"I've got a filthy side and a romantic side, I like to keep men guessing."
She does shots before going on live television, Hugh Jackman has given her a lap dance in public, and she’s dated everyone from Ryan Phillippe to Josh Hartnett. Amanda Seyfried’s life is certainly interesting! In her latest film, the 27-year-old strips and simulates oral sex as porn star Linda Lovelace – the woman famously dubbed “Deep Throat”. It’s a long way from her breakthrough role playing the ditzy Karen in Mean Girls and as Channing Tatum’s love interest in Dear John. We caught up with Amanda, first in April at the Sundance Film Festival, where Lovelace was premiering, and then again in June at a mountain resort in Utah. Sitting back in a plush sofa at Hotel Park City, looking out onto the resort’s main lake, Amanda was relaxed and chatty, wearing a white maxi dress with hardly any make-up on, as she spoke to us about everything from her love life to her film career. You’ve admitted you get really nervous before going on TV talk shows. Does that still happen?
AMANDA: Yes. I’m getting better but I still like to have a few shots [of alcohol] before I go on. I don’t really understand why I still get so nervous but I’ve dealt with it for most of my life and it doesn’t really worry me that much. There’s nothing bad about having a few drinks anyway and I always tell people that, in my case, there’s some actual therapeutic value! [Laughs] How are you at handling attention from your fans?
AMANDA: It’s always nice to meet people who enjoy your work and usually everyone’s very polite and so complimentary it’s almost embarrassing. I’m a performer and attention is something we’re all looking for on some level. When you can meet people and they have a chance to tell you about certain characters they loved seeing you as, it gives you a special feeling inside. You played porn star Linda Lovelace – did the role affect you?
AMANDA: There’s more risk when you’re playing in a big studio film and it does badly at the box office than in a film like this which is made on a much smaller budget. Lovelace is a very important moment in my career. This film was exhausting and it took me a while to recover emotionally from it because it was such an intense experience.
[Lovelace] was very exhausting and it took me a while to recover emotionally.
Why was it so intense? Because of the sex and nudity?
AMANDA: No. It was because of all the scenes that showed her being subjected to violence and being beaten regularly. That was the horrific side of her life and it’s tough playing those moments because it’s hard not to feel frightened, even though the violence is simulated. The hardest parts of working on Lovelace were enduring the terrific beatings she suffered. That was scary sometimes. The sex, in a lot of ways, is secondary because of the way her husband and manager [Chuck Traynor] beat her and brutalised her for so many years. That’s the darker and truly compelling side to her life, and the titillation aspect to the nudity is overshadowed by her life story. I’ve already done nudity in several films and that’s never been a concern for me. There’s no nudity below the waist because it wasn’t really necessary.
What was it about Linda Lovelace’s life that appealed to you?
AMANDA: She tried very hard to change her life and overcome [others’] perceptions of her. Her name was forever associated with one film, Deep Throat, and that was only one small chapter in a very dark journey she was on while she was doing porn films. What surprised me when I was researching the role was how she wasn’t very sexually audacious as a teenager. She wasn’t promiscuous. Her parents, who were strict Catholics, forced her to give up the baby she had when she was a teenager. That kind of repressive upbringing led
her exploited to leave and home abused and, during unfortunately, her time with she wound Traynor up and getting working in the porn industry. Can you relate to simply falling in love with the wrong guy?
AMANDA: Oh God, yes. Of course. Unfortunately there’s something attractive about someone who is broken, for me and for a lot of women that I have spoken to, and for a lot of men. My best friend and I are attracted to creeps sometimes because they are interesting and mysterious, and they provide us with this rush and this need to chase or to fix. It doesn’t make any sense.
Is it a maternal instinct?
AMANDA: Yeah, and it’s also that we are attracted to people who remind us of our parents. How did you work out the physicality of becoming Linda?
AMANDA: She has such a different body than me, it’s so absolutely different. Like she has big shoulders and I don’t, and she had very specific breasts that I don’t have. I wish I had her breasts! And she’s very thin – I have a little bit more shape, I think. She’s very tall and she’s physically different. There was a way she carried herself that I tried to emulate because I have really bad posture and she didn’t. So that was hard actually.
LesMiserables is one of the high points in your career. Are you still basking in that film’s glow? AMANDA: I’ve said it many times but working on Les Miserables was a dream come true for me and it will always stand as one of my greatest achievements. Ever since I first saw the film when I was 11, it was clear in my mind that I had to become a performer and experience that kind of sensation. I still remember the thrill I would get from performing the songs while we were shooting the film. The singing takes your emotions to another level that you can’t necessarily get to when you’re just speaking. It’s like singing does something to your body physically as well as emotionally. You’re able to convey something so much deeper.
What is it like to work with extremely famous actors?
AMANDA: I was anxious to get a chance to work with Robert De Niro and Diane Keaton and also Susan Sarandon in
The Big Wedding. You grow up watching their films and
admiring from the time the kinds you spend of careers with they’ve them. I’ve built. also You been learn very a lucky lot to Firth work on with Mamma incredible Mia! and actors Liam like Neeson Meryl Streep and Julianne and Colin Moore on Chloe.
Do AMANDA: you find [Laughs] you still Not get so starstruck much anymore. at all? But sometimes I can’t the past help and but what ask them it was about like working some of with the films certain they directors made in or other actors. This business has a sense of community to it and I feel like I’m getting to be part of it, and I hope I’m earning the respect of all the brilliant actors I’ve been fortunate
enough to work with. Is it your strategy to work in many different film genres?
AMANDA: I think it’s good when people don’t identify you with any one kind of character or style of film. I started becoming known in romantic roles and now I’ve done thrillers and a musical, like
Les Miserables and Lovelace. So I feel that the public will accept me in almost any kind of role and that should also help me when it comes to going after the best roles because the studio or director won’t be limited in their perception of me. What kind of life do you have when you’re not working?
AMANDA: I live pretty quietly. If I’m not involved in a relationship, I like spending a lot of time by myself reading or watching movies. I also love to knit, which is something I do when I’m on a set either waiting in my trailer or back in my hotel room. Aside from the knitting, what’s your favourite way to relax?
AMANDA: I paint for hours and hours. I recently started painting again. I have this amazing craft room in Los Angeles where I sit and it overlooks the city, and I have this window that opens onto a big backyard. It’s heaven on earth, and my dog sits under my desk. Sometimes I have the window open and I will just paint – literally for hours. It’s amazing. It’s the best feeling in the world, especially when you are listening to a really good new album.
What kind of hopes do you have for the future?
AMANDA: Oh, I don’t know... How about a great man in my life? [Laughs]
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