Blonde, doe-eyed, and multi-talented, Amanda Seyfried has avoided being typecast in feature films by excelling in a wide variety of roles. She’s been a tortured adult film star in a controversial biopic, a final girl in a teen horror comedy, and the romantic heroine in a vibrant jukebox musical. Seyfried has done it all.
She reprises her Mamma Mia! role in Mamma Mia! Here We Go Again, opening on July 20. As we put on our dancing shoes for the long-awaited sequel, let’s celebrate Seyfried’s career with a look at her best roles.
Alpha Dog (2006)
This Nick Cassavetes crime drama looks at a group of hedonistic teenagers, with an all-star cast featuring Bruce Willis, Sharon Stone, Amber Heard, Justin Timberlake, and Olivia Wilde. Seyfried plays Julie, the girlfriend of a troubled young runaway whose brother is in debt to drug dealers. Seyfried’s young character breaks up the film’s bleakest and darkest moments, the most infamous being a pool scene in which characters played by Seyfried and Heard play Marco Polo with Anton Yelchin’s runaway.
Mean Girls (2004)
I’m a mouse. Duh. Amanda Seyfried has called this Tina Fey-penned teen comedy some of her best work, and we’re inclined to agree. Seyfried’s performance as Karen Smith, the airhead best friend of mean girls Regina George and Gretchen Weiners, gives dimension to the group of high school clique queens, and helps solidify the film’s reputation as a classic. While Seyfried’s character isn’t given much of a backstory, she does get some of the film’s most quotable lines, including the infamous “on Wednesdays we wear pink.”
This remake of the 2003 French film Nathalie… stars Seyfried as a call girl hired by a doctor (Julianne Moore) to have an affair with her husband (Liam Neeson). The catch is that the young woman has to report her experiences back to back to the doctor. Critics praised Seyfried’s performance as the powerfully erotic but cold Chloe, and the vibrant on-screen chemistry between her and Moore.
Les Miserables (2012)
The stage musical is known to leave audiences in tears before the first intermission, so fans expected the film adaptation to be bleak. Instead, director Tom Hooper’s Les Miserables was a triumph. It is vibrant, stunning, and unique in its delivery, with all the actors singing live in their scenes. While Seyfried was lightly criticized for her singing, she performed Cosette with raw emotion and empathy.
This controversial biopic chronicles the troubled life of ’70s adult film star Linda Lovelace. While she looked like a star of the then-new adult film movement, behind the camera she suffered years of cruelty and abuse from her husband, who also acted as Lovelace’s manager. The title role was originally offered to Lindsay Lohan before Seyfried took the job. Her ability to project a natural naïveté drove a strong, credible performance that captured the coy and seductive charm Linda was famous for.
Jennifer’s Body (2009)
Screenwriter Diablo Cody’s follow-up to the critically acclaimed Juno features Seyfried as the sweet and nerdy Anita “Needy” Lesnicki, who transforms from shy and submissive doormat to badass knife-wielding hero. Needy’s evolution is driven by her unlikely best friend, the glamorous cheerleader Jennifer (Megan Fox), who is dealing with a minor demonic possession issue. (Spoiler: it’s not a minor issue at all; actually it’s kind of a big deal.) Jennifer’s Body is a campy and wildly entertaining ride for horror fans, and Seyfried is the perfect final girl.
Mamma Mia! (2008)
Seyfried is the heart of this feel-good summer musical about a young bride-to-be on a mission to find out which of her mother’s lovers are her actual father. Seyfried’s Sophie is warm and determined, and maintains an almost heart-shattering optimism even in the face of great uncertainty. Mamma Mia! was nominated for several awards, including the Golden Globe for Best Motion Picture: Comedy or Musical. With a cast that also features Meryl Streep, Pierce Brosnan, Colin Firth, and Stellan Skarsgard, Seyfried gets to dance and play through scenes that are bursting with talent.
Catch Mamma Mia! Here We Go Again in theaters on July 20.