Amy Dunne is one of the main characters and also the hidden main antagonist in Gone Girl. The wife of Nick Dunne, Amy disappears on their fifth wedding anniversary, leaving Nick as the suspect. However, as the plot goes on, it is discovered that Amy may not be the innocent victim that she is believed to be.
She is portrayed by Rosamund Pike.
Biography[edit | edit source]
As a child, Amy Elliott was the inspiration for her parents to create Amazing Amy, a series of popular children's books. The character of Amazing Amy earned tremendous spite from the real-life Amy, who constantly lived under the shadow of the seemingly flawless version of herself that her parents created. Later in life, she meets Nick Dunne at a party, who is a writer like she is. They quickly hit it off and begin a relationship, becoming married shortly after, which greatly pleases Amy, as it is the only thing that Amy can share with her literary counterpart (Amazing Amy gets married in the final book of the series).
Their marriage is going great until the 2008 recession, causing them both to lose their jobs. On top of that, her parents request a large sum of money that nearly drains their bank accounts, putting their marriage on the rocks. At the height of all of this, Nick's mother is diagnosed with Stage 4 breast cancer, forcing Nick and Amy to move from their townhouse in Manhattan, New York to a home in North Carthage, Missouri, where Nick gets a job as a creative writing teacher while he cares for his ailing mother.
After the death of Nick's mother, Nick and Amy's relationship continues to decline, with Nick seemingly only to give Amy attention when they are having sex. After purchasing a bar for Nick (which he runs with his sister, Margo), Amy later finds him with Andie, a student of his. After realizing that she is being cheated on, she puts her grand scheme into motion.
She begins her twisted scheme by befriending a frequently-pregnant neighbor, Noelle, whom Amy condescendingly deems "the local idiot." The vengeful manipulator later begins to purchase many expensive electronics with credit cards she put in Nick's name to create credit card debt, has Nick increase her life insurance for her, buys a cheap getaway car, writes bogus diary entries that exagerate and fabricate Nick's physical abuse towards her and her fears of him murdering her, and also fakes being pregnant by stealing Noelle's urine.
On the night before Nick and Amy's anniversery (where Nick was going to ask Amy for a divorce), she plans a scavenger hunt with objects connected to his betrayal: the diary (which she partially burns in the furnance of Nick's father's home), a pair of Andie's panties, and the electronics with a box containing a Punch and Judy puppet set. The next morning, she sets up her faked murder, staging the house's interior to imply a struggle, killing, and quick coverup by knocking over picture frames on a rickety shelf and putting them back, drawing her own blood that she spills on the kitchen floor and mopping it up, and putting her blood on a blunt object which she burns in their fireplace.
By the time Amy leaves, Nick discovers and reports her disappearance. The neighbors (namely Noelle) and authorities soon suspect Nick in Amy's quickly apparent murder, causing him to be crucified on national TV and ostracized by his family and community (which is heightened by the fact that Amy was supposedly pregnant when she was "murdered").
Meanwhile, Amy drastically changes her appearance and starts a new life as "Nancy," drawing thousands of dollars in cash to support herself. She later meets her new neighbors, Greta and Jeff, who don't suspect a thing about her or her previous life. One night, Greta and Nick catch Amy with her money, prompting them to break into her house and violently rob her, leaving her penniless.
She then comes into the reaquaintance of Desi Collings, a wealthy former boyfriend of hers who has grown obsessed with her. Knowing she staged her death because of Nick, he takes her into his lavish home nonetheless and promises to keep her safe and be a good lover.
One night, Nick goes on national television with the help of his sister and his defense attourney, where he admits to cheating on Amy with Andie, but denies murdering her. Amy and Desi both watch as Nick gives a heartfelt apology (as well as some subtle inside jabs relating to her scavenger hunt) about his betrayal.
With her love for Nick now renewed, she uses Desi's security camera system and a wine bottle to convincingly set herself up as a violently-abused rape victim. That night, Amy lures Desi in for sex, where she then slashes his neck with a boxcutter and covers herself in his blood. The next morning, Amy arrives back at Nick's home in Desi's car, covered in blood and looking frightened, all in front of the numerous news outlets parked on Nick's street. Desi is blamed for Amy's kidnapping, and the authorities are more than willing to believe her story (despite the glaring holes within).
While Nick is no longer tied to Amy's murder, his victory is still a pyrrhic one. After Nick's admittance to his affair and Amy's return, he is forced to stay with her despite his loathesome feelings that he now harbors for her. Otherwise, it will appear as if he had abandoned her once again in the media eye, losing the respect he had just gained back. Also, she reveals to Nick that she is pregnant, further cementing Nick to her (if not, for the sake of his soon-to-be child). With no other choice, Nick is trapped in his relationship with the homicidal, cunning, and manipulative Amy for the rest of his life.
Notes[edit | edit source]
- Author Gillian Flynn has stated that the inspiration for the story came about from the real life disappearance and murder of Lacey Peterson, a California woman who was pregnant at the time her husband, Scott Peterson, carried out her murder. Coincidentally, Ben Affleck, who played Nick Dunne in the film, bears a striking resemblance to Scott Peterson and owns a bar as well. Nick's bar was called "The Bar" while Peterson's bar was called "The Shack". Like Peterson, Nick also kept a mistress and was planning to leave his wife formally.
- Amy shares minor similarities with Alison DiLaurentis from the "Pretty Little Liars" book series.
- Both of them are believed to be dead but end up being revealed as having been alive all along.
- Both of them are manipulative women who use people for their own ends.
- Both of them are fooling someone they claim to love. In Amy's case, Nick is the person she is fooling, and Alison's case involves her fooling her own friends.
- Both of them serve as the main antagonist.
- Both of them have murdered someone in order to protect their agenda.