Tom Ford is a man of diverse talents. The famed designer swept the film festival circuit in 2009 with his directorial debut, A Single Man. Seven years later, Ford is finally following up on his directorial success—writing and directing dramatic thriller Nocturnal Animals, which is currently making the rounds at Toronto International Film Festival.

InStyle had a chance to sit down with the film’s star, Oscar-nominated actress Amy Adams, and pick her brain on what it’s like to work with the fashion legend.

According to Adams, Ford’s natural “poise” helped her connect with her character in the film, Susan. “I’m a bit more of sort of an organic creature … I’m not necessarily as poised as this character is,” Adams said,

“Tom is very poised, so I used him a lot. He’d be like, ‘You’ll lay on the couch and read,’ and I’m like, ‘Okay, but you lay on the couch, and how you would read.’”

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Adams admits that it wasn’t always easy to immerse herself in the world of Nocturnal Animals. “When I first read the script, I thought wow, this seems impossible, ” Adams said, regarding the film’s shifts between reality and fantasy, past and present. “But in talking to Tom, by the time I got there I was just really ready to take this ride, and I trusted him.”

Ford’s directorial style sometimes left Adams feeling self-conscious—his process involves leaving the camera running for long stretches of time. “You have to not fight against the self-consciousness, but let it play out,” Adams explained, “which I think serves the story.”

Watch the entire video above for more insight on their collaboration, and keep your eyes peeled for more exclusive TIFF 2016 coverage from our portrait studio.

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