Amy Adams Discusses HBO’s ‘Sharp Objects’

Sharp Objects star Amy Adams
Amy Adams stars in the limited series, ‘Sharp Objects’ (Photo by Anne Marie Fox / HBO)

Gillian Flynn has another Amazing Amy on her side. Amy Adams stars in Sharp Objects, the adaptation of Flynn’s novel. Adams plays Camille, a reporter investigating a murder in her home town that hits even closer to home with her own personal trauma.

Amy Adams was on a 2018 Television Critics Association panel to discuss Sharp Objects. Perhaps the most striking aspect of Camille is the scars we see when she is in scenes by herself. Adams revealed how the scar makeup is applied.

“The makeup department did a lot of trial and error with that,” Adams said. ”It ended up being sort of a combination of silicone and glue. I know they went back in post. They went back and kind of highlighted what we needed to. We would do it for three hours, but the minute you put clothes on, it would start to get crazy and so like it would end up full of lint and sticking to things. Like, there’s a scene where she comes home drunk and we’re talking after the rose garden thing. I remember, I was just peeling the sweats off of my glue. It was so gross. I was like flypaper that day.”

Adams has played a wealth of characters in different scenarios, from a linguistic professor learning to speak to aliens, the painter Margaret Keane, a con artist in the ‘70s, a cult leader’s wife, a Disney princess, and a doubtful nun to name a few.

“With Camille, I think the thing that attracted me was that I hadn’t seen this particular hero, from a woman,” Adams said. “So that was really attractive to me. Gillian does such a great job at drawing those characters. But there isn’t one particular type of woman. If the voice feels specific, if I understand it, and if it feels true and if it doesn’t feel true, I can’t do it. Like, I don’t know how to do it.”

Camille’s reporting was winkingly called into question by reporters. Adams concurred that she’s a flawed heroine.

“She does a really good job person to person,” Adams said. “I think her drinking might get in the way of her recall. But, I do feel watching it and the way that it’s portrayed, she’s really good at sitting down with people, and making them feel safe while at the same time challenging them. And I think we’re getting to see that a little bit in the way she questions people. I think she could be better. How about that? I think she has potential. She doesn’t always bring out her tape recorder. I think she misses some steps. I’m aware of this. So, she has room for improvement. Is that fair? Would you guys agree? She’s not as good as Lois [Lane], but you know.”

In the three episodes that have aired, viewers have related closely to Sharp Objects’ portrayal of post traumatic stress and living with trauma.

“One of the things that’s been really nice is the reactions to an accurate telling of female trauma,” Adams said. “That felt very validating to me, because it is something that isn’t explored as often. We often make women the victims of something but Camille is also very active in this. So Marti [Noxon] and Gillian and Jean-Marc [Vallee] handled that in a really beautiful way.”

Working on those scenes has been harrowing, but Adams and her costars like Patricia Clarkson and Eliza Scanlen, along with the filmmakers get through them together.

“There’s a closeness that either existed or became during the shooting,” Adams said. “So that helped us through sort of the darkness of the subject matter. For me, family is the most grounding thing. So going home to my daughter and my husband and making dinner or doing something very domestic always helps me reground myself and get me back into my own reality. I had talked about that I had really bad insomnia and I would wake up with anxiety, and I’d have to realize that I didn’t own it. It belonged to Camille. So, I’d have these very insane conversations with myself at four o’clock in the morning, by trying to decide what was my anxiety and what was Camille’s and what I needed to let go of and what could work the next day, so…”

Sharp Objects airs Sunday nights on HBO.