Following starring roles in Mean Girls, Mama Mia and the popular HBO show Big Love, this is her first real adult part. It’s a complicated and showy role for the twenty-five-year-old actress, and she credits Egoyan with pushing her to deepen the character by exploring every facet of Chloe’s life.
“It’s a broad spectrum of emotions the audience feels about her,” she says, “and in order to make the audience feel that way you have to play it right and in order for me to play it right I had to have Atom Egoyan.
“Mr. Egoyan,” she continues, “is a genius and he’s what good filmmaking is all about. I know it’s going to be difficult for me to choose my next project based on what I just went through with him. It has raised the bar into a very high place.”
It’s obvious that Seyfried admires Egoyan, but it appears to be a mutual appreciation society. In a separate interview the director called the actress’s audition “exceptional.”
“There were a lot more famous people than her we considered but she was our gal,” he said. “We knew that from the moment we did the audition. There was just something about her. Fortunately in the intervening period she suddenly became a star with Mama Mia.”
Her star was on the rise before they made the film, but on the first day Egoyan had a moment of doubt.
“I have this reputation for hiring very young actresses,” he says, “and the day she arrived in Toronto, I thought, ‘My God, she’s a child. We’ve made a mistake.’ But we needed the separation in age between Julianne [Moore] and her. That was really very important.”
Any doubts were soon quashed when Seyfried went to work, however.
“She’s a really good actress. She really grew into the role,” he says. “It’s about a relationship you have with some actors. You feel like you are doing your job because you are able to ignite something they are capable of expressing. I don’t mean to in anyway objectify, but it’s like working with a beautiful instrument. That’s what she has.”