A-lister Amy Adams is one of the most riveting actresses of her generation. The blue-eyed, classic beauty simply brings magic to the big screen, although she has way more to offer than just her fairy tale princess looks. The Vice star oozes a vibe that’s purely relatable.
Adams has played a tough, Boston bartender in The Fighter with Christian Bale, reporter Lois Lane in Superman flick Man of Steel, and a nun in Doubt with Meryl Streep. Though she has won two Golden Globes for her American Hustle and Big Eyes roles, it’s hard to believe that the Oscar nominee has yet to win a golden statue. The freckled-faced star brings such depth and realness to her roles, and she has somehow managed to stay out of the tabloids.
Having the sort of range she showcases in her films often comes from vast life experience, and Adams definitely has that! In which European country was this porcelain-skinned stunner born? How did she once irritate Whitney Houston? And why did she finally join Instagram? This is the untold truth of Amy Adams.
Amy Adams was born in Italy
Amy Adams looks like she would be from Ireland, but she was actually born in Italy. Adams’ father was in the army and was once stationed in the city of Vicenza in the northeastern part of the country at the time of her birth. The family moved around a lot for the first eight years of Amy’s life and then wound up in a suburb of Denver, Colo., as noted in Adams’ 2014 cover story for Vogue.
As a matter of fact, Adams’ daughter, Aviana, was named after Aviano, the town where Adams was born, as the actress confirmed to Rachel Ray. “I was into a bit more traditional names and thought that we would go that direction, and when she was born, we just kept calling her, ‘Avi, Avi, Avi, Avi,’ so we just went with Aviana,” Adams told the talk show host.
Obviously, Italy’s not a bad place to be from, and being born there provides a good excuse to keep going back. In 2017, Adams sunned on a yacht while vacationing in Positano with her daughter and husband Darren, as revealed in OK! magazine. That’s amore!
Amy Adams had a brief stint working at Hooters
Before Amy Adams made it in Hollywood, she had a normal job like the rest of us. Well, sort of. She actually briefly worked as a Hooters waitress. According to The Hollywood Reporter, Adams told journalists at the 28th Santa Barbara film festival, “I turned 18 and I did wear the outfit … Some guy’s offering you $250 to take your shirt off — now I get offered a lot more!”
The job wound up being well worth it because Adams got to meet superstar Bono. “I saw Bono walk through not Hooters, but the hotel that we were attached to and I was, like, ‘Oh my gosh, I’m pretty sure that’s Bono from U2,'” Adams told James Corden on her The Late Late Show appearance. “And so all the girls rushed him, and I felt really bad for telling.” The Irish crooner must not have minded too much because he wound up giving her a sweet kiss on the cheek.
Adams is obviously making much more money nowadays — while keeping her shirt on, thankfully — but meeting Bono? Priceless.
Amy Adams grew up in a Mormon household with six siblings
Amy Adams is a middle child to four brothers and two sisters, and she was raised Mormon. Her parents were active in the Mormon church while they lived in Castle Rock, Colo., as revealed in her 2009 W magazine cover story.
In 2016, the actress opened up on The Late Show about the problems she experienced growing up with so many siblings. “We were all desperate for attention, let’s be honest,” she told host Stephen Colbert, who is one of 11 siblings himself. Adams described what dinners were like with a big brood, saying, “I never ate fast enough to get seconds.” She noted that she still gets upset if someone tries to take her food to this day.
Adams and Colbert also commiserated about the complicated — not to mention unsafe — family road trip arrangements. “The kids would all lay — one on a seat, one on the floor, one on a seat, one on the floor, two in the back over the suitcases, they built something,” Adams described. “Can you imagine how much trouble we’d get in nowadays? And a gymnastics mat spread across the top where I would sleep,” she added.
Amy Adams once annoyed Whitney Houston while working at Gap
Houston, we have a problem! Amy Adams once worked as a greeter at the preppy retail chain Gap while living in Atlanta with her mom. One day, music legend Whitney Houston walked into her store… and Adams just could not play it cool. Eek!
Something to know: Adams was a self-proclaimed rule-follower, or, as she’s said, a “jobsworth,” which is someone who meticulously follows all the rules no matter what distress it causes. “There’s something called the Gap Act, where you have to greet. … You have to approach, product information, add-on, clothes, thank,” the Golden Globe winner proudly recalled to James Corden on The Late Late Show.
So, what happened when Houston entered? “I was like, gotta Gap Act her, you know. ‘Hello. Welcome to the Gap. Is there anything I can help you with? Let me tell you about our t-shirts that are on sale,'” she recalled. She apparently just couldn’t help herself. “She went back into the dressing room and requested anybody else. It’s true!” she added.
