Interview: Chloe's Amanda Seyfried

By Perri Nemiroff 2010-03-24 11:58:36discussion comments
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Interview: Chloe's Amanda Seyfried image
Committing to a role like Chloe is no easy decision, particularly for an actress who is well known for being part of comical and family-friendly films. In Chloe, Amanda Seyfried stars as the titular character, a young prostitute hired by an older woman (Julianne Moore) to tempt her husband (Liam Neeson) to reveal whether or not he has extramarital tendencies.

Nothing like Karen from Mean Girls, Sophie from Mamma Mia! , Sarah from Big Love or Needy from Jenniferís Body, right? Well, thatís kind of the point. Seyfried is well aware of the inclination of young actresses to take on roles that are merely versions of themselves and was thrilled about the opportunity to color outside of the lines--way outside the lines.

But even while taking some risks, Seyfried certainly has her head on straight. She admits to taking her work home with her, Mamma Mia! co-star Dominic Cooper in particular, but sheís determined to follow in the footsteps of some of her iconic co-stars, like Moore and Meryl Streep, in an effort to establish herself as a capable and talented actress. Take a look at what Seyfried had to say about being an up-and-comer in a profession overflowing with expectations, her experience working with director Atom Egoyan, and more.

How much intimidation did you have to overcome to play a role like this?
I almost didnít want to do the movie. When we were getting close and Julianne signed on, I got really scared and I tried to think of a way that I could get out of it. Obviously I didnít want to, but I was so intimidated I didnít think I could actually do it. I have only really gotten by with playing versions of myself as most young actors do. It was the best opportunity that had ever come up for me, the most complex female character and I had to do it. It was clearly the riskier choice, but it was also the better choice. And I think the risk factor came with that I might not be able to pull it off and also that the nudity might, I donít know, create some damage with my American audience. Itís sad to say, but itís true.

So would you rather go down in flames trying something daring like this or do Mamma Mia Part 6?
Absolutely. God, I really wanted that to happen.

Well, they havenít even done 2, 3, 4 and 5, so youíd have a while before that would happen.
Youíre right. I know you cannot go wrong with Atom Egoyan because heís his own thing. He never does anything against his instinct and his instinct is always so specific and something so real and he has such a passion for everything he does.

What do you take away from all of the amazing strong women youíve worked with? Youíve really worked with the best.
And the reason theyíre the best is not only that they are connected to each character that they are, itís also because they have this level of professionalism and respect for the people that theyíre working with. Iím sure youíve heard of a lot of actors and actresses feeling like theyíre higher than the rest, that thereís a hierarchy sometimes in peopleís imaginations, but, the fact is, youíre just another team member. Maybe youíre financing it, [but] it doesnít make you any better than the rest. I think you have to know what your job is, not just as the actor, but also as a team member, how to make everybody elseís job easier. A film set is really delicate and people treat you very very well if youíre an actor because they want you to be as comfortable as possible for you to do your work, but it really is just one in a team of many and usually 150 people. Being professional is just really clearly the way to go and helps you on the road to longevity. Meryl [Streep]ís the same way. She separates her life from her work and she just doesnít take it home with her. And although Iím younger and of course I did end up taking my work home with me, on some occasions, Iím learning from it and I think that itís just a process of making mistakes a little bit here and there, but finally maybe one day getting to the point where itís just like it is a job and as fun as it is, as exciting a world it brings you into, it doesnít make you who you are and thatís what I think that Meryl and Julianne have proven and they have their families and thatís the end all be all.

Whatíd you like most about you character? Some people may find her actions at times particularly unsympathetic.
I just donít see her as an antagonist. In the beginning, sheís creepy and you donít trust her at all and then you start seeing some deeply human qualities and vulnerabilities and the depth that she goes and then you see this lost girl fall in love with somebody. Thatís what made me fall in love with her. I knew her so well and I just feel like it was so, it would have been hard not to fall in love. It would have been hard enough not to appreciate her in some ways. She doesnít have nasty motives, she just felt something and it made her need it and you become addicted to it, obsessed with it, which was love. She just tried to do anything; that was her only motive, just to have that forever, which is a bit delusional when it comes to Catherine. Itís completely unrealistic, but sheís damaged, sheís got a lot of crosswires and it makes sense because sheís had a crap life. Her mother kicked her out when she was 14, that was written in the script and then taken out, and she never had a father. Everything she does is because she hasnít had anybody to love her.

Whatíd you take away from this movie in terms of relationships?
You have to reevaluate sometimes, reevaluate yourself and where you are and I think people donít stop enough because they get so used to these people. Itís almost like theyíre Ė everything becomes furniture. Youíre just used to it being there and of course it proved that Chloe comes in and puts everything upside down.

You basically exploded after Mamma Mia. How tricky has it been to navigate life and your career since?
I think Mamma Mia brought me to a new audience. I already had kind of an audience from Big Love, which was a more serious type of well-written piece of work that if you were getting used to seeing me as Sarah, the daughter in Big Love, I think that Mamma Mia was a new audience, younger, young kids and older women. So then I had a well-rounded group of people who kind of were familiar with me and so it wasnít hard to jump back into very serious after Mamma Mia. After Mamma Mia I did this really weird dark movie called Boogie Woogie and so I went straight into that and then after that I did a horror comedy. Iíve just been really lucky with the movies that are coming up. Scheduling is always really hard especially if you have three really great offers on a movie, on three movies, and theyíre all going at the same time, you have to pick and choose and itís really difficult to do that. I just take whatís best at the time and usually the good ones are always pretty unique.

And how about not losing your head in the process?
I think Iím past the age of getting lost. It didnít happen too early. Itís happened steadily, slowly but steadily and people say, ĎOh, well youíre an overnight sensationí but actually thatís not true at all because I got into playing a supporting member in Mean Girls and then I went to Big Love and then I did small movies and then I did bigger movies, then I did Mamma Mia. Itís been like seven years and I feel like itís not happened too fast. I think thatís another secret, keeping my head on and obviously I have really good parents.

What was your most memorable moment on the set of Chloe?
Well, the love scene. Iíll never forget that. [Laughs]

The whole Mamma Mia 2 plan is pretty hazy. Some are saying theyíre going to do it and some are saying theyíre not. Colin Firth said theyíre doing Mamma Mia! with a new cast. What have you heard about that?
I think I might have started that rumor. I started sharing a rumor that I heard that there was a Mamma Mia 2 and then in October, all of these people in London were telling me that there is actually a script and everything and then in November, my boyfriend had talked to Phyllida [Lloyd], who directed Mamma Mia, and she said that if they do Mamma Mia they are going to use a whole new cast and do a prequel. And then thatís when I said no, itís not going to happen. And then apparently someone said - this was bullshit - that Iíd asked for $7.5 million. I would love $7.5 million, but I donít think itíd be right to ask for that for Mamma Mia 2. It did make a lot of money so maybe it gave me some ideas, but itís just not going to happen. And Pierce recently said that it wasnít going to happen either. So sadly, no, but at least we ended on a high note.

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