Joey Lauren Adams was a star in the '90s but has been quiet on the big screen in recent years, something that is set to change with Providence coming out in 2023.
Throughout the ’90s, Joey Lauren Adams was everywhere. With her distinct voice and intimidating attitude, she became a standout in many iconic films and television shows of the era. Teaming up with Adam Sandler, Kevin Smith, and others along the way, she was one of the more recognizable stars out there. But in recent years, Adams has not been as omnipresent as she once was.
Let’s take a look at what Joey Lauren Adams has been up to and why you may not have seen her lately.
JOEY LAUREN ADAMS IS MAKING AN ACTING COMEBACK IN PROVIDENCE
Joey Lauren Adams has been relatively quiet on the big and small screen in recent years. After taking the world by storm (relatively speaking), it’s been quiet for the actress.
But that could be set to change in 2023 with Joey Lauren Adams cast in Providence. While she doesn’t have star billing, the movie does feature a number of other big names. Joseph Gordon-Levitt is in the lead as a police officer solving a murder in a small town. The flick will also feature Lily James, Himesh Patel, Tim Blake Nelson, Jim Gaffigan, and even Traci Lords.
Filming has wrapped and we could see it this year.
JOEY LAUREN ADAMS IS ON INSTAGRAM, BUT HER ACCOUNT HASN’T BEEN UPDATED RECENTLY
Like most celebrities, Joey Lauren Adams has an Instagram account, though it hasn’t been updated in many years. One needs to look back to 2020, around the time of the Presidential election for her last few check-ins.
The account has *only* 30.4K followers which is a pretty low number for a name that’s been associated with films the way Joey Lauren Adams has throughout her career.
In some ways, it speaks to how she has stepped away from the limelight in recent years with her acting and her profile in general.
SHE STARRED WITH MATT LEBLANC ON TOP OF THE HEAP
Born in North Little Rock, Arkansas as the youngest of three children, Joey Lauren Adams decided she wanted to become an actress after a year as an exchange student in Australia.
She had a small role in 1977’s Exorcist II: The Heretic, but her first role as an adult was in Married…with Children. Her episode, “Top of the Heap” was a pilot for a Married…with Children spinoff, also entitled Top of the Heap.
While Top of the Heap was the most successful of Married…with Children’s three attempted spinoffs, the series only lasted six episodes. Yet already in her first television role, she was one of Top of the Heap’s stars, alongside a cast that included Joseph Bologna, Matt LeBlanc, and Rita Moreno.
In 1993, Joey Lauren Adams would appear in multiple films, the Saturday Night Live spinoff, Coneheads, football drama The Program and her first starring role in The Pros & Cons of Breathing.
SHE LANDED A ROLE IN DAZED & CONFUSED
Probably her biggest appearance at that time was in Richard Linklater’s coming-of-age ensemble, Dazed and Confused. While her role as Simone Kerr, harasser of the incoming freshmen girls, is relatively small, Joey Lauren Adams’ performance makes Kerr memorable.
JOEY LAUREN ADAMS JOINED KEVIN SMITH IN THE ASKEWNIVERSE
In 1994, Joey Lauren Adams would appear in two films: Sleep with Me and S.F.W., but her biggest breakout might have been in 1995 with her small role in Kevin Smith’s Mallrats. Adams’ role as Gwen Turner threw her into Smith’s already-expanding universe of interconnected films known as the View Askewniverse.
Smith and Adams would begin dating after Mallrats finished shooting, and despite the two not dating long, this relationship became the basis for Smith’s third film, Chasing Amy, and arguably her most iconic role, as Alyssa Jones.
Smith noted of Joey Lauren Adams’ influence on his film in his essay for the Criterion Collection release of the film: “It’s no secret that the origins of Amy resided in my then-relationship with the woman who’d brought the uncompromising, distaff main character of Alyssa Jones so vividly to life – Joey Lauren Adams. Granted, Joey wasn’t gay and I’ve never fallen in love with a lesbian (well, not that I know of anyway). But the movie did grow out of my initial reaction to Joey’s past.”
