Joey Lauren Adams on her distinctive voice, which one film critic referred to as that of a “sex-kitten-on-helium”: “It’s not a normal voice. It doesn’t fit into people’s preconceptions about what a woman’s voice should sound like. My mom doesn’t think I have an unusual voice, though. I’m sure it’s helped me get some roles. But ‘Chasing Amy’ (1997), I almost didn’t get. There was concern the voice would grate on some people – which some critics said it did.”
When her brother was in a coma from an automobile accident, he would only show a response from Adams’ very distinctive voice.
When Kevin Smith pitched the idea for “Chasing Amy” to Miramax, he also said that he had written the parts with his friends Ben Affleck, Jason Lee, and Adams in mind. Miramax, however, wanted to cast people who already had celebrity status, such as Jon Stewart, David Schwimmer, and Drew Barrymore (these three were actually suggested). The film’s original budget of $3 million depended on Miramax’s support. Ultimately, Smith suggested that he make the movie with his three original actors on his own, and Miramax could buy it for distribution if they liked it. Miramax owners Bob and Harvey Weinstein liked this idea, and gave him $250,000 to make the movie (1/24 of the budget of his previous film, “Mallrats” (1995)).
“‘Chasing Amy’ was an amazing role, but then after that, I went and did ‘Big Daddy’ and you’re the girlfriend, or you’re the best friend. I wasn’t getting the Nicole Kidman roles.”
Smith would describe “Chasing Amy” as a “sort of penance/valentine” and a “thank-you homage” to Adams. In addition to her acting work on the film, Adams wrote and performed the song “Alive” for the film’s soundtrack.
Adams’ performance in “Chasing Amy” earned her both the 1997 Chicago Film Critics Award and Las Vegas Film Critics Society Award for Most Promising Actress, and a Golden Globe nomination for Best Actress-Motion Picture Musical or Comedy. From there, Adams was originally slated to play the female lead in Smith’s next film, 1999’s “Dogma”, but Linda Fiorentino ultimately won the role. However, she would later make brief appearances in two other Smith projects: the 2001 film “Jay and Silent Bob Strike Back”, and the 2004 animated short “Clerks: The Lost Scene”, featured on the “Clerks X” DVD. In both of these appearances, Adams reprises the role of Alyssa Jones.
Adams is often mistaken for Renée Zellweger. During her appearance on “Dinner for Five”, she said the person who most-often makes that mistake is Miramax co-founder Harvey Weinstein. (IMDb/Wikipedia)