Amanda Seyfried on the 'Maternal' Anne Hathaway and Staying Sane During 'Les Mis'

7:29 AM PST 12/11/2012 by Jordan Zakarin
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At the New York premiere of her great musical epic, the actress spoke to THR about her castmates, the emotional shoot and her feelings about red carpets.

Amanda Seyfried made two things clear Monday night: how lucky she felt to be at the center of the great madness of the streets in 1830s Paris and that 2012 New York's insanity was less of a dream come true.

The 27-year-old actress, who plays lovelorn Cosette in director Tom Hooper's big-screen adaptation of Les Miserables, walked the red carpet at the Ziegfeld Theatre in Midtown Manhattan at the film's premiere, where she was the subject of photographers screaming in competition for her attention. In an enclosed tent that stood next to the theater, the bellowing echoed round and round, amplifying their calls.

STORY: Inside the Fight to Bring 'Les Mis' to the Screen

When Seyfried spoke with The Hollywood Reporter, the first question was obvious: Does all that screaming make her more likely to look at a photographer?

"It makes me want to spew fire at them," she said, rolling her eyes. Her better nature kicked in, however, and she added, "I feel bad for generalizing. Some of them are so awesome. Some of them …"

On the subject of Les Miserables, though, she was nothing less than glowing.

THR: Anne Hathaway plays your mother, Fantine. Have you started calling her mom yet?

Seyfried: [Laughing] She’s three years older than me. But she’s a very maternal, graceful woman that it’s hard not to have these kind of warm feelings for her. She’s very maternal. She’s got to have kids at some point. She’d be the perfect mother.

THR: Did you work with your 10-year-old self, Isabelle Allen?

Seyfried: Yeah, yeah, we’re e-mail buddies now. She’s got a whole different life now. She’s so good, though. Man, she’s effortless, and it’s so wonderful to watch somebody come into this world so bright-eyed, and she’s really taking it well. It’s a zoo, and she represents our movie, and I couldn’t imagine anybody else. She’s the perfect poster child for Les Mis.

PHOTOS: 'Les Mis' Stars Pose for THR

THR: What did you concentrate most on? The singing? The story? Something else?

Seyfried: The only thing I thought about was how I was going to make my character more interesting; how the Marius and Cosette relationship could be more profound and how I could sing better. And it’s an exhausting process.

THR: What's it like watching the film in a theater with an audience?

Seyfried: It just comes alive. It’s a movie full of magic, the show is full of magic. When you have the energy of an audience, it just hits home more for you.

THR: So when you’re singing onscreen, do you feel self-conscious?

Seyfried: Yeah, I’ve very self-deprecating, but at the same time, I am up there, and I’m grateful to have had the opportunity to have been able to do it. It feels surreal sometimes. But yeah, there are a lot of things that goes through an actor’s mind when they’re watching themselves with an audience, but it’s not even really about that for me at the end of the day. It was what it was about when I was doing it. I can’t fix it, so I’m detached from it in a way.

PHOTOS: 'Les Mis' World Premiere in London

THR: It’s such an exhausting role. What did you do after a day of shooting? How did you unwind?

Seyfried: I knit a lot. I knit so much. Just making, I don’t know what they’re called, snugs? With this amazing cashmere I got outside of Portland. I can go on about that. I was doing a lot of knitting. There was no wine at the end of the long day, we didn’t go party at the end of a long day. We all kind of went to our separate holes and took care of ourselves for the next day. At least from my experience, I know I just kind of hibernated.

THR: I don’t knit, but I can understand.

Seyfried: Sitting. On my own. Eating whatever I got from Marks and Spencer and watching whatever is on Sky Movies. It was actually awesome. I love being alone.

THR: For once in your life.

Seyfried: That’s the cool thing about making movies; you can kind of create your own cave if you’d like. People are more willing to give you your space.

THR: Is there a song you didn’t sing that you would have liked to have sung?

Seyfried: "Little Fall of Rain," I like that song. I auditioned with that song.

Email: Jordan.Zakarin@THR.com; Twitter: @JordanZakarin

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