Paul Thomas Anderson Amy Adams The Master Amy Adams Interview For Paul Thomas Andersons The Master

Written and directed by Academy Award nominee Paul Thomas Anderson (the acclaimed director of: ‘There Will Be Blood,’ ‘Magnolia’ and ‘Boogie Nights’), ‘The Master’ stars Academy Award winner Philip Seymour Hoffman (Capote) and Academy Award-nominee Joaquin Phoenix (Walk the Line). Set in America in the years following World War II, a charismatic intellectual (Hoffman) launches a faith-based organization and taps a young drifter (Phoenix) as his right-hand man. But as the faith begins to gain a fervent following, the onetime vagabond finds himself questioning the belief system he has embraced, and his mentor. A truly one-of-a-kind drama, which promises magnetic virtuoso performances, the film marks the fifth collaboration between Anderson and Hoffman, following ‘Hard Eight,’ ‘Boogie Nights,’ ‘Magnolia,’ and ‘Punch Drunk Love.’ Amy Adams, Laura Dern, Jesse Plemons, Lena Endre and David Warshofsky also star in the film. ‘The Master’ is out now in limited release in the US before expanding wider on September 21st. The film arrives in UK cinemas from November 9th.

‘The Master’ is your third time working with Phillip Seymour Hoffman. What was it like acting opposite him in a role like this, you really get to go toe-to-toe with each other?

Amy Adams: Yeah, I had worked with Phillip Seymour Hoffman before on ‘Doubt’ and on ‘Charlie Wilson’s War,‘ and I adore, worship, love Phillip. So to get to play someone in ’The Master’ who adores, worships and loves Phillip was not a big stretch for me (laughs). It was fun to get to go toe-to-toe with him as a person of power. In some past roles I’ve been a bit more submissive, so it was great to get to overpower Phillip in ‘The Master’ – because that’s the only time that’s ever going to happen in my life (laughs). I just have a great respect and reverence for what Phillip does and his work. I’m always honoured to be on screen with him.

Going into working on a film with a filmmaker as revered as Paul Thomas Anderson, how was that?

Amy Adams: I have to say, when I went into ‘The Master,’ I remember meeting with Paul Thomas Anderson at a restaurant and there was an exterminator there, so we said to each other, “We’ll always remember this moment because there’s an exterminator walking out of the kitchen.” But I think that I thought….there’s a line in ‘The Master’ where Phillip says, “It’s going to be very very serious,” and that’s what I thought this experience was going to be (laughs). I thought, “It’s going to be very very serious working with Paul Thomas Anderson, Phillip Seymour Hoffman and Joaquin Phoenix.” But it was actually a lot of fun, we laughed a lot, there was a lot of exploration. We really had the freedom to experiment and fail on ‘The Master,’ and that was unexpected – I thought it was going to be very serious (laughs). It was an amazing experience and I was really grateful to have that experience.

amy adams the master 1 Amy Adams Interview For Paul Thomas Andersons The Master

What was your research process like for ‘The Master’ and your character Peggy Dodd? Did you look into organisations, the climate of the time with regards to roles of women, the era….?

Amy Adams: Yeah, I’ve always been interested in the roles of women in the 20th century, because it was such a quick growing time and roles changed so quickly and so much. And when I was thinking about the era in ’The Master,’ one of the things I re-read was ‘The Feminine Mystique‘ by Betty Friedan,’ which I had read along time before. And this book talks about women’s roles right after World War II, when the climate for women changed, and how we were just becoming empowered after the men went off to war. That was one thing I re-read and thought about for Peggy, definitely.

Even when your character isn’t speaking or directly involved in a particular scene, we see her loitering or in the environment….?

Amy Adams: That was a lot of fun, Paul sort of gave me free reigns to sort of loiter in the background all of the time and really keep an eye on Phillip’s Lanacaster Dodd character. It really helped me feel very protective of him and possessive of his philosophy, and of his person doing that. Peggy, she’s a very loyal, fierce woman and that helped. Even if I wasn’t speaking in the scene I would be in the background of the scene. Always loitering, always in the community.

Considering the amazing response that ‘The Master’ has been receiving, how has that been for you?

Amy Adams: I’m just proud of ‘The Master,’ I’m proud for Joaquin Phoenix and Phillip Seymour Hoffman that they were able to do such amazing performances in ‘The Master,’ and whenever people respond to your work in a positive way it’s really rewarding. You go into to it so that audiences will respond and so that’s always very very rewarding. And Joaquin, his performance as Freddie Quell is like nothing I’ve seen before. It’s one of those characters that I think will go down in film history.