Amy Adams, the five-time Academy Award-nominated star of stage and screen, owes her acting career to being a redhead.
The actress spoke at the New York Times-hosted TimesTalk event on Wednesday, where she revealed that changing her hair color from strawberry blonde to red dramatically influenced her chances of getting cast in films.
“Based on roles that I was getting, called in for, people were responding to certain types of characters with me as a blonde and the minute I went red, it was quirky and fun instead of flirtatious and dumb,” Adams, 42, revealed.
“It was great, I liked that. But in all seriousness, it’s just hair color. It was really fascinating to see just one element of yourself change people’s perception and that became a very powerful tool for me even in my acting,” the mother of one continued.
“If you can change one very small thing and create an entirely different perception to the outside world based on one thing, and that was actually an important lesson for me to learn, I didn’t quite get that before then,” she said.
Adams first went dark red at age 27 for her 2004 role in the TV show Dr. Vegas, opposite actor Rob Lowe.
“I played a nurse and there was this beautiful blonde, Sarah Lancaster, who was cast as the casino dealer,” Adams told Backstage in 2012. “I’m in a room with her, and they said, ‘Someone’s going to have to change their hair color.’ She’s tan with these beautiful lioness green eyes and this mane of blonde hair. And I looked at her and me, with my pale freckles, and thought, Gee, I wonder which one of us is going to go red!”
Following the hair transformation, she went on to book her breakout role in 2005’s Junebug.
“It really changed things up. People began to see me in a different way, for different roles” Adams continued, adding, “I don’t know if I can give credit to just the hair color, but maybe it did help people see me past blonde.”
During the TimesTalk, Adams also joked about how often she gets mistaken for another famous redhead, Isla Fisher. “Redheads, under 5′ 5″, not tan, you look identical,” Adams quipped about her comparison to Fisher, whom she met while auditioning for the same role of Brenda Strong in the film, Catch Me If You Can.