NY Times – In Netflix’s new drama “Mank,” directed by David Fincher and due Friday on Netflix, Seyfried plays Marion Davies, the 1920s and ’30s screen star better known today as the mistress of the newspaper magnate William Randolph Hearst. It’s a relationship that would be fictionalized for Orson Welles’s roman à clef “Citizen Kane,” and “Mank” chronicles that process, as the screenwriter Herman Mankiewicz (Gary Oldman) reminisces about the years he spent partying at Hearst’s San Simeon estate, a glittery Shangri-La where Davies became a confidante with whom he could share gossip and gin.
[…] When Marion’s not onscreen, you wish she was, but Seyfried is not used to being deemed the standout: When reading the rave reviews for “First Reformed” (2018), in which she played a pregnant widow beseeching Ethan Hawke’s conflicted pastor, Seyfried was happy just to get an honorable mention. She has found that most of the time when critics name her, it’s in a parenthetical telling you who played the daughter or the girlfriend. “Skating through like that has been my experience, mostly,” she said.
[…] Despite her fair share of hits, Seyfried was still shocked when she ran into Quentin Tarantino at the airport recently and he knew who she was. “Keep your expectations low,” she told me, “and you’ll be pleasantly surprised.” Last fall, when her agent relayed that Fincher had her in mind for “Mank,” Seyfried’s eyes filled with tears. “It’s really nice to be respected by somebody that you think is just a one-of-a-kind master of his domain,” she said.
[…] “We all knew that Amanda was luminescent, we all knew that she was effervescent, we all knew that she was funny,” he [Ficher] said. “We all knew that she understood how to parse or set up a joke, and we all knew that she could be moving. I think the thing that was ultimately surprising was the mercurial nature of how quickly she could scramble through those things, because it gives Marion this whole other dimension.”
[…] Safety is a priority for Seyfried, and she wants it to be a priority for Hollywood, too. She was reminded of this over the summer during a contentious vote to ratify the new Screen Actors Guild contract. “There was a lot of infighting, and it was really hard to know where I stood,” she said. Ultimately, Seyfried voted no, because she felt the contract didn’t do enough to protect actors who are shooting intimate scenes: “I just feel like really, this industry is not as safe as it wants to be.”
[…] No matter how her “Mank” performance fares this awards season, all the time she has spent on her farm this year has given Seyfried the ability to see these things much more clearly.
“This movie is definitely the best opportunity I’ve had in my career, and it is absolutely shifting my career for the better,” she said. “But without it, I was just as happy, because I’ve made space for myself to feel accomplished in my own world.”