FILM TALK: Allentown-born Amanda Seyfried talks finding love on set, expecting her first child

Amanda Seyfried  stars as Anne Sherman in “The Last Word.”
PHOTO BY BETH DUBBER COURTESY OF BLEECKER STREET Amanda Seyfried stars as Anne Sherman in “The Last Word.”
Amanda Seyfried, from left, stars as Anne Sherman, Shirley MacLaine as Harriet Lauler and AnníJewel Lee as Brenda in Mark Pellingtonís “The Last Word.”
PHOTO BY BETH DUBBER COURTESY OF BLEECKER STREET Amanda Seyfried, from left, stars as Anne Sherman, Shirley MacLaine as Harriet Lauler and AnníJewel Lee as Brenda in Mark Pellingtonís “The Last Word.”

Allentown native Amanda Seyfried came away from “The Last Word” with more than a starring role in a crowd-pleasing comedy. She also found a fiancé.

Seyfried and co-star Thomas Sadoski first met when they appeared together off-Broadway in the Neil LaBute play “The Ways We Get By” but love blossomed during the making of their new movie “The Last Word.”

Now, Seyfried and Sadoski are not only planning a wedding but they’re expecting their first child, which is due, according to the actress, “in a couple of weeks.”

Pregnancy has been mostly a blast for Seyfried but as she soldiers through a weekend’s worth of interviews on behalf of “The Last Word,” she admits she’s more than ready for the main event.


“It’s definitively an amazing time,” says Seyfried. “I’m happy to be promoting ‘The Last Word,’ because it means a lot to me, but right now I’m at the point that I just want to get my baby out.

“Relaxing doesn’t come easy. I’m experiencing levels of discomfort that I’m not used to. But it’ll be over soon.”

The prospect of becoming a first-time mom has already taught Seyfried some important life lessons.

“The biggest surprise is that I am forced to live in the present moment,” says the actress, 31. “The pregnancy has gone really fast and really slow at the same time. It’s tough to explain.

“There’s been so many different emotional phases that correlate with all of the physical phases of pregnancy. And it’s becoming more and more real the more we do to prepare. Yet you still can’t really imagine it.

“I think it was Buddha or the Dalai Lama who said, ‘The mother is born when the child is born.’ And that is true. So I’m not really a mother yet.”

The Seyfried/Sadoski chemistry is on full view in “The Last Word,” which opens March 17 in Philadelphia.

In the movie, Seyfried plays an obit writer named Anne Sherman who develops a friendship with eccentric businesswoman and control freak Harriet Lauler (Shirley MacLaine) after Harriet insists Anne write her obituary while she’s still alive.

Initially, the relationship between the pair is rocky. As Anne talks to the people from Harriet’s past, including her daughter (Anne Heche) and ex-husband (Philip Baker Hall), she discovers a woman who is anything but beloved.

But, despite that, Anne decides to join Harriet on a mission to make the last act of Harriet’s life a good one. Along the way, they’re joined by a youngster (AnnJewel Lee) from a local community center.

Seyfried says she was drawn to “The Last Word” for one reason: to work with MacLaine.

By coincidence, Seyfried has found herself starring opposite some of the most respected actresses in the movie business.

It began when she played Meryl Streep’s daughter in “Mamma Mia” and continued with roles opposite Vanessa Redgrave in “Letters to Juliet,” Julie Christie in “Red Riding Hood,” Julianne Moore in “Chloe,” Jane Fonda in “Fathers and Daughters;’ and Diane Keaton in “The Big Wedding” and “Love The Coopers.”

Now, Seyfried is sharing scenes with MacLaine, the 82-year-old icon and two-time Oscar winner.

“I always wanted to work with Shirley and never expected to,” says Seyfried. “What I love about her is that she’s completely who she is in every moment. ... She’s a force. I have never met anyone like her before and I’m sure I won’t again.

“She believes what she believes and is not apologetic about it. And for someone like me who is very apologetic and judgmental of myself, [she was a revelation]. I’m trying to grow out of that but to be around someone who has that inner light, it was important for me.

“Actually, for females everywhere, it’s so great to see someone so strong. She’s a better human than an actress, and that’s saying a lot.”

Seyfried’s male lead in the movie is Sadoski, who plays a manager at a radio station where MacLaine’s character begins dee-jaying.

“Tommy is someone who I really respect. And it was fun to work with him in a different capacity. And I like him as a human being too.

“I’d love to follow in Paul Newman and Joanne Woodward’s footsteps. I think it’s possible. He’s an extraordinary actor. I look up to him. I hope this movie is the second of many collaborations.”

If working with MacLaine was the biggest lure of “The Last Word,” Seyfried also appreciated making a movie that featured good roles for three generations of women.

“I liked that it had such a female-centric plot, and that we really ran with that,” she says. “And its one of those movies that doesn’t take itself too seriously but there is a meaningful message there. I like that mix of feelings in the movie. As soon as I read it, I thought, ‘This could be really fun.’ ”

Seyfried admits she was also intrigued by the character of Anne Sherman, a young woman stuck writing obits only because she’s too insecure to pursue her passion for penning free-form essays.

“I could relate to her,” says the actress. “It’s really hard to get your act running, and be that confident go-getter.

“I think for whatever reason, there are some parts of me that feel like I don’t deserve [success]. I don’t want to step on anyone’s toes. I want everyone to like me

“I think Anne is stuck in that mind-set of worrying about failure. A lot of people go through that. But it’s such a waste of time. Failing is what teaches you.”

Upcoming from the actress is “The Clapper,” in which she joins an eclectic cast (Ed Helms, Leah Remini, Adam Levine, Tracy Morgan, Alan Thicke, Brenda Vaccaro) for a black comedy about a man whose life is curdled by 15 minutes of fame.

Seyfried will also star in “Anon,” another sci-fi thriller from her “In Time” filmmaker Andrew Nichol; an as-yet-untitled mystery project directed by Nash Edgerton and co-starring Joel Edgerton, Viggo Mortensen and Charlize Theron; and “First Reformed,” a drama from “Taxi Driver” helmer Paul Schrader.

First up, Seyfried will play Becky in David Lynch’s sequel/reboot/re-imaging of “Twin Peaks,” set to begin airing on Showtime in April.

“David Lynch is from another planet,” she says. “And I got to visit that planet. He’s extraordinary. I don’t remember him ever not smiling. It seems like he’s having a lot of fun in his life. He’s really happy. I think he keeps the crazy experiences for audiences.”

Seyfried has yet to see Lynch’s “Twin Peaks” reboot, which has been shrouded in secrecy ever since it was shot. She spent only five days on the set and is not allowed to discuss much about the project.

“I’m so into [David Lynch] and fought really hard to be a part of that,” she says. “I hope I made it [in the final cut] but you never know.”