David Fincher is well known for shooting multiple takes of a single scene, but it sounds like he took things to a whole new level while directing “Mank.” In a new interview with Collider, Amanda Seyfried estimates that Fincher shot 200 takes of a single scene and remembers one scene being filmed over the course of an entire week. Seyfried stars in “Mank” as American actress Marion Davies. The film, written by Fincher’s late father Jack, centers around Hollywood screenwriter Herman J. Mankiewicz as he overcomes professional and personal challenges to get “Citizen Kane” scripted and made.
“Honestly, it is the hardest I’ve ever worked. But I am so thrilled with it,” Seyfried said about the film. “I was just also like, how the fuck am I going to play Marion Davies? She had the accent. And how many takes? All of that stuff swarmed in. But I was also like…to get to work with Fincher, he’s one of a kind. And I actually can’t believe we did it. And we finished on February 21, right before the quarantine. I can’t believe it. And I was doing three movies back-to-back, so each blended into the next and my head wasn’t was on straight. I was flying to LA on weekends and doing rehearsals with David and Gary Arliss and all the cast… It’s going to be amazing.”
Seyfried continued, “I was part of scenes with tons of people in it and we would do it for an entire week. I can’t tell you how many takes we did, but I would guess 200, maybe I could be wrong and could be way off. I could be underestimating…[sometimes it was] five days of one scene when I didn’t have one line. You think, ‘I can just relax?’ No, because there are probably about nine or 10 different camera angles that had been on me at one point.”
Starring opposite Seyfried and Oldman is an ensemble cast that includes Lily Collins, Tuppence Middleton, Charles Dance, “Ozark” breakout Tom Pelphrey, and Tom Burke as Orson Welles. Netflix is behind “Mank” and is expected to release the drama sometime in the fall. Producer Eric Roth revealed last week the film was eyeing an October release, while adding that Fincher has made a film that “looks and feels like a 1930s movie.”
Next up for Seyfried is a role in the Blumhouse-backed horror movie “You Should Have Left,” opening on VOD platforms June 19. Head over to Collider to read the full interview with the actress.