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Actress Amy Adams's Rise Continues With Her Role in 'Doubt'

On "Doubt," Adams worked with acting greatness and lived to tell about it. Throwing herself between Streep and Hoffman, she easily could have been swallowed whole, or at least eaten alive by her own insecurities, which she said she "had to deal with" during a three-week rehearsal. In the film, she's a bright, powerful presence, with Streep calling her performance "masterful" -- a bit of hyperbole that actually means something coming from a 14-time Oscar nominee who knows from masterful.

"She presents as a virgin," Streep says, sounding delighted. "The complete goodness of the character -- that was the task of [playing] Sister James, who is like a virgin in the world." Streep worked with Adams again on "Julie & Julia," an upcoming movie about a young woman's quest to cook every recipe in Julia Child's "Mastering the Art of French Cooking." She adds: "I very was impressed. She's the real thing."

Adams is a wisp of a thing, with a dainty ballet-dancer's body. Her eyes are blue-green marbles, which really pop off the screen in the somewhat monochromatic "Doubt." She's wearing a brilliant diamond engagement ring. (Sorry, boys, she's engaged to an actor, Darren Le Gallo.) She has silky, milky skin and rosy-pink cheeks. She sort of looks like a doll; "Enchanted" director Kevin Lima once said he was struck by how much "she looks like a Disney character." Snow White with red hair, maybe -- though she's not really a redhead. She dyed it for a role and never went back to blond. Good career move, as it turned out.

"Everyone's always like: 'You're so typecast,' " Adams says, referring to the recent roles on her CV. "But actually, when I came out to L.A., I was always the bitchy girl." What changed? "My hair!"

Adams started playing bad girls immediately after arriving in Hollywood in 1999: Her first part was as a vicious vixen on "Manchester Prep," a canceled Fox series that wound up going direct-to-video as a movie, "Cruel Intentions 2." "It's so funny because the series was dropped for being inappropriate," Adams says. "And I watch 'Gossip Girl' now and I'm like, WHAAAAAAAT? Our show was, like, classy and downright innocent compared to what's happening on TV now."

Still, fond memories for Adams, who did plenty of similar TV and film work during the first few years of her Hollywood existence. "Finding clever ways to be bitchy was fun. . . . I'm looking for another bad girl now."

Oh?

"I've never played super-dark in a film. I think I'd be curious to do it. If a character comes along that I find really compelling and it works out that the director wants to go that direction with me, I'm totally willing to try. I've actually auditioned, but I think people have a hard time making the leap from -- I don't want to use this as a cop-out, but my energy is not dark, my being is not dark."

For all of the effervescence that she projects publicly and professionally, though, Adams insists that she does have moments of private, personal gloom. She'd just rather keep them private, is all.

"Oh, gosh -- I can be very dark," she says. "Of course I can. . . . Light can't exist without dark. It just can't. But if my darkness comes out in public, people are going to be so confused, like, 'Who's this girl?' I become very Eeyore." She sighs, just like the mopey Winnie-the-Pooh sidekick, and suddenly you can envision her curled up on the couch at home, watching Dr. Phil in her pajamas.

"Yes!" she says. "That is exactly it! I can't return any phone calls because I just can't bear the world today. Shut the drapes." She pretends to cry. "I'm having a day. I can't talk to anybody. I'm so sad!"

Wouldn't be very princess-like to parade that dark side in public, says Adams, who also manages to keep herself out of tabloid trouble. "I don't want the kids to see me like that," she says. "I take that very seriously. I don't even want parents to introduce me as Giselle when they recognize me and I'm having an ugly day. Like when I'm in the elevator in the hotel, coming up from the gym. 'Honey, look who it is!' I'm like: 'Oh, don't. Please don't. It's not gonna be nice. She's gonna stop believing in princesses.' "


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