Is Joey Lauren Adams a name that rings a bell? Maybe, but if you heard her voice you could probably place her in an instant. The actress has appeared in everything from the Kevin Smith View Askewniverse to critically acclaimed series like United States of Tara. Where have you seen her lately though?
Born in Little Rock, Arkansas just after the new year in 1968, Joey had a comfortable childhood as the daughter of a lumber yard owner.
She would pursue acting not long after graduating high school, taking just one year in Australia as an exchange student before deciding to make the leap, taking her to Hollywood and, in turn, fame.
Before long she would make her screen debut in an episode of Married… With Children that was used as a backdoor pilot, nabbing her a full-time gig in the spin-off Top of the Heap.
While it would only get seven episodes, Joey Lauren Adams would make a couple more appearances in the original series through the rest of its run.
Spin Off… and Crash
Even though Top of the Heap wasn’t the long-standing comedy it hoped to be, it would lead to more roles in the show Vinnie and Bobby as main cast for its one-season run before hitting a back-to-back win with both Coneheads and Dazed & Confused in 1993.
While both would receive starkly opposing critic reviews, they both still have status as undeniable cult comedies.
That’s only the beginning as she had two more movies released that year to relative acclaim, but instead of going into mainstream Hollywood straight away, she opted to star in an indie comedy from a successful low-budget filmmaker hot onto the scene in 1995.
Kevin Smith’s Clerks had just taken America by storm, showcasing minimalist filmmaking on a shoestring budget while finding the humor in everyday, mundane existence.
The film was defining for Gen X and early millennials, bringing a voice to the shared indifference and outright loathing for their jobs while showcasing the humor in it.
Smith’s follow-up was naturally hotly anticipated, with the director and writer utilizing a slightly higher budget and the help of his friends once more, with Joey Laurence Adams becoming the newest addition to that group with the cult classic Mallrats.
Joey would play Gwen, and in turn, start a romantic relationship with Kevin Smith. The two wouldn’t be together long, separating on friendly terms and Kevin writing Chasing Amy as a result of their breakup.
Fittingly, she would play the character she inspired in the 1997 film after taking roles alongside human Ritalin Pauly Shore and the creepiest version of John Travolta ever put to screen.
She would play the same character throughout the Jay and Silent Bob films in years after while also moving into box office success in Adam Sandler’s classic Big Daddy and Eddie Murphy sequel Doctor Dolittle 2, which was SIGNIFICANTLY different from the source material.
Though we see how being faithful to the books worked out for Robert Downey Jr. In 2020.
Joey Lauren Adams would take a whirlwind tour of the 2000s, moving between television and film as she pleased. Guest parts in Veronica Mars, Party Down, and Stripperella (the first half of the decade was weird) led her to parts in romcoms like The Break Up alongside Hollywood draws Jennifer Anniston and Vince Vaughn.
The United States of Tara would start her out on a great note for the decade in 2010, dipping a toe into the Hollywood actress holy land of Hallmark Christmas films between other roles in hit shows across networks, with Grey’s Anatomy and Switched At Birth breaking up a detour into creature feature Animal in 2014 (it’s really a lot better than the IMDB score).
A steady role would come from the strangest place, with Joey Lauren Adams grabbing the lead role opposite Billy Ray Cyrus in the CMT original comedy (a word combo I never expected to write) Still the King.
Cyrus would play himself for the most part, while Joey would play his love interest for two seasons before the show was taken out behind the woodshed before being sent to live on a farm upstate.
What is She Up To?
It wouldn’t spell the end for Joey though, with the actress going on to star in Jay and Silent Bob Reboot before taking some time off while the world became a collective dumpster fire in 2020, returning in a revival of critically acclaimed LGBT series The L Word in 2022.
She starred in The Quest for Tom Saywer’s Gold earlier this year and already has projects lined up alongside Lily James and Joseph Gordon-Levitt in the future.
Not to say she’s eschewed her personal life in all that time, marrying cinematographer Brian Vilm in 2014. The two have no children together but are perfectly happy and worked together on the recent Tom Sawyer film.
With plenty on the horizon already, Joey will be keeping busy and if all goes well, maybe reteam with Kevin Smith for a film soon.