Don’t take it personally, Amy. Maybe Whitney just wasn’t in the mood for your bubbly demeanor. At least we’ll always love you!
Amy Adams has "paralyzing" stage fright
Amy Adams has starred in many films and TV shows for over two decades, yet the star apparently has “paralyzing” stage fright. We would never have guessed that in a million years! The Oscar nominee is so poised and graceful that it’s quite hard to imagine this very real terror of hers, and yet that’s one of the reasons she’s just so relatable. Amy Adams — she’s just like us!
“I used to have it with the camera, I figured that out, thankfully,” she revealed when describing her stage fright on SundanceTV’s Close Up With The Hollywood Reporter. “I didn’t realize how bad it was until I was doing Into the Woods in Central Park, and there would be times where I literally thought I wouldn’t be able to walk on stage.” However, she noted that “the worst stage fright [she] ever had was singing alone at The Oscars.” Yikes, that does sound terrifying!
Amy Adams is a trained dancer
Amy Adams carries herself like a real-life princess, so, of course, it makes sense that she is, in fact, a trained dancer. The graceful beauty grew up dancing near Denver, Colo. and then later in Atlanta, Ga., where she lived in her mother’s basement after her parents divorced. At this time, Adams was not even into acting — only dancing. “All the people in high school who were like, ‘I want to be an actress,’ sort of drove me crazy,” she told W magazine for a 2009 cover story. The W article noted that she “performed with local companies as well as in family talent shows.”
Before shooting a 2014 cover for Vogue, Adams filmed a dance-themed “73 Questions” video for the fashion bible. In it, she stretched in a ballet studio, wrapping her feet in ruby red ballet slippers before her shoot with famed photographer Annie Leibovitz.
So, what’s the one song she’d probably be caught dancing alone to? “‘Dancing in Heaven’ from Girls Just Wanna Have Fun,” she told Vogue with a cute little side smile.
Amy Adams yearns to be a dance mom
Amy Adams may not have followed through with her dancer dreams, but that doesn’t mean she doesn’t try to live vicariously through her daughter, Aviana. “I was a dancer, so I sort of talked her into taking ballet,” the enthusiastic mom gushed to Seth Meyers on Late Night. “I want to be a dance mom so bad. I would love it.” Unfortunately for Adams, it looks like that’s not going to happen. “She’s very good at everything, but she just doesn’t want to be looked at,” Adams explained.
However, the mother-daughter duo did seem to reach a fair compromise. Adams shared that they “made a deal that she would not have to do The Nutcracker or recitals,” but she noted that “it would be really fun to be the mom fighting to the front with my camera … brushing her hair really tight.” She added, “I want all those things.” So, Adams is not going to be hovering over her little princess with a can of hair spray anytime soon. Aviana just isn’t into performing like her mom.
Amy Adams is not a natural redhead
Amy Adams is often known for her red locks, but the truth is she is not a natural redhead! She is actually a strawberry blonde and dyed her hair red for work.
According to an interview with Backstage, she went dark red for an early role in Dr. Vegas, in which she played a nurse alongside blonde actress Sarah Lancaster, who played a dealer at a casino. She noted that it was decided one of them would have to dye their hair. “She’s tan with these beautiful lioness green eyes and this mane of blonde hair,” she shared. “And I looked at her and me, with my pale freckles, and thought, Gee, I wonder which one of us is going to go red!”
From there, casting producers began seeing Adams in a different light. Then she booked the role of Ashley in 2005’s Junebug, scored her first Oscar nomination, and the rest is history. “I don’t know if I can give credit to just the hair color, but maybe it did help people see past blonde,” she told Backstage. Seems like it worked out!
School was a challenge for Amy Adams
Amy Adams is smart, beautiful, and seemingly well-adjusted, so it’s pretty shocking to think she had any trouble fitting in at school in Colorado. But that was apparently the case. “I’d hated school,” she told W magazine. “The people were indifferent toward me, and that’s the worst thing in my mind.” Apparently, the Adams family didn’t have much money for all the latest and greatest gear, and Adams had to wait for things to go on clearance before purchasing them. She then revealed that she even made fake Guess jeans to try to fit in. “It’s so sad that I did that! But I really wanted to be one of those girls,” she confided.
It wasn’t just about fitting in, however. The former dancer had trouble with the curriculum as well, and she was apparently bad at math. “School was hard for me,” Adams told Vanity Fair. “If there had been a school for the creative arts I might have thrived.”
