An Interview with Amanda Seyfried

Amanda Seyfried

By Sallie Dey

It’s a happy time for the new mom, who turns to 
meditation and mentors for inspiration.

The gorgeous 31-year-old actress is known for her glamorous dark lips, woven updos and sultry eyes on the Red Carpet. But when relaxing at her home in the country with her husband, actor Thomas Sadoski, her new baby girl and her dog, Finn, Amanda Seyfried prefers a natural, low-maintenance look.

She tends to go without foundation, keep her beauty regimen simple and maintain her inner balance with daily meditation, exercise and essential oils. “I want to spend less than five minutes in front of the mirror,” she said to Marie Claire recently. “I’m not the girl who puts on makeup to go to Target.”

Seyfried and her husband have been living on Amanda’s farm in the Hudson Valley in upstate New York, where they will be spending most of their time this year looking after their daughter, who was born in late March.

Sadoski revealed that they had secretly eloped the second week of March, prior to the birth: “We flew to countryside, only us and a priest. She’s the person I love, admire, respect most in the world. We had a great day. It was perfect.” Seyfried and Sadoski wrote their own vows for the private nuptials, which, apart from the priest, was witnessed only by the actress’ constant companion, her dog Finn, whom she adopted in 2009.

The couple first met in 2015 while co-starring in the Off- Broadway play, The Way We Get By, but their relationship didn’t turn romantic until they reunited last year while shooting the film The Last Word, with Shirley MacLaine. Seyfried plays an obituary writer enlisted by MacLaine’s aging business mogul/control freak to write her life story. Seyfried’s husband (The Newsroom) also has a supporting role in the dramatic comedy.

“We had done so much kissing the year before (during the play) but we weren’t together,” Seyfried says, her trademark big blue-gray eyes sparkling. “And it was fun to work with him again (on the film) although in a completely different way,” she smiles. “Thomas makes me feel very confident. While I was pregnant he told me that he can already see what a good mother I am.”

Q: You and Thomas lived in the countryside for several months getting ready for the birth of your child. What made you decide to do that?

AS: It’s so peaceful there. We have cats, sheep, chickens, horses and a cow. The farm is what I now consider to be my real home. It’s the right place to grow with a baby, and being a mom is something I’ve been waiting for my whole life. I want to be a very hands-on mother who is both very caring and also inspires her child.

Q: What about your dog, Finn?

AS: Oh, Finn is always with me. He’s been my emotional support for so long.

NEW YORK, NY - JULY 30: Actress Amanda Seyfried with her dog visits "Late Show With David Letterman" at Ed Sullivan Theater on July 30, 2013 in New York City. (Photo by Raymond Hall/FilmMagic)

Q: Have you always enjoyed having pets or animals around you?

AS: I grew up on the outskirts of Allentown, PA, and even though my family lived in a normal apartment we often went on vacation in the Hudson Valley.

There were a lot of farms in the area and I always dreamed that one day I would live on a farm full of animals. Then, a few years ago, I found a beautiful farmhouse in the area and I bought it. It’s turned out to be one of the best decisions I’ve ever made.

Q: You’ve talked about dealing with anxiety and stress most of your life. Is this the perfect antidote?

AS: I think so! I don’t like loud places or having a lot of activity around me. Crowds make me uncomfortable and airports are probably the most stressful places for me. I find it hard to deal with all the people rushing in different directions and I get very anxious in those situations.

That’s why living in the countryside is such a joy for me and also for Thomas. We have this lovely little grocery store near us and it’s so much fun shopping there, and also buying fresh vegetables at the local farmer’s market. I also have my own vegetable garden where I grow lettuce and blueberries and tomatoes.

Q: Let’s talk about your most recent film, The Last Word. Most actors admit to a certain amount of intimidation when they work with a living legend like Shirley MacLaine. What was your time like with her?

AS: I never felt intimidated at all by her when I first met her before we started shooting. I thought she was charming and easygoing, and she was really wonderful to me.

But when I first got on the set with her, I started getting nervous and worrying about my performance. I always want to do my best and you especially want to be at your best when you’re working with someone of her stature and talent.

Q: What, specifically, did you learn from Shirley?

AS: Everything! To be a better version of myself. To have confidence in myself and my actions. To stand tall and be proud of that. I mean, the entire experience was a masterclass. The moment I met her, I just thought, “damn, she’s the real deal.” What I took away was how evolved a person she is and how knowledgeable she is of her own self. That assurance and certainty is what I hope I’ll have someday.

Q: Has any other co-star had a similar effect on you?

AS: Probably Meryl Streep. I could see a lot in common, there was definitely that level of intimidation that I anticipated before meeting them both, which was instantly extinguished on introduction. Neither of them allows for that kind of awestruck behavior, they’ve no time for it.

I worked with them at times in my life when I needed their guidance. Mamma Mia was around a decade ago. I was fairly new and young at that point. Meryl was a beacon for me. And then, 10 years later, I’m working with Shirley MacLaine, who’s left me evaluating myself and questioning my motives and steps—just two very significant encounters and friendships that sort of punctuate your life.

Q: You took opera classes before turning to acting. Was acting something you knew was a great creative outlet for you?

AS: I knew acting was this strange and interesting way for me to get rid of tension and negative energy. Acting was a great help to me that way, although that’s not why I wanted to do it. When I started acting, I knew instinctively that it was something I would always enjoy and that I could see myself doing for the rest of my life.

Q: You’ve said in the past that acting has been a form of therapy for you. Does it still carry that benefit?

AS: Yes. When I’m playing a scene where I have to cry, it’s very easy for me to draw on those kinds of sad feelings that dwell inside me. I’ve also developed tools to help me overcome a lot of my fears. Studying Buddhism has been very helpful. It’s enabled me to overcome moments where I might have an anxiety attack before doing a scene and helped me regain my focus and be in the present.

Q: What’s the biggest risk you’ve taken?

AS: Well, I’d say motherhood probably takes that honor. It’s probably the biggest risk I’ll ever take. You’re bringing a person into the world, and you’re responsible for their well-being, care, development. It’s a pretty big deal [laughs].

Q: You’re always asked who are the dream co-stars for the future. After Shirley MacLaine and Meryl Streep, who are the next ones?

AS: Does it get any better? Really, does it get any better than this? I don’t think so, I struggle to get past how lucky I’ve been. I’m not greedy, I’ve acted with my idols, I could leave it there and be very, very happy with that.

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