Amanda Seyfried has scored her first Oscar nomination, for her role as Marion Davies in David Fincher’s biographical drama Mank. Her nod is one of 10 for the 1930s-set film about alcoholic screenwriter Herman J. Mankiewicz as he races to finish Citizen Kane.
Seyfried caught up with The Hollywood Reporter after receiving the news that the film led the pack this year with the most nominations, including best picture.
Where were you this morning?
I’m in Georgia. My husband’s working, but I didn’t sleep last night. I mean I’m a sleeper. I’m really good at it, even though I have a 6-month-old. We all sleep. And last night, I was excited and anxious. It’s a big turning point for me in my career to be a part of something that’s so recognized and for my own singular performance to be recognized. It’s really nice. To be recognized by your peers — you don’t expect it but when it happens, it just deepens my clarity on having chosen my career.
Did you watch the nominations as they were announced?
I didn’t. I was like, “I’ll just wait until my publicist calls me.” But [I decided I wanted to] let my mom tell me something for a change. It’s always been my mom and me, like my whole career. So I’m gonna let her tell me the good news or bad news — the good or not-as-good news, which is really what it is. And so, I didn’t put my ringer on and I was like, “If I fall asleep. Great. Then she can wake me up with it.” And she did! She woke me up with the news.
That’s such a sweet way to find out.
[It was] a beautiful way to find out. I have not gotten on the internet yet, which is very rare for me. I would have been up before the nominations for sure. My body knew that I cared.
Mank is leading nominations with 10. How does that feel?
The first thing that comes to mind is, I’m not surprised because it was a feat. It’s a masterpiece. It’s David Fincher, and the people he hires are of his caliber. It took me a while to feel like I deserved to be on set — that he had chosen me and he trusted me — but you get there. At a certain point you just have to rise to the occasion, and I believe that 100 percent of the people that are involved in this movie, every little piece, is why it is what it is. It feels like it was made in the past, and it’s not easy to do that. We got to re-examine the legacy of someone who has not been deserving of the legacy that he had. There’s just a lot of beautiful things happening in the movie. That’s the whole point. [It’s a] well-written, beautiful movie that’s well-deserving of the recognition because it’s had a really big impact on people, much like Citizen Kane did. So kudos to David. It’s not like I ever questioned whether or not he was going to nail it. I just questioned whether or not I was going to be enough.
You said you hadn’t been on the internet yet, but have you spoken to anyone yet from the film?
No, I was starting to go through emails. I have not yet talked to David. I got something really funny from Gary [Oldman, who also scored an acting nod his role in Mank]. So that was really funny and great, but I haven’t written back yet. And Lily [Collins] texted!
Because I get to go [to the Oscars ceremony] as a nominee, I really hope that everybody is either vaccinated or has had COVID so they can show up and not feel scared. That will be our way of finally getting to celebrate what we made!
That would be so nice to get to celebrate in person finally.
To be able to celebrate is really special, and I needed something to celebrate. I really did. I think people want to get back to life and it’s still not safe. So everybody needs a little pick me up, and this is a fucking giant win for me.
Thank you! I’m so happy we could chat about this today.
I’ll never be done talking about Mank if I can help it. It’s like having a baby! My favorite thing is when people ask how my birth went. It’s crazy because you take an amazing experience and a hard experience, and you want to share it. I’m not saying that making Mank was like having a baby, I’m saying the pride in it is like…I could talk about it all day. So, thank you for talking to me about it.