Well, nowadays she’s schooling Hollywood and laughing all the way to the bank. We hope your closet is filled with racks and racks of Guess jeans, Amy!
This is why Amy Adams finally joined Instagram
Like fellow A-lister Jennifer Aniston, Amy Adams was slow to join Instagram. She shared her first post on March 16, 2020, during the height of the 2020 pandemic for a good cause. Adams revealed that she started her account to bring awareness to Save the Children and No Kid Hungry charities. “Hi Instagram! I’ve decided to finally join to shine a spotlight on kids across the country who need our help during this difficult time,” she wrote in the caption.
In fact, we can also thank actress Jennifer Garner because she and Adams teamed up to launch “@savewithstories,” an Instagram account where stars read kids’ books online. “School closures will hit vulnerable communities hard and @savethechildren and @nokidhungry are on the ground and ready to serve,” Adams shared. “They just need our help!”
Soon after, Adams shared her first flashback Friday posts. The first featuring her on the set of Junebug, and the second revealing a photo of herself on set of her first film, Drop Dead Gorgeous.
This celebrity inspired Amy Adams to move to L.A.
In an interview with Elle, Amy Adams credited actress Kirstie Alley for inspiring her to make the move to Los Angeles.
Adams’ first flick was Drop Dead Gorgeous back in 1999 – which filmed in Minnesota – and one day on set, she was able to have an off-screen interaction with co-star Alley, who basically told her to move to L.A. if she wants to get serious about her career in entertainment. “I was in a conversation with her, and she said, in her way, ‘You should go. You’re young, you’re funny, you’ll probably get work.’ It sounds so silly,” Adams remembered, “but it was all I needed to hear.”
The budding starlet wound up driving out with her brother Eddie, but their engine blew out, which left them stranded in New Mexico. Luckily, they finally made it to L.A. in their rented U-Haul. “We were just so excited to be breaking the mold and seeing what our futures held for us,” Adams shared. “It was an exciting time. Scary and thrilling.”
Amy Adams' dad sang in pizza joints to make dough
Amy Adams’ parents, Richard and Kathryn, loved to perform. “My dad is a singer. He used to sing in nightclubs, or pizza joints,” Adams told Vanity Fair. “We used to watch him — honestly, we went everywhere my parents went — so there would be seven of us in a bar. I mean, it was a pizza place, but it had a bar.” The Adams brood apparently sipped on Shirley Temples all night and served as their parents’ audience!
Adams believes being in those environments helped her and her siblings. “It was actually very helpful for kids to have to adapt to the adult surroundings, rather than making the whole world about the children,” Adams explained to the magazine. Still, it’s wild to imagine her and her siblings hanging out at bars all night, even if it was just to support their dad.
Amy Adams' mom was a semi-pro bodybuilder
Not only did Amy Adams and her siblings hang at bars while their dad performed, but they also hung out at the gym during the day after school for mom Kathryn’s gigs. Adams revealed to Vanity Fair that her mother worked and performed in gyms as a semi-professional bodybuilder. “She did amateur competitions,” Adams explained, “so we would go with her…. She was yoked.”
She noted that they’d all gather in the back room of the gym and order pizza. “There was no day care; there were no babysitters. We just kind of went where they needed us to be,” the Sharp Objects star recalled.
Adams’ parents did what they had to do to make ends meet, and we definitely have to commend them on that. After all, look how their daughter turned out! If the other siblings are anything like her, Adams’ mother and father must be some proud parents.
This is how Amy Adams met her husband
Amy Adams lucked out in nearly every department we can think of, and, on top of all that, she has a sweet, supportive husband! Adams and longtime partner Darren Le Gallo actually met in acting class. The artist — and father of their daughter, Aviana — hails from Germany. Though Adams and Le Gallo met in class, it was nearly a year before any sparks flew, according to a Vanity Fair interview. “I had another boyfriend, and Darren was dating some girl,” she explained. Afraid that he wouldn’t “be assertive enough,” Adams never acted on it. “I was really focused on the classes — he was a little scared of me,” she admitted.
Then one day, the then-future lovebirds worked together on a project outside of class. “I just found him to be such a genuine, caring person. And assertive! He demanded that we go out on a date,” Adams revealed. Their acting coach Warner Loughlin shared his approval. He told Vanity Fair, “She is wildly intelligent, enormously creative, giving, loving, kind, and has energy for days. Darren is a consummate gentleman.”
Adams and Le Gallo wed at an intimate Los Angeles ceremony in 2015, as reported by People, and Le Gallo became one of many gorgeous husbands you didn’t know celebrities had.
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