Amy Adams is careful with ‘Sharp Objects’ in new HBO drama

Multiple Oscar nominee stars in HBO’s limited-series version of Gillian Flynn novel
Amy Adams stars in “Sharp Objects,” premiering Sunday, July 8, on HBO.

Early in her career, Amy Adams did a lot of work in television … and five Oscar nominations later, she’s returning to it in a showcase role.

The star of such films as “Arrival,” “American Hustle” and “Enchanted” portrays a troubled reporter back in her Missouri hometown to probe the fates of two young girls in “Sharp Objects,” HBO’s limited-series version of the debut novel by Gillian Flynn (“Gone Girl”) that begins Sunday, July 8. Also prominent in the cast are Patricia Clarkson as the estranged socialite mother of Adams’ Camille Preaker, Eliza Scanlen as Camille’s dual-personality half-sister, and Chris Messina – who played Adams’ husband in “Julie & Julia” – as a detective who works with Camille.

Directed in “Sharp Objects” by Jean-Marc Vallee, who did Emmy-winning work for HBO on “Big Little Lies,” Adams also is an executive producer of the drama. “For me to have the ability to contribute in a meaningful way is important to me not only creatively, but in setting the tone on the set,” the pleasant actress says. “I like problem-solving, so this presented the opportunity to dive in and be a part of that conversation.”

Amy Adams stars in “Sharp Objects,” premiering Sunday, July 8, on HBO.

Camille has just finished a stay at a psychiatric hospital when “Sharp Objects” begins, and despite the darkness that the character continues to face, Adams maintains she generally didn’t take the role home with her. “There were definite times when I was affected by what I did, or when it created a lot of exhaustion, or when I’d wake up in the middle of the night in a state of anxiety – and I understood that it was more about what I had been working on that day than something in my own life.

‘“On some previous projects where I had to delve into psychological damage to the character, I had to learn how to let go of what I was doing on the set,” adds Adams. “It helps to have a family, because it kind of forces you to do that. When I can, I’ll cook for my family or give my daughter a bath, because that lets you stay grounded and connected.”

While TV veteran Marti Noxon (“Buffy the Vampire Slayer,” “UnREAL”) was very involved in adapting “Sharp Objects,” some of the teleplay was written by original author Flynn. “Nobody understands Camille as much as Gillian,” Adams allows, “so she was the best resource for me. She had a great point of view, but at the same time, she gave us the liberty to create something on our own. That’s got to be a tricky balance for an author, but she empowered me to just play Camille, and I was really grateful for that.”

Jay Bobbin

Jay Bobbin

Jay Bobbin has decades of experience covering the television and movie businesses, winning Tribune Media Services’ Crown Jewel Award in 2008 for his performance in the company. Over those many years of interviewing and writing, he has spoken with everyone from Robert De Niro and John Travolta to Paul McCartney and Tony Bennett … from Meryl Streep and Julie Andrews to Taylor Swift and Carrie Underwood.

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