Amy Adams had to prove she was worthy of The Fighter, but not because she did not possess the acting chops to tackle the real-life Lowell, Massachusetts bartender who would inspire, fall in love and marry The Fighter. She had to prove her fighting skills.
Adams found portraying Charlene Fleming the perfect post-baby challenge to stoke her creative fire. Before securing the role, Amy Adams had to prove to director David O. Russell that she could fight. Period.
“David always says that she doesn’t seem like the girl who could throw a punch, but she reminds me of so many girls in my neighborhood. She looks like an Irish Catholic, tough, no nonsense, kind of girl — and I saw that immediately. You know, they’re not quite as pretty as Amy, the girls in my neighborhood,” Wahlberg said. “But, you know what? Ah, she’s a sweetheart.”
Amy Adams fights for The Fighter
SheKnows: Mark and Christian [Bale] weren’t the only ones fighting. Did you have to convince anyone that you could pack a punch, physically?
Amy Adams: When I got the role, David informed me that I looked like a girl who couldn’t punch, which made me want to punch him [laughs]. So I actually took just a couple boxing lessons — that was fun — with Mark’s trainer, who was fantastic. And then we just did some fight choreography. I think it was about not being afraid of hurting anybody. That was my biggest concern. I didn’t want to hurt the girl that I was fighting with [laughs]. I wasn’t afraid of getting hurt myself.
SheKnows: You don’t seem like someone who got into any fights in their life.
Amy Adams: When I was younger, my sister thought it was funny to pretend to fight -– to punch me in the face. My mom was always concerned about my teeth falling out because they were loose for a long time. And yes, my sister knocked out my teeth [laughs]. I’ve always been a little afraid of fake punches. But it was fun. I had a good time on The Fighter.
SheKnows: How hard was it to find Charlene?
Amy Adams: David’s belief that I could be Charlene, that was like half of the preparation. And then the other half of it was research and also David telling me to lower my voice. He kept going, “She’s down here. She’s low. She’s low.” [Laughs] Just knowing that he knew I could do it, made me feel like I could do it.
SheKnows: Did meeting the real Charlene shape your performance or completely alter it?
Amy Adams: She is a sweetheart. What struck me about Charlene is that you had all these huge personalities, and she never once was like, “Let me tell you my side of the story.” She never did. She was content to sit in the background. She was not about drawing attention to herself. She was really happy that Micky’s story was being told, and she was really supportive of that.
Movie magic with Mark Wahlberg
SheKnows: Was it just terrible to have Mark Wahlberg as your love interest?
Amy Adams: With Mark, our chemistry was pretty instant. It was so easy to work with him. I mean, for the women out there, you saw him, I mean, like how hard is it to pretend that you’re attracted to that. Like, “Whoa, gosh I’m such a good actress.” [Laughs] So with that being said, with all respect to [his] wife and my significant other, Mark has a great quality as an actor and was able to show that with Micky — this vulnerability. And a man who’s powerful and strong yet is able to show tenderness and vulnerability — that’s really sexy.