Amy Adams wears a curled, blond wig and grips a paintbrush in the first images from Tim Burton‘s “Big Eyes,” which were released Sunday. She stars as real-life painter Margaret Keane, who rose to prominence after painting portraits of girls with great big eyes in the 1950s.
“The handling of the brush and paint, the way that Margaret creates the eyes, that is something I studied at great length,” the five-time Oscar nominee told USA Today. “But I never mastered it like Margaret has.”
Keane allowed her husband Walter Keane (played in the film by Christoph Waltz) to take credit for her uniquely popular art for a decade before the two of them broke up and she finally put a stop to it.
“Margaret really believed that as a woman, people would not buy her art,” Adams said. “[He] convinced her the life they were able to lead was because the artist was a man, who could sell more art at a higher price than a woman.”
Margaret Keane eventually took Walter Keane to court and, to settle the dispute, a judge improbably ordered the them to compete in a paint-off. She won and was awarded $4 million.
“This all seems so theatrical, like something you would design for a film. But that actually happened,” said Adams. “Living the lie was something that weighed heavy on Margaret. But she won her name back.”
“I remember the pictures from the 1960s, they were everywhere,” Waltz said. “It would be expected that this (situation) too would be something extraordinary.”
“Big Eyes,” which was written by Scott Alexander and Larry Karaszewski and also stars Krysten Ritter and Jason Schwartzman, hits theaters December 25, 2014.
See another pic of Waltz and Adams below: