Joey Lauren Adams (1968–)

Joey Lauren Adams, a North Little Rock (Pulaski County) native, is an actress, writer, and director. Adams has appeared in a number of movies, mostly independent films, and TV shows. Her most recent appearances include the films Love, Fear and Rabbits (2006) and The Break-Up (2006), as well as a guest star spot on the TV show Veronica Mars (2005). Adams made her directorial debut in Come Early Morning (2006).

Joey Lauren Adams was born on January 9, 1968, in North Little Rock. Adams moved to California in the late 1980s at the age of nineteen, first to attend college in San Diego and then to become an actress in Hollywood. Adams said of her decision to move to Los Angeles, “I went to L.A. thinking, ‘I’m going to explore.’ I thought I’d try acting; you never know.” Starting in 1991, Adams appeared in three episodes of Married with Children; however, her breakthrough role was in the Richard Linklater film Dazed and Confused (1993) as Simone Kerr. The film follows students of a Texas high school on the last day of class in 1976.

Chasing Amy (1997), a Kevin Smith film, won Adams nominations for Best Breakthrough Performance at the MTV Movie Awards and Best Performance by an Actress in a Motion Picture (Comedy/Musical) at the Golden Globe Awards. She was awarded the Chicago Film Critics Most Promising Actress award for her role. In this romantic comedy, Adams plays Alyssa Jones, a lesbian comic book writer who falls in love with a man, played by Ben Affleck. Adams also wrote and sang the song “Alive” in the film. Adams has had roles in other Kevin Smith films, including Mallrats (1995), Jay and Silent Bob Strike Back (2001), and Clerks: The Lost Scene (2004).

Following her performance in Chasing Amy, Adams took on a number of roles in independent films, most notably A Cool, Dry Place (1998) and Beautiful (2000).

She also appeared in the Adam Sandler hit, Big Daddy (1999). Adams plays Layla Maloney, a lawyer and the love interest of Sonny Koufax (Adam Sandler). Koufax becomes the caretaker of young boy and brings Maloney along for the ride.

Come Early Morning (2006), Adams’s directorial debut, starred Ashley Judd, Laura Prepon, Diane Ladd, and Jeffrey Donovan. It was selected to be shown at the Sundance Film Festival. In the film, Ashley Judd plays Lucy, a thirty-something Southern woman who realizes that, in order to get on with her life, she must deal with her past, including her small-town family. The film was shot on location in Arkansas where the story takes place. Adams began writing Come Early Morning in 1999 because she felt there were too few interesting roles available for actresses. She drew material from her childhood in North Little Rock for the screenplay.

Adams lives in Oxford, Mississippi, and Los Angeles. Referring to Arkansas, Adams has said, “I love it there. I go home all the time.” Adams had relationships with Kevin Smith and Vince Vaughn. She married Brian Vilim in 2014 on a farm in Maumelle (Pulaski County). Since Come Early Morning, she has appeared in such films as Trucker (2008), ExTerminators (2009), A Country Christmas (2013), She Loves Me Not (2013), Valley Inn (2014), and All the Birds Have Flown South (2016), as well as the television series Party Down (2009/2010), United States of Tara (2010), Switched at Birth (2013/2014), Grey’s Anatomy (2015), Still the King (2016–2017), and The L Word: Generation Q (2022) .

For additional information:
“Joey Lauren Adams.” Internet Movie Database. (accessed January 3, 2023).

Martin, Karen. “Arkansas Actor Finds Friends in Film and Life.” Arkansas Democrat-Gazette, October 20, 2000, p. 10E.

Lacy Hartman
Little Rock, Arkansas


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