Smith continued, “I decided to exorcise my demons on screen. Chasing Amy was conceived as a sort of penance/valentine for the woman who made me grow up, more or less – a thank-you homage that marked a major milestone in my life, both personally and professionally.”
The film was a major milestone for Adams as well, earning her rave reviews and a role that Joey Lauren Adams would return to multiple times in Smith’s filmography.
The role of Alyssa Jones earned Adams a Chicago Film Critics Association Award for Most Promising Actress, and earned her a Golden Globe Award nomination for Best Actress – Motion Picture Musical or Comedy.
Plus, no ’90s film icon can be complete without MTV Movie Awards, where Lauren Adams was nominated for Best Kiss and Best Breakthrough Performance.
Outside of her work with Smith, Joey Lauren Adams had a packed second half of the ’90s. In between Mallrats and Chasing Amy, she would appear in the Pauly Shore comedy, Bio-Dome, Nora Ephron’s Michael, which starred John Travolta, and Drawing Flies, released by Smith’s View Askew Productions.
SHE STARRED WITH ADAM SANDLER IN BIG DADDY
After 1998’s A Cool, Dry Place, Joey Lauren Adams starred in the most successful film of her career: 1999’s Big Daddy, which cast her alongside Adam Sandler as his lawyer and love interest, Layla Maloney.
The performance would earn Adams a Blockbuster Entertainment Award nomination for Favorite Supporting Actress – Comedy.
After Big Daddy, her career was consistent, but in relatively smaller roles. After performances in films like 2000’s Beautiful and 2001’s Harvard Man, Joey Lauren Adams would return to the role of Alyssa Jones in a cameo for 2001’s Jay and Silent Bob Strike Back.
Adams’ most successful film in the 2000s would be Peyton Reed’s The Break-Up in 2006, in which she played Jennifer Aniston’s sister, Addie Jones.
At the end of the decade, Joey Lauren Adams made appearances in a pair of cult classic television series. In 2005, Adams stopped by Veronica Mars, and she showed up in multiple episodes of Party Down.
SHE DIRECTED ASHLEY JUDD IN COME EARLY MORNING
In 2006, Joey Lauren Adams would make her directorial debut with Come Early Morning. The film, which was also written by her, was shot in her hometown of North Little Rock and starred Ashley Judd, Jeffrey Donovan, Ray McKinnon, Diane Ladd, Tim Blake Nelson, and Laura Prepon.
While the film only received a small theatrical release, it was selected for the Sundance Film Festival in 2006, and earned Adams the Women in Film Dorothy Arzner Directors Award.
While Joey Lauren Adams has yet to direct a follow-up film to Come Early Morning, she has occasionally returned behind the camera. In 2009, she directed the music video for Dashboard Confessional’s “Belle of the Boulevard,” and she also directed two episodes of her CMT series, Still the King.
SHE MADE CAMEOS HERE AND THERE BUT SLOWED DOWN ACTING CONSIDERABLY
Joey Lauren Adams’ film credits slowed slightly in the last decade, with some of her most notable roles in 2013’s Blue Caprice, about the D.C. Sniper, and the 2014 horror film, Animal.
But she has also had a successful 2010s on television. Joey Lauren Adams had a six-episode arc on the Toni Collette-starring series United States of Tara in 2010, appeared on both Switched at Birth and Grey’s Anatomy, and also starred in Still the King for two seasons.
SHE IS MARRIED TO BRIAN VILIM
Now 55 years old, Joey Lauren Adams is married to Brian Vilim. The couple wed in 2014. Her work in the entertainment industry has slowed almost in concert with her marriage. Since that time, she hasn’t worked very often.
In 2019, she did once again, reprising her role as Alyssa Jones in Jay and Silent Bob Reboot, but that’s really it in movies since 2014 and she’s only had a couple of television appearances.
She hasn’t come right out and said it, but Joey Lauren Adams seems to have all but retired to wedded bliss.
That said, she did appear in Tankhouse in 2022. It starred Tara Holt, Richard King, and Christopher Lloyd. Tankhouse is about two New Yorkers who move to Fargo, North Dakota, in order to start a theater revolution.