After appearing in the musical Mamma Mia! and the romantic drama Dear John, based on Nicholas Sparks’ bestseller, Amanda Seyfried has taken on a controversial role as Chloe, in the film of the same name.
When Catherine (Julianne Moore), a successful doctor, begins to suspect her husband David’s (Liam Neeson) fidelity, she engages Chloe, a young escort, to test him, only to be drawn into a romantic liaison with Chloe herself.
Amanda Seyfried spoke with me about her sexually daunting performance.
Were you nervous at all, in doing a role like this?
I was terrified. I didn’t think I was going to get it.
Did you ever worry about your parents seeing the film?
My mom saw it, but my dad will never see it, hopefully. Well, he can cover his eyes. It’s hard to be proud of it and not want to show your loved ones.
What were you attracted to with this film, and were you worried about doing the more intimate scenes?
I was worried that I wasn’t capable of actually being able to nail them the way it was written and also the way Atom [Egoyan, the director)] wanted it to be played. It’s the study of a marriage. It seems like it’s never easy. It’s about a woman coming into this place where she feels like she’s lost and she doesn’t know exactly who she is anymore.
I think it’s just so realistic and the way things happen is just so unexpected. I’ve never seen that before, in a movie. For me, it’s also a character that wouldn’t come around very often, for someone my age.
How was it to work with Julianne Moore, especially in such intimate scenes?
No love scene and no intimate scene like that will ever be easy, whether it’s with a man or a woman, or whether it’s with nudity or without. It’s never going to be not awkward. I think we got through it the best we could. Julianne treated me like a peer and like a teammate.
We were a team throughout this whole movie because we had to discover a relationship and work through it together. It’s amazingly generous, for somebody like her, who is so established and so unbelievably intelligent, to be able to give me her respect. It was amazing.
What did you learn from her?
I just learned more and more, every day. I learned that it’s really important to observe the other actors that you’re working with, when they’re not on camera as well. With that, I learned that there’s no real secret to the method of madness, at all. She just knows the character so well. If you’re really well prepared, before you even start shooting, then there’s no reason to take everything so seriously when you’re actually on set. I don’t feel like as much of a fraud now.
I just always wondered, “Does everybody jump into character? Is that always the way it is for everybody?” And, Julianne and I would have these light-hearted conversations, and then Atom would be like, “Okay, rolling. Action!,” and we’d just jump into these intense moments where we’re playing ping-pong with each other. It was just really confusing, at times, and amazing.
Do you think your character was bisexual?
I don’t think she knew anything. I think she was just really looking for validation and to be loved.
Did you have to have a lot of trust in Atom Egoyan, in order to do this?
I don’t know if I could have done the movie without somebody like Atom and somebody like Erin Cressida Wilson, who wrote the screenplay. It was written a very specific way, and it lent itself to a very specific type of director. Atom can only really tap into all the stuff that was happening in that script. Because there are so many nuances and so many levels going on, it’s crazy, and Atom gets it and sees it all. His brain is really big. I don’t know how he organizes himself, but he does. He’s just amazing.
Why do you think society is so obsessed with your kiss with Megan Fox for Jennifer’s Body and with Julianne Moore for Chloe
One day, it won’t make a difference. One day, there won’t be a word for sexual orientation. People have their own preferences, but I don’t think it should ever be a big deal. I don’t know what it is. They were both very different scenes, and very erotic. The scene with Megan was realistic because we were both young girls in that movie, and I know a lot of young girls have that desire or need, and feel comfortable with each other growing up.
With so many people calling you an up-and-coming star, do you feel like your career is on the rise now?
I feel like they’ve said that before about me, last year and two years ago. When people say that you’re having a moment right now, it just means that I had a movie that went to #1 at the box office. I wish it had more to do with my work. I think Chloe is finally something that is going to raise the bar a little bit. When people say I’m having a moment, it scares me because it lasts for just a moment. But, I hope this is a turning point, for sure.
I hope people will say, “Oh, she’s doing something different.” That’s the trick. You’ve got to do something that’s going to challenge you even more.