Julie Powell was born and raised in Austin, Texas and attended the Amherst College where she received a double major in fiction writing and theater.
With an eye for adventure Julie and her husband to-be, Eric, moved to New York City. Where Julie Powell worked a variety of temp jobs.
Julie's last job of this nature was with the Lower Manhattan Development Corporation which was responsible for distributing funds post-9/11. Powell's need to work jobs of this nature gladly became a thing of the past after Julie took on a unique project. In 2002 Julie Powell created a unique blogging project, "The Julie/Julia Project" a blog which was chronicling her attempt to cook all the recipes in Julia Child's famous cookbook, Mastering The Art of French Cooking. This in itself a huge project being that Julie had never even cooked an egg before, and had a small poorly equipped apartment in Queens.
Julie claims to have started the project because she had an intrinsic feeling about Julia Child’s book: “Though it had been there as long as I could remember, I’d never seen Mom take this particular thick, cream-colored tome out of the pantry. Actually, it was one of a matched pair: two fat books, both called Mastering The Art of French Cooking, both with a pattern of spangled floral shapes on their covers.”
Of the course the experiment not only did Julie Powell's cooking skills improved, but her unique, open, and often-coarse style captured a large blog audience, as she shares about her husband, friends and family.
Julie never met Julia Child in the process of creating this book, but instead through the project begins to imagine about not only the cooking of Julia Child, but also her relationships with her husband Paul.
This blog audience resulted in a book deal for Powell with Little, Brown and Company. Powell reformatted the work she had done on her blog and crafted the 2005 published book Julie and Julia: 365 Days, 524 Recipes, 1 Tiny Apartment Kitchen . (The book was later retitled Julie and Julia: My Year of Cooking Dangerously)
Julie's popularity only grew with the movie a deal for a movie adaptation of her story in 2009, making the movie, based on her book, based on her blog, the first movie ever to be based on a weblog.
Julie Powell's second book Cleaving: A Story of Marriage, Meat, and Obsession is set to come out in conjunction with the release date of the film. This book focuses on Julie's attempt to learn butchery.
Julie & Julia
Writing a bio for Julie Powell is complicated, not because she doesn't have a life, but because the film, the story, and the premise are so tightly woven, that I feel like the power of the blog and book are based on the experience and Powell's writing, while so much of the power of this film relies on the way that Nora Ephron will find a way to tell this story in a way that fits the medium.
In the film, Amy Adams plays Julie Powell, Chris Messina plays her husband, and Mary Lynn Rajskub plays her friend Helen. The story of Julia Child and Paul Child some how gets intermingled into the film (Meryl Streep plays Julia while Stanley Tucci plays Paul).
Julie Powell describes her reaction to the film at an early screening last November on her current blog and said: "somehow seeing yourself - or a Rom-Com-ed, slimmed-down, considerably less foul-mouthed version of yourself - on a movie screen is a whole different thing. Well, it's not so much that, even. 'Julie Powell' is a character, played by Amy Adams, who is lovely and great - I understand that, ingest it, am fine with it. It's stranger hearing Chris Messina (Yummy!!) referred to as 'Eric Powell,' and see him in an office tricked out with posters and books poached from Eric's actual office. It's stranger to see a set of our apartment, built by people who never saw our apartment, and see how creepily right it is in some particulars - the red cowboy hat, the brand of digital kitchen timer, the particular lamp or cookbook or poster on the wall. "
Amy Adams, a two time Oscar nominee (Junebug and Doubt) is one of Hollywood's hottest commodities, but also someone who has been criticized for playing the same sugar-sweet roles. Will Amy Adams receive critical attention or even an Oscar nomination/win for portraying this Real (Reel) Person?