Golden-maned Hollywood actress Amanda Seyfried stars in Chloe, a remake of 2004 French film Natalie…, due out in cinemas across the city from August 11. Alongside an A-list cast including Julianne Moore and Liam Neeson as the film’s central married couple, 25-year-old Seyfried plays a young girl hired to test Neeson’s fidelity, though the situation soon becomes far murkier than anticipated. Here, Seyfried tells us how she got to grips with the character of Chloe in this intriguing thriller.
Were you worried about any of the more intimate scenes in the film?
I was worried I wasn’t capable of being able to nail [the scenes] the way that it was written and also the way Atom [Egoyan, the director] wanted them to be played. The film is a study of a marriage, and a woman who feels lost and like she doesn’t know exactly how her husband sees her any more. It’s just so realistic. Then the way things unravel are so unexpected. I’ve never seen this before in a movie. My character is also one that won’t come up very often for someone my age.
How do you think your fans see you in Chloe after your less taxing roles in films such as Dear John?
Hopefully they’ll see me as an actress instead of just a ‘sweetheart’. Now I feel as though I have a seriousness factor. Eight-year-old kids aren’t going to be able to watch every movie and every character I play. Some variety is what I really need, and what I’ve been able to attain with this. Letters to Juliet is another fluff piece, not to criticise it at all. It’s a wonderful romantic movie with amazing actors in it. But it was ‘me’ whereas Chloe is not ‘me’, and that’s more challenging. I think the more terrifying a role seems, the more fulfilling it’ll always be when you’re doing it.
What did you learn from working with Julianne Moore?
I learned that it’s really important to observe the other actors you’re working with when they’re not on camera. I realised that if you’re really well prepared before you start shooting, there’s no reason to take everything so seriously when you’re on set. I don’t feel as much of a fraud now. I always wondered: does everyone just ‘jump’ into the character? Is that the way it is for everybody? Julianne would have these light-hearted conversations, then Atom would call ‘action’ and we’d just jump into these intense moments where we were playing [emotional] ping-pong off each other.
You must have placed a lot of trust in the director with some of the scenes.
I don’t know if I could’ve done the movie if I wasn’t working with someone like Atom. It lent itself to a very specific type of director, and Atom could tap into everything that was happening. The storyline is crazy, but Atom just got it. He sees it all. His brain is really big and I don’t know how he organises himself – but he does.
Your character, Chloe, is a bit of a chameleon. Do you think in another life she’d be an actress?
I think she’s acting all the time. But I think what makes the audience love her is that they see the vulnerability shining through. You really see her raw at some points, and that’s good.
What was it like to work with Liam Neeson?
Oh, he’s amazing. He’s just like Julianne. They fit together perfectly. I didn’t work with him very much; I wish I’d had more scenes with him. The scenes I had with him were amazing. They were awkward, but also easy.
It’s been said this film is your ‘moment’. Is your career at take-off point?
I really don’t know. When people say that, it just means I have a movie that went [to number] one at the box office. I wish it had more to do with my work, but I do think Chloe is finally something that’s going to raise the bar. When people say that I’m having a ‘moment’ it scares me because moments last for, what, a moment?
But it could be a turning point.
I hope this is a turning point; that people will say, ‘Okay, she’s doing something different.’ And isn’t that the trick, moving to something that’s going to challenge you even more?
Chloe is in UAE cinemas from August 11.
She said what?
She may have called her own films ‘fluff’, but that’s not the first time Seyfried’s motormouth has raised eyebrows. We look at her most memorable blurt-outs.
‘Sometimes I would sing songs around the house for two hours straight, but I didn’t actually want anyone to hear me up close. I would sing all the Broadway show tunes, like Cabaret. Our cat really started hating
‘I mean, at the end of the day, if you can’t have a Girl Scout cookie and a piece of cheese, what is life all about?’ (2010)
‘I had a fight with my friend when I touched a boy for the first time and I didn’t tell her about it.’ (2010).
‘I’m most comfortable in my birthday suit.’ (2010)
‘When I’m playing a role like Valerie [in Red Riding Hood], I can let it hang out – I’m very open about my burping and, you know, things my boyfriend’s mother wouldn’t appreciate.’ (2011)