Amanda Seyfried is unwell.
It’s early January, and the flu bug that’s been leaping from host to host in Los Angeles like a zombie plague (more on that later) seems to have found its way to Seyfried. Your mom knows Seyfried from “Mamma Mia!“; that hip friend of yours raves about her work on “Veronica Mars.” Beginning Feb. 5, Seyfried will be seen in “Dear John,” a new film adaptation of yet another novel by Nicholas Sparks (“The Notebook,” “A Walk to Remember“), playing the long-distance love of Channing Tatum‘s far-flung solider. Even though she’s sniffling and tired, she knows she’s here to talk about “Dear John.” And so Seyfried and I talk about the movie’s appeal, not to audiences, but to her: What, I ask, was the thing that made her want to sign on?
She knows exactly why: “It’s as simple as the fact that love makes you want to be in love, and playing in love, playing the Juliet to someone’s Romeo, is the all-time dream of mine. I used to watch ‘Romeo + Juliet‘ over and over again, the Baz Luhrmann version, the very, very genius Baz Luhrmann version, and I wanted to be Claire Danes. I wanted to be that. And I think that’s what propelled me to where I am today, it absolutely did. I don’t even think so, I know it. I know that’s what it is, and it’s like the dream role, to be able to make people feel that way. I’m sorry, but it’s undeniable, the way watching two people fall in love makes you feel.”
And, as an actress, there’s also got to be the appeal of the part’s biggest challenge: to plunge into the emotional deep end so fully. “Yeah, I’m so connected to that part of me,” Seyfried says. “I’m a romantic, or at least I think I am. And I’m very close to the feelings of being in love and the initial surges of electricity that go through you, and I just tap into that. It’s exciting to feel that, even if you’re not really feeling that, not even for a moment, and to put that in other people, it’s so cool. I love ‘The Notebook,’ I love all of those stories, and then I get to be one of the two lovers. It’s really exciting.”
Exciting, to be sure. But, I also have to ask, isn’t it a little exhausting? It’s kind of like the equivalent of high-performance athletics: You’re going into this elevated state every day on a regular basis while you’re making the film; like a runner has to run, you have to be in love. How tiring is that? “It’s not,” Seyfried says. “I would say being scared every day, trying to get to an elevated sense of fear that’s not normal is to me much more challenging than being in love, because you just go into a happy place for a while.”
— From MSN Movies’ “The Rundown”