate the murders of young girls. Back to living under her aberrant mother (Patricia Clarkson), stepfather (Henry Czerny) and stepsister (Eliza Scanlen), Camille also struggles with her own alcoholism and mental issues, made all the worse when more murders start taking place in the sleepy town.
So how exactly does Adams discover and play out all the layers between this emotionally relatable yet somewhat disturbed character? Read the interview below!
Don't forget to watch the remaining 4 episodes of "Sharp Objects" as it airs on the same time as the U.S. every Monday at 9am and encores on the same day at 10pm on HBO (Astro Ch 411/431 HD). Catch up on past episodes anytime on ASTRO On Demand (via Astro GO)!
What is Camille Preaker's stepsister and mother hiding?
What was it that most attracted you to this project?
Amy Adams: Television and I are like long-lost friends - it's like an old relationship that ended when it should have, so I kind of thought I was going to leave it there, but TV's just gone in such a different direction since then. And the people attached were so incredible. I've been attracted to Gillian's work for years, because she creates these incredibly flawed females. For a brief moment, I was talking about doing "Dark Places", but then I got pregnant and I was like, 'I don't think I can go to dark places. Not the time.'
I know you like to do a lot of research, so where do you start with someone as complex and damaged as Camille, with whom there is so much to unpack?
I started in the book, first up. There's so much there. Because Camille's the narrator of the book, there's so much internal dialogue to pull from about what she's thinking. Every day I had a ritual where I would read the segment of the book that we were shooting, and I would look at what she was saying to herself during those segments, because it helped remind me of this very rich internal life that Camille has that you can't tell all of in words.
Was it difficult to decide how you would parse out the horror, the drinking, the self-harm, so audiences aren't aware of absolutely every one of her struggles from the start?
Those are the things that are interesting, because you want the drinking and the mental health to be what it's about. So, I'm always careful about that. The sad thing about Camille too, when people ask what was it like playing a drunk? I have to say that if she gets drunk, it's because she's really been doing it all day. A lot of the times it's just to maintain. And she's always maintaining. So, she's regularly drunk. But when you drink that much you get quite sick and you don't feel right if you're not drinking.
It looks like something terrible has just taken place in the town of Wind Gap once again.
So, with those themes of self-harm and the family violence, was it easy to leave that stuff behind when you were on location every day?
Well, we shot in L.A. and then we also did shoot in Atlanta and Northern California for three weeks, so it was kind of a mix.
Is it harder to step out of it when you're away?
If I'm by myself, yes. My husband and daughter travel with me a lot at the moment - we'll see how it goes the further she gets into school. But I've been much better since I had a hard experience on a film and I really had to look at myself. I had to train myself how to not bring a character home as much as possible. But there were definitely times, whether from exhaustion or just living in the space of Camille, where there was a lot of insomnia, and when I don't sleep I get a little cuckoo. But I think age has served me well in that, where I'm able to look at it and say, 'Okay, I know what's going on. Nothing's really wrong. I just need to go to work, do my job and come home. Make dinner, do something grounding.'
The sense of place really comes across in the show. Did you feel that coming from the Midwest was helpful in understanding that culture?
Oh yes, absolutely. It's Midwest, but it also has a Southern aspect to it, so it's an interesting place. For some reason I'm so attracted to Southern characters, Southern-Midwest characters. I think it's because this idea of proprietary masked with fierce, fierce female strength. However, Midwesterners are so nice. But, yes, the sense of place in the show is really cool, and we had a really great time in Atlanta.
Actor Chris Messina plays Detective Richard Willis from Kansas City who is aiding the investigation.
From the very beginning, you can feel the sweat on people's backs - you really get it.
Cinema Online, 05 August 2018
It's so sweaty there. Poor Chris Messina, he was sweaty. But it was perfect for the character.
You guys worked together on "Julie & Julia", was it fun to be reunited for this?
AA: It was so fun, yes. It's such a female-driven story that I just found myself feeling so lucky every time we got an awesome male actor to join us – Chris Messina, Matt Craven. I was so grateful, because it's not always the case that guys will come and support a cast of ladies. You really felt that they had our backs and that was a great feeling.