She’s starred in everything from Les Misérables to Mean Girls, but Amanda Seyfried tells Karen Anne Overton how motherhood may be the biggest challenge of all
’ve been asked what kind of mother I want to be,” chuckles actress Amanda Seyfried, who gave birth to her first child – a daughter – at the end of March. “What a weird question to ask! Does anyone ever sit there and write down the pros and cons of which type of parent they’d like to be? It’s a really odd question.”
Notoriously outspoken, candid yet highly personable, the 31-year-old was refreshingly open about what she felt motherhood would stand for in the months leading up to the birth, declaring excitedly: “I’m ready – I’m excited! It’s time. This bun is cooked. I’m ready to get this show on the road, meet the kid, and start our life together. I’m very excited. I’ve been pregnant for 13 months – at least it feels that way.”
Understandably less media-friendly in these early days post-birth, Seyfried has revealed few details about her new arrival, but has been seen looking radiant on the red carpet since for Showtime’s upcoming Twin Peaks revival with husband Thomas Sadoski in May. The couple, who married in early March, began dating while working on their latest film The Last Word, but their romance was far from love at first sight. “It’s kind of crazy because we worked together twice last year, and it was like, ‘Well, it didn’t hit first time round, let’s give it another whirl.’ The universe really wants you to be together!” laughs Seyfried.
“So we did this crazy, amazing two-man play – The Way We Get By – and got to know each other, and then got to know each other more on the film. He is an amazing, unbelievably talented actor and I may be biased, but I think he’s the best there is. I’m biased, but I’m right!”
The couple wed in secret, with Wild star Sadoski revealing all on The Late Late Show with James Corden. Proudly flashing his wedding ring and referring to Seyfried as his wife, he described how the pair wrote their own vows and had the actress’s pet dog, Finn, bear witness. “We eloped – we just took off into the country with an officiant, just the two of us, and we did our thing,” he said.
The romance may have blossomed quickly, but that doesn’t mean the marriage was hasty. Seyfried is wise beyond her years, having started modelling aged 11, acting professionally at 17, starring in numerous popular US soap operas. In 2004 she made her film debut in Mean Girls as the dim-witted ‘plastic’ Karen Smith. Thanks to the film’s blockbuster success, Seyfried’s career blossomed, landing her roles in the screen adaptations of ABBA musical Mamma Mia! and the epic Les Misérables. But for all her success, motherhood was never far from the Pennsylvania native’s mind, saying in 2015: “I keep feeling like my eggs are dying off. I need to get on it… I want a child, badly. I want to be a mother, badly. That’s what I feel. I’ve been feeling it for two years. I’m not ready, but nobody’s ready. It changes everything… so how can you ever be ready for that?”
Perhaps this explains Seyfried’s relative eagerness having found the right partner in Sadoski, with their co-star in The Last Word, 82-year-old legend Shirley MacLaine, joking that ‘they got pregnant’ on the set. “I think she said she was nearly there for the conception,” says Seyfried with a broad smile. “Which would have been weird. Although I wouldn’t have been totally against it. A strange blessing.”
In the upcoming dramedy, Seyfried plays Anne – a meek obituary writer – whose humdrum existence is suddenly rocked by the tumultuous arrival of Harriet (MacLaine), a controlling, retired businesswoman who demands to be involved in the creation of her own epitaph. A courageous and heart-warming portrait of two women in different phases of their lives, the timid Anne grows fond of the cantankerous older woman who teaches her to live a bolder, fuller life. “The script is all about risk and how enriching life can be if you risk it all. I’ve been asked in the last few days, ‘What would I like written on my tombstone?’ I want, ‘She risked it all’,” reveals Seyfried. Which begs the question: what does the actress consider to be the biggest risk of her life so far? “Well, I’d say motherhood probably takes that honour. It’s probably the biggest risk I’ll ever take. You’re bringing a person into the world and you’re responsible for their wellbeing, their care, their development,” she says matter-of-factly, before adding with a chuckle: “It’s a pretty big deal!”
It seems unlikely that motherhood will alter Seyfried much. She’s long stated that she feels comfortable with herself, refusing to let the odd blemish or bout of bloating ruin her day. In fact, on her post-baby outings she has been joyously make-up-free, wearing a denim and t-shirt combo that would befit any new mum.
It’s no secret that this new phase of her life will bring unforeseen challenges, but the star adds how working on The Last Word has inspired her to “jump in feet-first”, adding sagely: “I think I’m getting a little wiser day by day. It comes with age, doesn’t it? It’s a cliché, but the older you get, the wiser you become. There’s no avoiding that one.”