Thursday, April 26, 2012

My 2nd interview with Amanda Seyfried (Gone)

What Amanda is scared of (But definitely not Lea Salonga, inset, who is her idol)
By Raymond de Asis Lo L.A. Correspondent (The Philippine Star) Updated April 22, 2012 12:00 AM Comments (0) View comments

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Amanda Seyfried plays a kidnap survivor in the thriller Gone.| Zoom
MANILA, Philippines - If you think Hollywood star Amanda Seyfried’s eyes can’t go any bigger then you are quite mistaken.
This writer saw recently just how more beautiful she looks when she becomes really amazed — her innocent expression of surprise is a delight to behold.

Amanda’s big and pretty doll-like eyes widened when I mentioned Lea Salonga’s name during a brief chat we had after our roundtable interview with her in early February. This writer met with the star during the junket for her current movie, Pioneer Films’ Gone.
Apparently, Amanda is a big fan of the Tony-winning Filipino actress. I asked her if she knows Lea personally but she said she did not. “Do I know her? No. Am I obsessed with her? Yes,” she exclaimed. “She’s Eponine! Oh, God, I love her!”

2012 is shaping up to be one particularly good year for the 26-year-old actress. With her solo starrer Gone now showing in theaters, she already has another movie in post-production — the highly anticipated biopic of Linda Lovelace, the iconic star of Deep Throat. And currently, she’s filming one of the biggest movies scheduled for release in December, the star-studded film adaptation of one of the well-loved Broadway musicals of all time, Les Miserables, the musical which Lea holds the honor of being the first Asian to be cast in two roles written for a Caucasian actor — Eponine and Fantine.

During the roundtable, even if we were there for her movie Gone, a thriller in which she portrays a survivor of a kidnapping who discovers one night that her sister was missing and may have been abducted by the same killer who tried to murder her the year before, the actress spent most of the 30 minutes we had talking enthusiastically about her casting as Cossette in the Les Miz adaptation.

“My favorite musical in the world is Les Miz,” Amanda gushed. “It’s always been that way. I saw it when I was 11. I was obsessed with it and I know every song.”

Amanda shared that she moved temporarily to New York last year to take voice lessons before she embarked on a month-long series of auditions that had her flying between L.A. and London.

“There was a point when I thought I wouldn’t get it,” she confided. “I was exhausted. I’ve been to London twice. I auditioned in LA. I spent so much money on this audition that I can actually say that I did my best and my hands are clean — and a month after I auditioned Tom Hooper (the director) called me.”

She said she was getting bitter about the process and the call from the Oscar-winning director of The King’s Speech just before Christmas last year was one of the best news she ever received — only she can’t tell anybody yet about it. She was told to keep it a secret until all parts have been cast and the director has made the formal announcement.

“It’s so hard!” she exclaimed. She had a cover interview for Glamour magazine earlier this year and she had to “lie” to the journalist when she was asked if she got the part already because she was still taking singing lessons. Fortunately, the announcement came four days later and the magazine was able to insert the piece of good news in their story.

She won the part over Taylor Swift. “I auditioned with Samantha Barks (the British actress who got the plum part of Eponine) and she was incredible. That’s all I am gonna say.” Also in the cast of Les Miz are Hollywood biggies Russell Crowe, Hugh Jackman and Anne Hathaway.

“People trust me to do these things so that must mean something — that gives me confidence. But at the same time, it’s a responsibility… playing these characters and straddling around from movie set to movie set is really about just the experience for me,” she added.

Who knew that after only seven years, she would be a bigger star than Lindsay Lohan? Amanda’s big break came in 2004 when she was cast in a small part in Lindsay’s Mean Girls. Her star continued to shine brightly after, while Lindsay struggled with drugs and alcohol.

And while Lindsay is still trying to settle all her legal troubles, Amanda is on her way to become a much bigger star — and if the stars truly align, she could even be an Oscar contender next year!

After Gone, her new movie Lovelace is set for release in the fall and the buzz all over Hollywood is about her revealing performance in Lovelace and the sizzling scenes she shared with her co-star Peter Saarsgard.

“She has an amazing story,” she said when asked about the biopic. “I think it is amazing how far someone can go on a journey that is so negative. It’s a powerful story.”

And because Lovelace is based on the woman that brought pornography out from the seedy video shops and into the mainstream, people are wondering if Amanda would be as daring as the real-life Linda Lovelace.

“If it’s necessary I would do it,” she replied. “But I don’t want to show my vagina and it has nothing to do against anybody that has. It’s wonderful but if you work with a good filmmaker anything goes.”

But before moviegoers get to see her naked in Lovelace and singing in Les Miserables, Amanda is set to keep audiences on the edge of their seats in Gone.

Those who will watch the movie will be amazed at her dedication to her craft. In Gone, she is in almost every frame of the movie. From the first shot of her scouring a forest to the last shot of her with that knowing grin on her face. (No spoilers here, sorry.)

“It’s hard,” she revealed when asked if it was a difficult shoot. “I wanted to be every part of every frame… It’s like a puzzle and you want to keep the audience with you at all times. You don’t want to lose them at any point.”
The main challenge for her was how to stay warm in the cold. She was also on guard to not let her character’s paranoia get to her.

“I am not that paranoid but I am scared of the future. I am scared of death. I am scared of sickness. I am scared of the decline of the people I love.”

But she did have a story to tell about a wannabe stalker who tried to ask her out on a date one time. Good thing, the guy was sane enough to leave her alone after. She added that she feels most relaxed when she is on the set.
And when asked which among her three big movies this year would she consider her most favorite, she immediately proclaimed Lovelace because, according to her, she got to work with Peter.

“Peter Saarsgard is the best actor I’ve ever worked with,” she declared. I reminded her that Gary Oldman, who was her co-star in last year’s Red Riding Hood, may not like her saying that but she only smiled and this time, her eyes did not grow wide anymore.

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