In the Disney comedy Enchanted (opening Nov. 21), Amy Adams charms as Gisele, a naïve princess who is thrust by the evil Queen Narissa (Susan Sarandon) from her cheery animated fairytale land into modern-day, live-action New York City. Here, the Oscar-nominated actress tells us about the perks of being a cartoon, along with the not-so-glamorous aspects of playing a real-life Disney princess (hint: her ballgown had steel components!).
ENTERTAINMENT WEEKLY: How was it shooting in the streets of New York City dressed in a princess costume?
AMY ADAMS: I definitely stood out; there was no way to miss me. The dress is enormous! It was really heavy — the base of it was made out of steel hoops. It took about 15 minutes to put the dress on. I had a whole new appreciation for what Vivien Leigh must’ve gone through as Scarlett O’Hara [in Gone With the Wind].
Were little girls freaking out when they saw you?
There was a lot of curiosity. The great thing about New York City is that if there hadn’t been a film crew around me, people probably would’ve thought I was someone handing out flyers.
What made you want to get involved in Enchanted?
I loved the story that they were telling. Just how good [Gisele] was. I love playing characters who have big hearts and really believe in something. I’ve been in a lot of smaller films that weren’t appropriate to take my niece and nephew to, so I needed a movie to get to bring them to. I come from a musical theater background, and it was so much fun to get to do that.
There’s an entire song and dance number in the movie that takes place in the middle of Central Park. Were you okay performing in front of such an atypical audience? Or are you used to singing in front of a lot of people?
No, no, it was completely different. In musical theater you’re on the stage; people come to watch you sing. In the middle of Central Park, it’s a bit nerve-racking. It was really fun to get to do it on location, but I definitely had to pretend that there wasn’t an audience of Patrick Dempsey admirers staring on. And there were — everywhere we went! Who can blame ’em, really?
You must’ve watched a ton of Disney movies to prepare….
I didn’t even have to because I used to watch the movies growing up. I was the dork in high school who was singing The Little Mermaid down the hallways. So I’m well-studied.
Are you worried at all that Enchanted is going to be perceived as mostly a chick flick?
Actually, I really believe that it’s got something for everybody. It’s really funny; it has a lot of comedy in it. There’s a great love story. It’s got song and dance [numbers that are] a little tongue-in-cheek — so even people who don’t appreciate musicals will appreciate it. It’s a movie with a lot of heart.
Part of what makes Enchanted so interesting is that it begins as animation. What was your involvement in the animation process?
I did some posing and there were some sketches done. Then they put me on film and we acted out some of the animated scenes so they could see how I moved. They did such a brilliant job of capturing some of my characteristics, my quirks, and my smile. It was really impressive…James Baxter, who drew me, has drawn so many of the recent Disney princesses. And I was really excited to see what he would do. But I’m a little bit intimidated by my animated self, I have to say.
Because she was hot! [Laughs] And of course, that’s what you will print.