- Golden Globe Awards
Nominee Profile 2021: Amanda Seyfried, “Mank”
Amanda Seyfried received her first Golden Globe nomination for Best Supporting Actress for her portrayal of Marion Davies in David Fincher’s Mank. She has starred in several successful movies, including Mean Girls, Mama Mia!, Letters to Juliet, Lovelace, and Fathers and Daughters.
In Mank, she plays screen icon Marion Davis, but Amanda admits she did not know a lot about her prior to making the movie. “I’d heard her name. My father is a cinephile, he collected all the movies in 16 mm, 35 mm, black and white films. I was watching Laurel and Hardy, Charlie Chaplin and James Cagney,” she said.
In Mank Gary Oldman plays, Herman Mankiewicz who, as the movie unfolds, is struggling to finish the screenplay for Orson Welles’ classic film Citizen Kane.
The wealthy industrialist, William Randolph Hearst is played by Charles Dance. The famous Hearst Castle is a symbol of great excess. “The production design of the dining room area of the castles is lavish. I could see all the dust from that era, even though it was all built for us. It felt so authentic. I would never want to live in something like that. I just think if you have that much money, be happy. Do you want to have some monkeys? Great. It’s your life. Life is short, but the things they spend money on are just insane. I mean, there’s a disparity. They have to live on a different planet. It’s not responsible. There’s that 1%, they always exist, you just hope that they’re giving away at least half of their incomes. I think everyone’s entitled to living their lives and earning money and having fun with it. But at the same time, you’re also responsible for not creating such a gap between you and the rest of the world. If anything you see that Hearst and Marion love each other and they have fun.”
Despite the lavish environment in which the movie plays, Amanda said she struggled to make her Marion Davis somehow relatable for audiences.
“I’m trying to make her relatable because when I first read the script I thought, “oh I could be her friend, she seems really funny and super humble”. And I think it was hard for me to try to get all those aspects in a few scenes. It’s a movie and I only had a few opportunities to embody her and make her relatable and kind of understood and give her a deeper life than most people know.
“The people who have heard of her, I think, will be surprised at how grounded she was in a lot of ways, how quirky she was, how intelligent she was. Marion Davies was a person, a human being very full of depth and there’s always more to the story. The script allowed me to find ways to do that pretty easily.”
Amanda says she always searches for truth in her characters but does it with a great sense of curiosity. She talks about one scene, in particular, that shows director David Fincher’s mastery of his medium.
“There were just so many people; I don’t think I’d ever done a scene where that many people were actually speaking to each other in one scene. It was terrifying sitting there, even the last day, even though I’d done it a million times I still was terrified that I’d miss my line. And many people missed their lines from not being able to hear each other. And it was just a marathon. But that’s the thing about Fincher’s movies is that everything’s a marathon, not a sprint so you get the time to perfect your performance.”