From Mean Girls to The Dropout: the chaotic career of Amanda Seyfried

Opera career


Hulu’s The stall premiered its first three episodes on March 3 to critical acclaim. Currently sitting at an impressive 90% on Rotten Tomatoes, the series has garnered praise for the performance of its leading lady, Amanda Seyfried, with virtually all critics raving about her career best work. In many ways, The stall is the crowning achievement of the actress’ career, a disturbing performance that deftly balances allure, absurdism and desperation, much like disgraced entrepreneur and series subject Elizabeth Holmes did in the real life.

Seyfried has had a fascinating but unexpected career. Since his film debut in the now iconic mean girls, Seyfried has been a constant presence on the big screen, experimenting with many genres, from erotic thriller to wholesome musical comedy. Ups and downs abound on her resume, giving her filmography an undeniable sense of chaos that is nonetheless alluring, mostly because of her. Even in his less well-received films, Seyfried remains magnetic, a consistent high in the lowest lows. Her beauty is obvious, but it’s her aura, a unique blend of impeccable innocence and unspoken experience, that keeps audiences engaged.

It’s a mouse… duh!

The main cast of the film Mean Girls posing for a promo photo
Primal Images, 2004

Born and raised in Pennsylvania, Seyfried made her acting debut on the popular soap opera As the world turns before getting acquainted with mean girls. When it premiered in April 2004, hardly anyone expected mean girls become so successful. Infinitely quotable, acid and insightful, mean girls revitalized the struggling teenage genre, cemented Lindsay Lohan as the undisputed queen of the early 2000s, and launched the career of scene-stealer Rachel McAdams.

Seyfried plays Karen Smith, the dimwitted third member of The Plastics who doesn’t know how to spell “orange”. In more ways than one, Seyfried has the toughest job among actors. Virtue and density are two of the hardest things to describe, and many who attempt to do so fail miserably. Still, Seyfried makes Karen’s stupidity seem natural and harmless, inviting the audience to laugh with her instead of at her.

A song to sing

Sophe singing on her balcony in Mamma Mia!
Universal Images, 2008

Following the success of mean girlsSeyfried has played supporting roles in dramas nine lives and dominant dog and the TV series Great love. And then Mama Mia! come. The plot, built around the timeless hits of Swedish band ABBA, follows a young woman who invites three men who could all be her father to her wedding, much to her mother’s chagrin. Mama Mia! is Meryl Streep’s film through and through, but Seyfried clearly stands out. Her angelic vocals bring seductive youth to “Honey, Honey” and charming hope to “I Have A Dream,” while standing tall opposite Streep, Christine Baranski, and Julie Walters. Mama Mia! finish the job that mean girls started and elevated Seyfried to the rank of First Lady.

The actress followed the success of the musical with Jennifer’s body, Diablo Cody’s pop culture steeped take on the teen horror genre. Marketed around Megan Fox’s sex appeal, the film underperformed critically and commercially, but still did wonders for Seyfried’s career. Jennifer’s body would become the model for many of Seyfried’s projects in which the actress became the film’s only saving grace, at least in the eyes of critics. Indeed, while Jennifer’s body has been rediscovered and re-evaluated as a feminist classic in recent years, Seyfried’s future projects have not had the same luck.

chasing praise

Marius and Cosette close to each other in Les Miserables
Universal Images, 2012

Seyfried started the romantic part of his career in 2009, starring in harmless but forgettable movies like Dear John and Letters for Juliet. Always experimental, Seyfried mixed them with stories loaded with eroticism – –Chloe, Red Riding Hood – -where she played irresistible coquettes.

The praise came in 2012 with Wretched, Tom Hooper’s ambitious adaptation of the musical, itself an adaptation of Victor Hugo’s classic 1862 novel. Seyfried played the virtuous Cosette, arguably the most thankless role in history, not as flashy as Fantine or as sympathetic as Éponine. Like the other actors, Seyfried’s singing aroused some criticism, and the actress herself regrets her choices, confessing on Variety Studio: Actors on Actors that she was “very unhappy with (her) singing”. Still, Wretched became his most successful film since Mama Mia!critical and commercial.

