Amy Adams, best-known for her sweet roles in films including “Enchanted” and “Julie & Julia,” shows that she knows how to get down and dirty in “The Fighter.” The film is based on the life and career of Lowell, Mass., boxer Micky Ward. Adams plays Charlene, Micky’s girlfriend who helps him learn to stand up to his family and take charge of his career.
Director David O. Russell informed Adams that he thought she looked like “a girl who couldn’t punch, which made me want to punch him.”
Adams took boxing lessons with the same trainer used by Mark Wahlberg, who plays Ward, to help prepare her for some of her more physically involved scenes.
“And then we just did some fight choreography. I think it was about not being afraid of hurting anybody,” Adams said. “That was my biggest concern. I didn’t want to hurt the girl that I was fighting with.”
Russell said he had been talking to Adams for a couple of years to find a project on which the two could work together.
“I knew that she was eager to break type for herself … in the sense that she had played mostly very sunny women,” Russell said. “And she was very eager to play someone against type, and I knew she was going to kill it. You know, and just from talking to her, I knew that she was really ready to step up. And there’s nothing better a director can have than somebody who’s very eager.”
Micky’s sisters refer to Charlene as an “MTV girl,” indicating they believe she’s wild. Adams, who met with the real-life Charlene after taking the role, said Charlene was a strong-willed woman who helped teach Micky to stand up for himself.
“Do I think it’s fair? From Charlene’s perspective, no. Nah, she was just a girl trying to make good, you know. Trying to deal with what she had,” Adams said.
Adams said she had instant chemistry with Wahlberg.
“Mark has a great quality as an actor and that was able to show, he was able to show that in – with Micky, this vulnerability,” Adams said. “And a man who’s powerful and strong yet is able to show tenderness and vulnerability — that’s really sexy.”
Russell, meanwhile, said Adams also was able to channel a mix of toughness and sensitivity into the film.
“Amy’s very fierce. … but Amy also brings a great deal of emotion in her eyes, so you have that great cocktail that I find so interesting, of the two.”
- By Matthew Price
From Tuesday’s The Oklahoman
Travel and accommodations provided by Paramount Pictures