By Jennifer Ferrise
Updated Nov 23, 2016 @ 12:00 pm
Credit: Merrick Morton/Focus Features

Amy Adams loves fighting with Jake Gyllenhaal. At least when they’re in character.

In Tom Ford's incredibly haute, yet slightly terrifying drama Nocturnal Animals, the Oscar-nominated actors share the screen for only a few flashback scenes, but their characters' tit for tat was one of the more memorable moments for Adams. “Working with Jake was the best, especially when we were filming the argument scenes,” said Adams when we caught up with her at the Toronto International Film Festival earlier this year. “We were only on set together for three days, but the chemistry happened so naturally. It even made my husband [Darren Le Gallo] a little uncomfortable. He was like, ‘I think we've had these same arguments!’ I was proud that the fights came across as really authentic.”

Credit: Merrick Morton/Focus Features

Adams’s other main man on set was designer-turned-director Ford, who has dressed the star for the red carpet, but never collaborated with her before Animals. “I knew Tom through his dresses and his fashion empire, but I didn’t know him personally,” said Adams. “Everyone thinks of him as being so put-together and meticulous, which is true, but I saw that his heart is really free and fun, too.”

Besides writing the screenplay—an adaptation of Austin Wright’s novel Tony & Susan—and generally steering the Animals ship, Ford also provided fashion inspiration for Adams’s character Susan, a chic art gallery owner. “When I’m Susan in the present day, she is a version of how Tom dresses himself—tailored, clean, and with a lot of attention to detail,” said Adams. "And then you’ve got the flashback scenes, where Susan is being her more authentic self. She's not as buttoned-up or austere. Those clothes actually reminded me a lot of Rachel from Friends. Black tights, turtlenecks, and everything 90s!"

Credit: Merrick Morton/Focus Features

And while much has been made of the film’s somewhat complex plot, or story within a story, Adams says that no one could pull it off other than Ford. “The degree of difficulty of what Tom wanted to accomplish seemed nearly impossible at first. And of course, that’s why I was attracted to it,” she said. “He explained to me how he was going to use music and lighting to move the story through time, fact, and fiction. Right then, I knew he would do a fantastic job with it because he’s an artist. And this movie is art.”

Nocturnal Animals is in theaters today.

Watch the trailer above.