Seyfried then plays several roles that seemed promising on paper but turn out to be disappointing in execution. Based on the life of iconic pornstar Linda Lovelace, Lovelace received mixed reviews. Praise went to Seyfried and his co-star Peter Sarsgaard, another familiar but underrated actor, but the movie itself was called forgettable. Seyfried has joined the massive cast of The big wedding, a film that critics criticized despite the talents of Robert De Niro, Diane Keaton, Susan Sarandon and Robin Williams. Finally, she played a supporting role in A Million Ways to Die in the WestSeth MacFarlane’s highly anticipated sequel to Ted which failed to match the critical and commercial success of its predecessor.

The actress then appeared in smaller films with varying degrees of success. fathers and daughters and The fighter were criticized, the latter earning her a Razzie Award nomination for Worst Actress. On the other hand, First reformed received rave reviews, and although most of the praise went to star Ethan Hawke, Seyfried’s performance received muted acclaim. In 2018, she reprized her role in the sequel to Mama Mia! – subtitle Here we go again. Once again she played second fiddle to the role of Donna, this time played by Lily James.

And the Oscar goes to…

Critics and fans hailed Seyfried’s casting in David Fincher male. A passion project for the director, male follows Herman J. Mankiewicz as he writes the screenplay for Citizen Kane. Seyfried plays Marion Davies, iconic silent star and longtime lover of William Randolph Hearst. A deeply gifted comedian with a natural ability to light up the screen, Davies saw her career decline after Hearst insisted on making her a “serious” actress. His legacy suffered further damage due to her association with the character of Susan Alexander Kane in Citizen Kane.

Seyfried plays Davies with charming passion. Unfiltered but approachable, his Davies is a perfect foil for Gary Oldman’s confrontational Mankiewicz. male is uneven and perhaps too long for its own good, but the film lights up every time Davies appears, and Seyfried knows it. Her face remains fresh and amazed in every frame, with eyes so wide and expressive they would make Bette Davis jealous. Still, his Davies is not inexperienced; Seyfried remains superficially modest, hiding deep wisdom within and only rarely revealing it.

For his performance in male, Seyfried got his first Oscar nomination. The actress had a classic narrative in her favor – the seasoned, hard-working actress who finally gets that role that showcases her long-gestating talents. Alas, while working for Charlize Theron and Natalie Portman, Seyfried returned home empty-handed, but the prize was the nomination itself. In the eyes of the Hollywood elite, Oscar still signifies prestige, a legitimization that few other things can bestow. The words “Oscar nominee” still carry considerable significance, honoring even the most questionable projects.

That the beginning

Amanda Seyfried looks shocked in The Dropout.

Seyfried’s messagemale career was somewhat quiet until The stall. Originally planned to star Kate McKinnon, The stall is the perfect vehicle for any actress. It fits in with the true crime drama craze currently dominating the entertainment landscape, while its stranger-than-fiction real-life story feels tailor-made for a TV series. Seyfried looks set for Emmy recognition, and while victory may seem unlikely, the nomination will provide her with another stepping stone on her road to eventual glory.

‘Chaotic’ might be the best word to describe Seyfried’s career. Still, there’s beauty in chaos, especially when such a compelling figure is at its center. It has no major franchise to its name, no superhero movie roles, or critically acclaimed vehicles. Yet she remains one of the most alluring actresses of her generation, fitting in perfectly in period plays and modern romances, comedies and dramas, leading a story or simply supporting it. Time and time again, in films of widely varying quality and prestige, Seyfried has proven his versatility, talent and resilience, building a career that refuses to back down. And honestly, Hollywood is much better off for it.

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