Amanda Seyfried talks about her Oscar nomination for 'Mank'

BySandy Kenyon OTRC logo
Friday, April 23, 2021
Amanda Seyfried reflects on Lehigh Valley upbringing, celebrates first Oscar nod
This marks the first Oscar nomination for Allentown native Amanda Seyfried. She's up for Best Supporting Actress for her role in "Mank."

NEW YORK -- A real story of old Hollywood, about a screenwriter everyone called "Mank," has garnered the most Oscar nominations with 10.

It's up for Best Picture, but also honored with a nod was Amanda Seyfried, recognized for her supporting role as movie star Marion Davies, who was also the mistress of the powerful newspaper publisher William Randolph Hearst.

Speaking from her home in the Catskills, Seyfried said her mother woke her up to let her know she'd been nominated.

"Just swung the door open and said, 'You got it,'" she said.

The star calls the role "a turning point."

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In real life, Herman Mankiewicz and Davies both came from New York City, and though she reached the heights of Hollywood, Davies never lost her Brooklyn accent.

For Seyfried, that meant employing an accent coach.

"The secret here is subtlety is your friend," Seyfried said.

And she brings that same subtlety to her entire performance, which earned the star her first Academy Award nomination.

"This just felt like a bonus," she said. "A massive bonus that I wasn't looking for, I wasn't expecting, but I'm freely welcoming it in."

The scene where audiences first meet Davies ended up being the last to be shot, or re-shot, after director David Fincher was unhappy with an earlier version.

"It had to be perfect," Seyfried.

But by the time they shot it again, the performer was pregnant with her second child.

"I thought it was going to be a lot harder than it was," she said. "I think my son added dimension to that scene."

Her son and daughter adorn Seyfried's Instagram feed, along with a menagerie of animals, and photos of them appear next to images of the star in full glam mode.

Home base is a farm she purchased more than half a dozen years ago.

"I wanted land and horses, and I'm happy being alone," she said. "I feel safe up here, and I feel like I can be completely at ease."

Seyfried grew up in Allentown, Pennsylvania. She said the support in here hometown was strong.

"That grounds you, and makes you feel like anything is possible," she said. "Also, my expectations weren't that high. I just knew what I wanted to do. Nobody in Allentown ever made me feel like it wasn't possible."

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Once married, she was happy to discover that her husband "feels right at home as well."

And in show business, that refuge is important.

"There's a level of importance that are placed on things that maybe in the grand scheme of things aren't that important," she said.

But her Oscar nomination for "Mank" is definitely a milestone, which is why she and her family will travel to Los Angeles for the ceremony.

"I think we're all kind of just trying to show up and show everybody what's possible and that we're back to celebrate for good," she said.

She sees the Oscars show as heralding a return to live events.

"A way to get the ball rolling again safely," she said. "I wouldn't miss it for the world."

Mark your calendars: April 25 is Oscar Sunday. Live coverage begins Sunday morning and continues all day with special "On The Red Carpet" coverage leading up to the 93rd Academy Awards ceremony. After the last award is handed out, stay with "On The Red Carpet" for continuing coverage. Be sure to follow @OnTheRedCarpet on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and TikTok for all your Oscar news and information.