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Amy Adams is in fine form as a dam­aged re­porter in the adap­ta­tion of novel Sharp Ob­jects, writes MICHELE MANELIS

Sunday Tasmanian - Tassie Living - - NEWS -

Amy Adams stars in new show Sharp Ob­jects

IT’S ev­ery par­ent’s night­mare … a se­rial killer, with a dark thirst for mur­der­ing lit­tle girls.

So for Amy Adams – the star of Sharp Ob­jects and mother to eight-year old daugh­ter Aviana – it was a grue­some and con­fronting story to ex­plore.

Play­ing a dam­aged crime re­porter in­ves­ti­gat­ing the deaths of two young girls in her home town, Adams ad­mits to TV Guide: “It was re­ally hard to live in­side this world of vi­o­lence. It doesn’t help that I have in­som­nia, so I’d wake up of­ten and some­times find there was a resid­ual ef­fect [of that day’s shoot­ing]. When I’d go home I’d try to do some­thing ground­ing, like make din­ner or do home­work, some­thing that felt nor­mal and got me back into my own skin.”

In the eight-part se­ries – based on the novel by Gone

Girl au­thor Gil­lian Flynn and di­rected by Big Lit­tle Lies’ Jean Marc Vallee – Adams says she gave into the role in ways she wasn’t aware.

“Well, [sur­pris­ingly] I didn’t have any night­mares. Maybe it’s be­cause I’ve watched so much Law & Order that I’m im­mune to all those kinds of crime sto­ries,” she says.

“But then again, I’d just wake up and be filled with anx­i­ety and not know where it was com­ing from, be­fore I’d re­alise, ‘Oh, ac­tu­ally this isn’t my anx­i­ety, this is my char­ac­ter’s anx­i­ety that I haven’t dealt with!’”

That char­ac­ter, Camille Preaker, is an al­co­holic, re­cently re­leased from psy­chi­atric care, still har­bour­ing many se­crets, in­clud­ing a body cov­ered in cuts from self-mu­ti­la­tion. It’s a con­di­tion she’s bat­tled since her sis­ter died when they were both chil­dren.

The ex­ten­sive make-up re­quired, as well as hav­ing a sol­vent and ad­he­sive ap­plied all over her body, only added to the in­ten­sity and ig­nominy of the job for Adams.

“I had to stand there pretty much naked for four hours, which is not my nat­u­ral state,” she says, laugh­ing.

“I mean, I’m not shy, but I’m not an ex­hi­bi­tion­ist ei­ther. So it re­ally made me feel vul­ner­a­ble, which kind of helped stepping onto the set ex­posed in that way.”

The kind of self-loathing her char­ac­ter lives with man­i­fests it­self in a dis­re­gard for her own phys­i­cal appearance. In fact, it’s safe to say this is prob­a­bly Adams’ least glam­orous role to date.

“What are you say­ing?” she says, pre­tend­ing to be in­sulted.

“I re­ally en­joyed ap­proach­ing this role with a cer­tain lack of van­ity. It was ap­pro­pri­ate and I didn’t re­ally even think about how I would feel about it un­til I started watch­ing it. Then I was like, ‘Oh wow! I re­ally maybe should have been a bit more vain!’ But ac­tu­ally, it’s re­ally free­ing to let go of that and get to dive into a char­ac­ter without van­ity.

“What was dif­fi­cult,” she ex­plains, “was that level of vul­ner­a­bil­ity that was re­quired … that’s a place that’s hard for me.”

“Maybe that’s why I don’t like to be on so­cial me­dia as it makes me feel too vul­ner­a­ble as well as feel­ing ex­posed. Well, this role made me both,” she says.

“I had to sort of con­tend with my own demons a lit­tle bit in order to tackle this role be­cause it made me ex­am­ine my­self.”

Co-star Pa­tri­cia Clark­son also turns in a stel­lar per­for­mance as Adams’ mother, who is clearly deal­ing with myr­iad per­sonal is­sues.

A con­stant state of an­tag­o­nism be­tween the pair en­sues.

“They seem to have an al­ler­gic re­ac­tion to one an­other,” Clark­son notes.

Mean­while, Syd­ney-born beauty El­iza Scanlen, 19, gives an as­tound­ing break­out per­for­mance as Adams’ half sis­ter, who idolises her dam­aged older sib­ling.

“El­iza is so amaz­ing,” en­thuses Adams.

“She had no prob­lem with the [Amer­i­can] ac­cent, but the way that Jean-Marc works is very de­mand­ing and for a young ac­tress who doesn’t have the breadth of ex­pe­ri­ence that Pa­tri­cia and I do, she more than held her own.

“El­iza was com­pletely fear­less. I was so en­vi­ous of her youth and her en­ergy be­cause she was just in­ex­haustible and good.”

In the se­ries, the two sis­ters share a deep bond de­spite their age dif­fer­ence. How was it off screen?

“Well, I wanted it to be cooler and like I was a friend but I’m so much older than her,” Adams laughs. “But she is truly thrilling to watch.”

As Sharp Ob­jects re­veals so acutely, so too is Adams.

SHARP OB­JECTS 11AM AND 8.30PM, MON­DAY, SHOW­CASE AND FOX­TEL ON DE­MAND

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