Amy Adams is a loser. It’s true. But I don’t mean that in a derogatory way. She’s only a “loser” because she’s one terrifically talented actress who has been nominated six times for an Academy Award before the age of 45 and always gone home empty handed.
While everyone is commiserating Glenn Close for another Oscar defeat (nominated seven times and never won), people may be forgetting the equally talented Amy Adams who, having missed out again at the 91st Academy Awards following her Best Supporting Actress nomination for Vice, is an Oscar loser for the sixth time.
In a category featuring two actresses from The Favourite (Emma Stone and Rachel Weisz) and Marina de Tavira for Roma, Adams alongside her fellow nominees lost to winner Regina King for her turn in If Beale Street Could Talk. It was her fifth nomination for Best Supporting Actress (and sixth overall alongside American Hustle for which she was in the running for Best Actress).
The Vicenza, Italy-born actor, who was raised in Castle Rock, Colorado, endured a difficult start to her Hollywood career like so many other young actors trying to make a name for themselves. One of her first roles was in an ill-fated Cruel Intentions TV-spin which was cancelled before airing and later released as the straight-to-video sequel, Cruel Intentions 2, which was made by re-editing the TV show’s three filmed episodes.
She enjoyed a few guest roles and small parts in various little seen independent movies before being faced with another setback after being hired then fired from a lucrative contract as a regular character in CBS television drama Dr. Vegas.
Her fortunes changed at just the right time. The independent film Junebug could have been her last given that she had grown disillusioned with the industry after her experience on Dr. Vegas and only completed work on Junebug because production had already started after her decision to walk away from the movies. But the film proved to be a major turning point for her. She received widespread critical acclaim, was given a special award at the Sundance Film Festival, and earned her first Oscar nomination.
Junebug wasn’t Adams’ true breakthrough though. The film had put her on the radar but she was still only getting small roles (three episodes in TV’s The Office and supporting turns in The Ex, Talladega Nights: The Ballad of Ricky Bobby, The Wedding Date and Standing Still). Her box office smash hit of 2007 – where she played a Disney princess in Enchanted – signified her mainstream breakthrough, the film earning over $340m at the box office. She beat hundreds of other actresses to the role and won acclaim for her energy and comic timing with some likening her to Julie Andrews in Mary Poppins. Enchanted quite rightly propelled her to bigger things, bringing her to the attentions of both independent and studio film producers who were looking for recognisable, leading ladies.
It had taken Adams a long time to breakout of jobbing actor struggling from part to part. Between her film debut in 1999’s Drop Dead Gorgeous to box office smash Enchanted, she’d been working as an actor for eight years. Despite the setbacks, she’d persevered and could now look forward to the future. Yes, she had an Oscar nomination already in the bag (a big incentive to keep going) but you’ve got to give her credit for sticking it out in spite of the Cruel Intentions 2 debacle, losing her job on Dr. Vegas, and some crippling reviews after Junebug.
Suffice to say, the phone has not stopped ringing since 2007. In that time she’s earned five more Oscar nominations, starred as Lois Lane in a number of DC Comics films, and won further acclaim from audiences and critics for brilliant performances in leading roles in American Hustle, Arrival, Julie and Julia, The Fighter and, of course, Vice.
So, while everyone puts there arm around Glenn Close in commiseration, spare a thought for Amy Adams who not only nearly quit acting after six years of struggle and has had to endure the wrath of American Hustle director David O. Russell (not once but twice!), can now count six empty-handed visits to the Academy Awards.