Fresh from cooing her way into our hearts in the holiday hit "Les Misérables," Amanda Seyfried arrived in Park City this January with "Lovelace," a project that couldn't be more different from Tom Hooper's earnest, Oscar-nominated musical.
[Editor's Note: This interview was originally published during the 2013 Sundance Film Festival, where "Lovelace" world premiered. It opens theatrically and hits VOD August 9th.]
In the biopic, helmed by "HOWL" duo Rob Epstein and Jeffrey Friedman, Seyfried tackles her most challenging role to date as Linda Lovelace, the pornographic movie legend and star of "Deep Throat." A hard-core cultural sensation, Lovelace led an abused and troubled life at the hands of her husband and manager Chuck Traynor (Peter Sarsgaard).
Indiewire sat down with Seyfried the morning following the film's world premiere at the Eccles Theatre (where the film was swiftly acquired by Harvey Weinstein's new hybrid label RADiUS-TWC) to discuss this new stage in her career, why she still looks back on "Mean Girls" as her best work and the nudity required to play Lovelace.
Was last night your first time seeing “Lovelace?"
Second. I got to prepare myself for an audience. I just can’t imagine seeing that for the first time last night. It was everybody’s first time except me.
Was this a tough film to watch?
No, it was just the critical aspects. I’m very critical of myself. I didn’t have a hard time watching it at all. From another angle, I think it’s fun to see something that you worked so hard on put together. It’s nice to see something come together in a really good way.
What was going through your head after world premiering what in my mind is your most high-profile role to date to a Sundance audience?
It’s exciting. It’s so exciting. You don’t really think too much, you just kind of revel in the moment of it. This is just so fresh. You walk on stage and people had just watched it, so you kind of get a real reaction. It’s never that genuine after that. People start processing it. I felt really accepted and supported by everybody. I don’t know if they’re really supportive or they aren’t, but I felt that way.
I know that I’m proud of a lot of it. Certain things I’d like to reshoot but can’t. But I am proud of certain parts of it from an acting point of view. And therefore, I’m not going to roll my eyes and be like, ‘Oh thanks,’ because I really believe in this movie. It’s so nice to believe in something and really love something you’re about to promote.
Did last night feel like the start of a new chapter in your career?
Yeah, it did. Especially after Harvey [Weinstein] bought it. He doesn’t buy stuff he doesn’t like. I like his taste. The fact that he’s supporting it now is big for us. When he gets behind something it's one hundred percent. I really respect that about him.
It does feel like a new stage because it is a high-profile role and I did work my ass off. I also had the best experience of my life. It was very intimate; it was very dark. It was surreal at times. I got to experience amazing things in a small amount of time with amazing people. I’m an actor. I love acting. Hopefully I’ll get to do it for the rest of my life. There’s nothing else I feel like I’m good at. I’m on a cloud right now.
Do you ever think back to your breakout turn in “Mean Girls,” and go, “Wow, I can’t believe how far I’ve come?”
Oh yeah, always! It’s been such a slow move for me. And I’m really lucky because I got to experience each thing as it came, as opposed to being bombarded with all this attention. It’s always been slow. People say, “Oh, breakout star overnight,” to these actors of my generation. It must be hard to get all that attention and know what’s real at the end of the day. And luckily a lot of them do and they’re real people… I can call them my peers and I’m super proud.
Also, I’ve just worked a long time. I’ve gotten a lot of cool opportunities here and there and I’ve made some good choices with the help of my amazing team. I was with them since I was 16. It all feels right; it feels good. I still look back at “Mean Girls” as my best work.
Yeah. I was so innocent. I was so green. I look back and I’m like, ‘Really, I thought I was doing a terrible job.’ But it was written so well and so wonderfully directed. Mark Waters (the director) made me look good; he made me funny. And Tina Fey wrote the coolest script of all time. I’m so grateful for every experience.