With the recent rash of revenge flicks comes heroine-driven thriller Gone, starring Amanda Seyfried. The young actress has starred in a number of films in her career that so far defies type-casting. She stole scenes as a wide-eyed and gorgeous idiot in Tina Fey's Mean Girls, showed off her singing chops alongside Meryl Streep in Mamma Mia!, and recently starred in the dystopian sci-fi thriller In Time. In Gone, Seyfried plays a traumatized kidnapping survivor who believes her younger sister has been taken by the very same serial killer she escaped. The ingénue spoke with Buzzine's Emmanuel Itier about what drew her to this film, the physicality of shooting a break-neck thriller, and her next film, the racy biography of '70s porn star Linda Lovelace.
Emmanuel Itier: Tell me what attracted you to Gone? Was it to work with a Brazilian young director?
Amanda Seyfried: That was one of them. I saw Adrift after I read the script, and it’s really flawless, so I thought if he could bring that emotional intensity that he had in Adrift to a really smart psychological thriller, it would be a really good collaboration. The script was really fun. I like this genre. This is the kind of movie that I would go see. It’s scary, in the best way, and it’s a smart movie, so you get to really kind of think a little bit while you’re watching it. It’s like putting together a puzzle for two hours. And the pace is right there. It takes you to the edge of your seat, and then it’s very satisfying at the end. So it’s good. It’s just my kind of movie. I’m glad I finally got to do something like this.
EI: Are you that type of girl – the bad-*ss, kick-*ss girl that takes her destiny in her hands? Did you put a little bit of yourself in it?
AS: I didn’t really put myself in it. She was loosely based on my sister, at the beginning, and then when stuff really gets going and her sister is gone, I just went off into this other character who is just fearless, because I have never had to deal with a situation where I had nothing to lose like on this level, so I channeled Ashley Judd a little bit.
EI: How was shooting on location in Portland? It seems like the shoot was intense.
AS: It was intense, but in all the best ways. Portland is beautiful, and to have a movie set there is smart because there’s a lot of depth; there’s a lot going on in the city, there’s an amazing energy there. It’s really clean and green and dense in the wooded areas. Obviously there’s a lot of green and a lot of mountains and stuff, so it was a perfect place for a thriller to take place, because there are a lot of places that people could hide bodies.
EI: Was there a particular scene that was more challenging than another?
AS: Yeah, it was difficult trying to prove to myself, prove to the cops that I was sane and that I was really struggling, that my sister was really actually gone, because I have no credibility with them because I had been in a hospital after I was kidnapped, or after I claim to have been kidnapped, so when you’re trying to force someone into believing you, and all you have is your body language and your words, it’s really hard. People are just not letting you through, and it’s frustrating. So she really was the only person that could possibly save her sister, and herself, from this lunatic who’s killing people and burying women in the Forest Park.
EI: Tell me about the other great role you just finished shooting – Linda Lovelace. How was it, and what, again, attracted you to play her?
AS: It’s completely different. I’ve never played a person who’s actually existed, and that can be really tough – trying to capture someone’s essence like that, and validate their story, and tell it in the way they would want you to tell it. It was such a whirlwind…but the most rewarding experience of my life, for sure. But it’s real life. It was someone’s reality, and that’s really tough. You end up taking that home with you.
EI: What surprised you about her world?
AS: She was forced into everything! She was forced into pornography. Deep Throat, for her, was really just an escape from her husband. Fame was an escape from her husband. Her façade of being happy and smiling on the red carpet and posing for Playboy and all that stuff – she was really unhappy and really damaged, and physically, sexually, and mentally abused the entire time. And there’s so much about her that no one knows. Unless you read her autobiography, you wouldn’t know. So we’re turning the tables on what the public thinks – on what their idea of her is -- and it’s gonna be interesting.
Summit Entertainment's 'Gone' is released in theaters on February 24, 2012.