Amanda Seyfried Interview
Amanda Seyfried Interview
Amanda Seyfried, star of Lovelace, the story of 1970s porn superstar Linda Lovelace, talks to View about the challenges of the role, bringing a real-life person to life on screen faithfully and keeping her memory alive, and the importance of Lovelace’s later life when she became a feminist and anti-porn campaigner.
Was this role a challenge, in terms of your career so far?

Amanda Seyfried

I feel like there aren’t a lot of opportunities for someone my age - I think I can still consider myself a young actress - to play somebody really fascinating. There aren’t a lot of biopics for someone my age, so this opportunity - I was a bit hesitant but man, I mean, if I could disappear into any role this was the one to do. And I would like for people to not say, ‘Boy, this is such a departure for you’. I would like for people to get used to me playing lots of different things in lots of different genres, because that’s acting.
Has that been a frustration for you up to this point?

Amanda Seyfried

Yeah, I just don’t get the opportunity. A lot of the people in the industry, unfortunately, see me doing one thing. And it’s partly my fault. I never dye my hair and I’m always kind of playing a version of myself, which is really fun and satisfying in a way. There are certain roles over the years that I’ve seen go directly to certain actresses, and I think, ‘God, that would have been such a good challenge. That would have been such a stretch for me’. I want to stretch. There aren’t many opportunities.
Can you, as an actress, now see things and know about things and go for them?

Amanda Seyfried

Absolutely. If you’re in the know, my agent tells me everything that’s going on. Everything percolates, sometimes over years, and she’s always got her eye and ear on the ball, in terms of those really great roles. And then when it comes time to casting, even if a director has a list of favourites, I’ll still be able to get in and meet the person, or read for the person. I audition still, a lot. I auditioned for Les Misérables six times.
Six! What did you have to do for Lovelace?

Amanda Seyfried

Nothing. Kate Hudson got pregnant. And I think it went directly to me, I guess. Which was great. I was kind of hesitant at first anyway, because of the subject matter. Hollywood can be tough on younger actresses, you know, there’s the taboo that comes with sex and porn. I didn’t want to ruin my future possibilities. But as soon as I met the directors I felt confident that they’d make something really good out of it.
What knowledge did you have of Linda before this?

Amanda Seyfried

I knew Linda represented a movement. I knew Linda was a 70s porn star. She was a household name, for whatever reason. I had heard of her and I was born in 1985. Why had I heard of her? I don’t know. But somewhere along the way, in my youth, I’d heard about this woman and I think I knew just as much as most people knew about her. Or know about her before they see this movie; I don’t think a lot of people read her book, especially these days when people don’t seem to really care. But that’s why we make these movies, to say, ‘Look at what was happening during this time. Look at this woman and how much she represented the so-called sexual revolution and how much she represented sexual freedom for women.' And really she didn’t reflect who she was at all.
How did you prepare for the role?

Amanda Seyfried

I met her kids, and I think that was the moment for me when it really hit home what I was potentially doing for her, for Linda. She got to tell her story only so much. People only listened to a point, so that responsibility was crazy. I feel like when you’re playing somebody that exists you have to step into their shoes as much as you can. And I had a lot of access to her life, so it was intense. I felt like a stalker at points. And when I met her kids I felt like I was doing something wrong, or I felt uncomfortable the fact that I was embodying their mother at a time in her life they’d like to forget about. It’s such a weird dynamic, because of all that I lived [through] her and I had a hard time letting it go at the end.

I understood her struggle, you have to empathise with your character. Even Peter Sarsgaard said: how does he play a monster? Well, he just has to try to find a way to relate to this guy. What he says is, he just pictures his character as a child, as a baby, before he becomes this malicious man, in his innocent years. And I think that’s how I had to see Linda, because people were pretty cynical about her, a lot of people didn’t believe her, and all this other stuff. I’m pretty cynical, and I was able to jump in fully. That’s scary, but it also makes me feel like I finally did some acting, [after] always playing myself.
What did Linda's kids think when they saw the film?

Amanda Seyfried

They saw it before Sundance, the directors screened it for them, and they said they could show it to their partners and, 'They can finally understand what our mother was like’. I was like, ‘Wow, really?’ That’s all I needed then. They had a good relationship with her, they really loved their mother. She did something right, she definitely caught a break in having two wonderful kids.
What's another thing people don’t know about her?

Amanda Seyfried

She’s a Catholic girl, a good Catholic girl thrust into this industry against her will, basically. It’s hard for people to imagine that she had such a hard time, because it looked like she was having so much fun. But once you see this movie you realise what was actually happening throughout. And the only times that she got away from Chuck were the times she was surrounded by her co-stars, and the people from Deep Throat. Being in the limelight and being on the stage was a dream of hers. Not necessarily in this capacity.
You chose not to watch Deep Throat beforehand? How come?

Amanda Seyfried

I think it was just I wasn’t ever going to watch it, that wasn’t my intention, because I didn’t think it was important. I had actually seen all the scenes, I think we re-enacted two or three scenes from Deep Throat, and I watched those scenes, that didn’t show anything graphic. Just so I could imitate her. I actually just turned on the movie, and watched it for about 10 or 15 minutes. It’s just really boring. A lot of people ask me if I did any research and watched porn and got to know porn stars, but that was not really what the story’s about. The directors did, because they were interested in going up to [visit] a production company which makes porn for women and is made by women. That’s interesting, but certainly not the research that I needed to do. There was a lot of other stuff that I needed to tackle first.
How did you tackle the sex scenes?

Amanda Seyfried

You know, it wasn’t really something I thought twice about. I did a film called Chloe, and that was pretty graphic compared to this. This seems like a piece of cake. And I think the scenes that I was doing, in Lovelace with Peter, I felt really comfortable with Peter and I trusted him. What really was hard to tackle were the violent scenes. Everything is choreographed, the sex scenes, being raped, it’s all choreographed, but it’s much harder to grasp being manhandled in that way.

Violence is very prevalent in our world, and knowing that she was going through that is very hard to – emotionally – swallow. But the sex stuff is not a big deal to me. I really do forget that there’s any nudity in the movie, because the scenes where I am naked it’s not really about the nudity, it’s about the conversation going on during it. It’s interesting.
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Content updated: 21/03/2019 15:23

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