Amanda Seyfried still can’t believe she had to walk on set without underwear at 19

A woman rests her chin on her hand while sitting in front of a bale of hay
Actor Amanda Seyfried at her upstate farmhouse.
(Michael Nagle / For The Times)

Amanda Seyfried is 36 years old and knows “who the f— I am,” thank you very much.

“There’s a respect level that I have never felt so fully around me,” the Emmy- and Oscar-nominated star recently told Porter magazine. “It has nothing to do with any level of fame or recognition or critical acclaim. Whatever it is, it’s not because of ‘Mank,’ it’s not because of ‘The Dropout,’ it’s not about having seen my movies.”

From studying depositions and speaking to farm animals to perfecting the position of her tongue, Seyfried explains how she nailed Holmes’ baritone.

March 3, 2022

Seyfried, who goes into next month’s Primetime Emmy Awards ceremony with an acting nomination for her portrayal of disgraced Theranos founder Elizabeth Holmes in Hulu’s “The Dropout,” told the magazine that she sometimes wishes she could come up in Hollywood now, when intimacy coordinators are required on sets and performers are encouraged to speak up.

In reality, the “Mamma Mia!” star said she spent most of her 20s “just hating everything that came out of my mouth” and worrying she wouldn’t have anything to offer acting-wise. But, the “Mean Girls” and “Les Misérables” alum said she emerged from the industry’s pre-#MeToo era “pretty unscathed,” although she certainly felt some discomfort navigating it as a young adult. (This after she told Marie Claire earlier this year “that being famous young must really f— suck.”)


“Being 19, walking around without my underwear on — like, are you kidding me? How did I let that happen?” she said. “Oh, I know why: I was 19 and I didn’t want to upset anybody, and I wanted to keep my job. That’s why.”

‘I’d never fully embodied somebody that way,’ the actor says of playing Theranos founder Elizabeth Holmes.

June 14, 2022

But as the longtime character actor closes what has been hailed as her career-best year, Seyfried told Porter that it’s “surreal that we’re here now” and to be nominated for an Emmy, not to mention her Oscar nod for David Fincher’s “Mank.” She contends that she always wanted good, steady work more than recognition.

“I got singled out. I didn’t spend any part of my career singled out, ever. [I had] no expectation of being singled out, and that’s partly my self-deprecating nature. Never expecting anything great, preparing for the worst, but just continuing to walk on my path,” Seyfried said, sharing that she’s “uncrushable” about work and she has been able to keep herself grounded with family, a farm and therapy.

Other notable nuggets from the interview include how she felt about losing a role in “Wicked” to Ariana Grande and how she was “so proud” to go viral with Holmes’ awkward dance set to Lil Wayne’s “How to Love.”