One of this year's stand-out films is Mank, director David Fincher's black-and-white story about the making of Citizen Kane.
The film is leading the road to the Oscars with 10 nominations, including for Best Picture and Best Director. Amanda Seyfried was also nominated for Best Supporting Actress for her role as Marion Davies, the movie star who was famously linked to billionaire media mogul William Randolph Hearst.
In an interview on LA Times Today, Seyfried joined host Lisa McRee to talk about the award buzz and playing old Hollywood glamour.
Marion Davies' character was a rare historical figure for Seyfried to portray, and she believes Davies did not get the recognition she deserved throughout her career.
"My first reaction to knowing that David Fincher was doing this movie was that I felt like I knew who Marion Davies was," said Seyfried. "Most people know her as this myth, the inspiration behind the famous character Susan Alexandra Kane from Citizen Kane. And what a bummer of a legacy, because it does not really reflect the contributions she had to the industry."
To many, Davies is known as William Randolph Hearst's mistress, but she had a lot to offer when it came to her career as an actress.
"She had a great sense of humor," Seyfried said. "She understood what her role was in certain circles, and she also knew how to survive to negotiate her way around with these men with all these facades. That is why I love the character and the relationship between Mank and Marion. The connection they had was very beautiful because it is very pure in a world that is a little murky."
David Fincher could not film Hearst Castle, but the Mank production designer built a replica of the legendary location. Seyfried explained that the recreation was as authentic as it can be.
"I think they left no stone unturned when it came to the production design. When working with David Fincher, he spares no expense. He wants to make it as real as possible. He wanted it to feel like a movie that was shot in the 1930s. It was incredible. When you look at the set, it looks exactly like the dining room at Hearst Castle. It is insane."
Seyfried got to work alongside Gary Oldman, who plays Herman Mankiewicz. She explained how their great chemistry came from having worked with each other before.
"We had done a movie about a decade ago together, and we have a very similar way of working. We love to find a joke in everything, whether in a scene or on set between takes. We are comfortable with each other, and thankfully Marion and Mank are comfortable with each other. So we use a lot of the familiarity between us to fuel the dynamic between the two characters."
When it comes to this year's award season and virtual award shows, Seyfried said she enjoys participating from home.
"You do similar things. You pluck your eyebrows, you do your nails, and you wax your own legs. It is really interesting. Depending on the show, they set it up for you, and all the tech is ready. Would I have it any other way? No, because I do not miss the red carpet. I do not miss the anxiety that comes around stepping on other people's dresses and running into people you are intimidated by, and I do not miss certain aspects of it. I do miss being with Gary, David Fincher, and the cast and crew. Also, I would not have been able to bring my son on the red carpet or have my daughter in one of her dresses next to me like I did at the Golden Globes. So it is working out for me.
Mank is available for streaming on Netflix.
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