Amanda Seyfried on the chaotic dance scenes of The Dropout and the Oscar-nominated performance that blew her away
The version of Amanda Seyfried tucked into a booth at Los Angeles’ Mother Wolf restaurant on Thursday night, backed by the buzz of vanity lounge and Lancôme’s Future of Hollywood party – is miles away from the character she portrays so convincingly on Hulu’s The stall. The series dramatization of the rise and fall of the Theranos CEO Elizabeth Holmes features the actor in hastily applied eyeliner with a crown of bleached-blonde locks, as she weaves her way through investor meetings and lets off steam with frantic dance interludes. By contrast, the woman polishing a slice of thin-crust pizza is all warm candor and immaculate glamour, shimmering in an Elie Saab minidress and a slender metal headband. There’s only one moment that offers a flicker of Holmes’ wide-eyed intensity. “I fuck love that,” Seyfried said, leaning forward for emphasis. Her passion for crochet is real.
With two young children, a husband and a menagerie of animals on her Catskills farm, Seyfried entered a bucolic phase of life. The gravitational pull there is strong enough that she almost turned down the role of Holmes, but it’s a boon for con-lovers that she quickly changed her mind. Yet the Oscar-nominated actress shifts into Hollywood mode with disconcerting ease. When she comes on the phone a few hours before Thursday’s party, Seyfried has just come out of an upcoming vanity lounge shoot. “I wore this beautiful beaded dress and just ran and jumped in the pool,” she says of a spontaneous idea on an unusually hot day in Los Angeles. This is how you can live a reprieve from the capricious weather of New York.
Appointed Lancôme ambassador in 2019, Seyfried has become the face of the house’s lipsticks, between the warm peach Mademoiselle Amanda (released last December) and The stallThe standard uniform of (L’Absolu Rouge Drama Ink in French Bisou). Is it weird to dip back into a hue she’s come to associate with a struggling tech entrepreneur? “I haven’t thought of it until now,” she admits. “I really like the bluish red that Elizabeth wore.” The point of differentiation is how Seyfried wears it: sheer as a stain – “really cool, dry and matte”. She pauses. “Awesome. Now I’ll never wear it. Just kidding! I always will.”
Here, the actor reminisces about the green juice era, raves about another actor’s Oscar-nominated performance (“I’m Really Rooted For Her”) and previews his pre-party prep night. Future of Hollywood, where the eyeliner is, unlike the Hulu billboards around town, drawn to perfection.
Vanity Lounge: In the beginning The Stall, an interviewer asks Elizabeth Holmes: “If you are what you eat, what are you?” His answer is green juice. What would be yours these days?
Amanda Seyfried: Oh my God. What do I eat the most? I mean, cheese is the thing that immediately comes to mind. I am cheese. I’ve already eaten so much cheese today. I can’t even tell you how much cheese I just ate – so much manchego and haloumi.
What has been your personal experience with the green juice phenomenon? He thus defined a certain period of time.
I understood right away because I was like, “That’s a lot of sugar.” It just didn’t make sense to me that you were getting all the nutrients, and I’ve read a lot to back that up. Smoothies are something I’ve been doing daily for years. Even if I was there, I would have a Vitamix and make my own smoothies. It was always celery, spinach, turmeric and a bit of whatever I wanted, but it was never sweet. It’s really hard to find a green juice – which is, by the way, very refreshing and fun once in a while – that isn’t sweet, like more fruit than green. So I saw through this fashion immediately and I rebelled.
You’ve played women through the full grooming gamut, from the glamorous Marion Davies to the more frayed Elizabeth Holmes. Where do you personally stand in terms of the benchmark for a certain trim level? I think a lot of that has to do with upbringing and what you were molded into as a child.
For me, it’s exactly like that. My mom never wore makeup, and if she did, it was like the old compacts my grandma had, or bought from CVS or any drug store. I only saw her putting them on when she went to an event, which was maybe once every two years. So it was just less is more. My mom is so low maintenance and it’s a matter of lifestyle and her job: she’s worked in a hospital for her entire career. For me it is the same. I don’t wash my hair very often. My lifestyle is very glamorous when I’m working, but when I’m not working I live on a farm and it’s our main residence. And so polite to me, it’s really simple. Lips and eyes, in general, will be what I need, but I don’t like a lot of makeup. I prefer not to waste time getting ready if I can.