Venice: Amy Adams Talks Anxiety and Destiny in 'Arrival'
"Playing a mathematician and a physicist is a bit far from an archer," Jeremy Renner joked, referring to his role as Hawkeye in the Avengers films. "So I thought there's a pretty great challenge in that."
In Denis Villeneuve's latest big-budget thriller, Arrival, Amy Adams stars as Dr. Louise Banks, a genius linguist recruited by the U.S. military to understand the language of alien visitors who have set up camp in Montana, as well as 11 other locations around the planet.
She works alongside a team played by Jeremy Renner and Forest Whitaker as they rush to discover the purpose of the alien invaders. But the more they uncover, the more they realize that the real threat may not be coming from the mysterious visitors but rather from the human race itself.
Because the chronology of the film is nonlinear, Adams was asked if she would be scared to know her own destiny in life. "Yes. Maybe it would calm me down, but I sort of cling to anxiety for some reason in my life. I wish I could let it go, but it seems to be a constant companion," she said.
"I think that I would be very anxious if I knew what was to come, assuming that it was all good," explained Adams. "But eventually we all experience sadness. I think the great choice we have as human beings is to appreciate each moment like Louise says, the little moments in between the big moments. That's what builds a life. I don't want to know."
She said that she was drawn to the role of Louise for being a well-rounded female role that she could identify with. "So many women that I know sort of move through life with great intelligence and they have so many different roles in their life," she explained.
"She didn't feel strange to me. She felt like every woman I know who's struggling with hard things, who's working through personal issues while also heading out into the world and handling life and work," said Adams. "It's a constant balance. It's a constant juggling act."
For Renner, the appeal was playing a role completely apart from his previous body of work. "It was a departure from a lot of things I've done," he said. "Playing a mathematician and a physicist is a bit far from an archer," he joked, referring to his role as Hawkeye in the Avengers films. "So I thought there's a pretty great challenge in that."
He also was drawn to the film for its hopefulness. "When humanity is at its worst, it [can] find itself with compassion. I think that's displayed a bit in this film. When there's a unity in that division, there's something quite powerful in that, if we could all accept the fact that we're one."