Amy Adams on Taking Directorial Cues from Designer-Director Tom Ford: "He Is a Graceful Man"

Toronto International Film Festival

Tom Ford is a man of diverse talents. The famed designer swept the film festival circuit in 2009 with his directorial debut, A Single Man. Seven years later, Ford is finally following up on his directorial success—writing and directing dramatic thriller Nocturnal Animals, which is currently making the rounds at Toronto International Film Festival.

InStyle had a chance to sit down with the film’s star, Oscar-nominated actress Amy Adams, and pick her brain on what it’s like to work with the fashion legend.

According to Adams, Ford’s natural “poise” helped her connect with her character in the film, Susan. “I’m a bit more of sort of an organic creature … I’m not necessarily as poised as this character is,” Adams said,

“Tom is very poised, so I used him a lot. He’d be like, ‘You’ll lay on the couch and read,’ and I’m like, ‘Okay, but you lay on the couch, and how you would read.’”

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Adams admits that it wasn’t always easy to immerse herself in the world of Nocturnal Animals. “When I first read the script, I thought wow, this seems impossible, ” Adams said, regarding the film’s shifts between reality and fantasy, past and present. “But in talking to Tom, by the time I got there I was just really ready to take this ride, and I trusted him.”

Ford’s directorial style sometimes left Adams feeling self-conscious—his process involves leaving the camera running for long stretches of time. “You have to not fight against the self-consciousness, but let it play out," Adams explained, "which I think serves the story."

Watch the entire video above for more insight on their collaboration, and keep your eyes peeled for more exclusive TIFF 2016 coverage from our portrait studio.


He is such a graceful and and I just loved his poise and I thought that was so great. [MUSIC] I understood the emotional existence of this woman, but I'm somebody who is a bit more of sort of like an organic creature and I'm not necessarily as poised. As say this character is based on sort of her upbringing which she is trying to project. And Tom is very poised. So I used him a lot. I would suggest he'd be like you lay on the couch and read. I'm okay well you lay on the couch and how you would read. So I used him a lot. I think that by the time I got on set I was just ready to play. I think when I first read the script I You know, I thought wow, this seems impossible. Like, to tell this story that goes between fact, I mean reality and this fictional story and then past and present. But in talking to Tom, by the time I got there I was just really ready to just take this ride and I so trusted him and I knew that A lot of it was going to be on him and on editing. And so he really, really helped me by being such a good scene partner, letting me know what I was, showing me footage. I think I battled self consciousness when you're by yourself for that long, and he'll leave the camera rolling for a long time. And so you just have to sort of not fight against the self consciousness, but let it play out. Which I think then serves the story.
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