At age 35, Amanda Seyfried has already had an incredible Hollywood career, from her breakout role in Mean Girls to her performances in such acclaimed films as Mamma Mia! and Les Misérables.
This year, Seyfried has received some of the strongest acclaim in her accomplished career for her portrayal of real-life actress Marion Davies in Mank, which has earned Seyfried her first Golden Globe and Academy Award nominations for Best Supporting Actress.
But despite all her success, Seyfried still has a deep appreciation for where she came from: right here in the Lehigh Valley.
“I still feel that’s my home; that’s where I grew up, those were my formative years,” Seyfried said in an interview with Lehigh Valley television station WFMZ last month. “I’m not bigger than life, I’m just on a screen sometimes. … I hope you can feel my Allentown roots, because they live in me forever.”
Seyfried spent the first 17 years of her life in Allentown, in the same home where her family still lives today. She is a graduate of William Allen High School, which she attended while also commuting to work on All My Children and other soap operas during her senior year.
“I remember working at the candy store in the basement, those lollipops that taste like caramel apples,” Seyfried said of the school during the interview, which was conducted by WFMZ reporter Ali Reid.
Her career got its start here in the Lehigh Valley. At 8 years old, Seyfried began modeling after signing with the Allentown-based Image International, and later with Bethlehem’s Pro Model agency, according to The Morning Call.
Despite her bustling career as an actress, Seyfried loves to come back to the Lehigh Valley when she can, particularly during the holidays. She spoke fondly of Trexler Park, Yocco’s, and the Allentown Fairgrounds Farmers Market, and of her friends sending her faschnauts from Mary Ann Donut Kitchen, which she said makes “the best donuts in the entire world.”
“I love going back,” Seyfried said of the Lehigh Valley in the WFMZ interview. “I love being home. My dad still lives in that house, and he still has my cat. … I just feel like I’m back to being a kid when I get back.”
After early roles in soap operas like As the World Turns and All My Children, Seyfried gained prominence in 2004 with her scene-stealing turn in the teen comedy Mean Girls, in which she portrayed the popular and dim-witted friend of the film’s teenage antagonist, played by Rachel McAdams.
She followed that film with notable roles in the HBO series Big Love and successful movies like Mamma Mia!, Jennifer’s Body, Les Misérables, Lovelace, and Ted 2, among many others.
Her latest film, Mank, is about screenwriter Herman J. Mankiewicz (played by Gary Oldman) and his work on the screenplay for Citizen Kane. When director David Fincher began casting the film, he had Seyfried in mind from the very beginning for the part of Marion Davies, according to The New York Times.
The Academy Awards ceremony will be held on April 25. But whether she takes home the Oscar or not, Seyfried wants the people from Lehigh Valley to know that she still considers herself one of them.
“I feel like all the people I grew up with and my community there has my back,” Seyfried told WFMZ. “For the people who know of me and know that I’m from there, I really like the support. I really like feeling that I’m still home when I go back there.”
Photo Credit: © Glenn Francis, www.PacificProDigital.com