Amanda Seyfried – Interview on Jennifer's Body

Amanda Seyfried – Interview on Jennifer's Body
The actress talks about working with Megan Fox and what "Needy" really needs.
Updated: 09-17-2009

Jennifer’s Body Set Visit from 2008, Staci Layne Wilson reporting

Q: Tell us a bit about Needy. Does she live up to her name?
Amanda Seyfried: She doesn't really ever in the story or in our movie, but there was probably a point where Jennifer was being kind of demeaning, and I think it came from Jennifer probably from childhood. I think the name's been around for a long time. She's not really needy at all. Actually, Jennifer's needy. She just doesn't know it.
Q: Can you talk about the arc of this character? I mean, she starts out as Jennifer's friend, but by the end, she's fled.
Seyfried: She's independent and strong and even more aware than she is naturally. She just sees the dangers and evils of life now at such a young age that she's just kind of grown so much in a small amount of time just because she had to make a huge decision and change everything and save everyone. When you have that amount of responsibility you kind of have to grow up, and that's what she did. She's now stronger than ever.
Q: Diablo Cody, the screenwriter, suggested that in many ways you created Needy. Tell me about that process.
Seyfried: I don't think I did, did I? She created Needy. Her and Karyn [Katsuta, director] created Needy. I just brought what I knew about myself and what I knew about the character together and I kind of fused it. I always do that. This character's a pretty normal person, a pretty balanced young girl. I feel like I can relate to her in a lot of ways. I don't know. I brought my own insecurity to her. I think it's more Karyn who relates to the character more than anyone. I know she sees herself as very similar to what Needy is when she was younger. I just agree with a lot of things that Karyn has to say about Needy.
Q: How do you feel about Diablo's dialog?

Seyfried: It's kind of hard, I think. Megan Fox has a lot of tough phrasing and a lot of tough paragraphs, but I don't so much. It's kind of easy. It makes me laugh. What's more of a challenge with Diablo's writing is that you try not to laugh. You're not supposed to, 'cause you're playing the character. It's not supposed to be funny to the character.
Q: Are you a fan of horror movies?
Seyfried: Not really. They gave me lots of nightmares, and I'm very affected by real life in my dreams. I really don't get good sleep at night because of things in my life and things that I see that aren't even real. I was haunted by them when I was little; when I was a child, so I'm not really into them anymore.
Q: So you haven't been sleeping well for the past eight weeks?
Seyfried: I haven't been sleeping well. I don't know if it's because of all this. I know it's fake, but it seeps into my sub-conscious, and it affects me to a point where I can't even watch this kind of stuff. I had to watch when Jennifer was being sacrificed, and it was really difficult.
Q: Did you think about that when you decided to accept the offer to do the film? Were you worried about working on the film?
Seyfried: No, not at all. I wasn't worried about it at all. I just thought of all the amazing things that could happen as I'm going through this experience and how incredible it would be to play the character and work with these people. I don't think about the negative stuff. The negative stuff really doesn't factor in if it's just personal like something silly like I feel I should have overcome by now.
Q: I know the film is coming to a wrap. Are there any plans after it's all finished?
Seyfried: Megan leaves, I think, Thursday. I leave Thursday night. I have to catch a plane to New York. Johnny Simmons had to leave already, so the three main characters aren't even going to be there. We're not celebrating, which kind of sucks, but we will eventually.
Q: Is there a wrap party for you guys?
Seyfried: None of us can make it. I know; it sucks. It's the first wrap party I couldn't come to, but we're busy. I mean, it's busy, busy right now.
Q: How much did you know things that Karyn was talking about, about female competition and she was talking about how monster in the film, not necessarily Jennifer, but society kind of looks at her as a sort of shallow of person…
Seyfried: I mean, she is shallow. Oh, I'm sorry. Go ahead.
Q: I was going to say how it's female competition.
Seyfried: I know. I dealt with it all when I was younger. I'm kind of shy. I'm not into being direct about it. I'm kind of passive-aggressive because I will notice it all. I notice competition. I notice when people are being demeaning. I notice when people are feeling insecure. I'm not really good at handling it. I stay out of the spotlight when there's stuff going on underneath the surface and there's stuff bubbling between women and girls and stuff, but I like to talk about it with people.
Q: Does that make you uncomfortable?
Seyfried: It's uncomfortable. It's a horrible feeling to have tension with somebody and you can't even talk about it because you're so insecure.
Q: You said you bring your own insecurities to Needy. What's your biggest fear?
Seyfried: Losing people I love. Needy has Chip. She loves him so much, and she has Jennifer who she really loves for so many different reasons and a lot of it has to do with their history. She has to make decisions about losing her life or losing what she used to have or losing her comfort and just losing herself to overcome this huge tragedy. I guess that's a lot of what I brought. Also the insecurity that Jennifer is such a strong character, and I've been that type of passive person to other people, to friends, so I'm bringing that as well when I'm playing Needy. Not in real life with Megan, but on set.
Q: Is this film important for teenage girls to see?
Seyfried: Absolutely. Yeah, absolutely. I mean, it just shows you that you don't really get anywhere by being rude or mean and biting boys. Also, success, the need for that can be killer. There are a lot of messages. There are a lot of messages in this movie that I can't even possibly begin to start listing them. That's what makes it so unique.
Q: Do you guys talk about this idea of female power and what is it about girls that there's this sort of hard edge? Have you guys examined this is a larger social issue about why girls are so horrendously awful with one another sometimes?
Seyfried: Menstrual cycles. Honestly, I don't know. Women are more emotional as that gender. It's the way it is. I think sometimes that can lead to lots of things: taking things too seriously; taking things to heart; over-analyzing things. We just naturally happen to do that. I don't know. Also, it's jealousy issues and competition issues and men used to always be like the stronger… there's all that. I really don't know what I'm saying. There are so many things coming to my mind. I guess we've always had to fight harder for things in the past. I don't know. Things are balancing out these days, thank God. There's always some kind of hatred for no reason behind all these things cause I guess they're more prone to judging each other, too. I don't know.
Q: You and Megan get into a tussle. You guys fight a little in this film. Can you talk about shooting some of those scenes? Were they fun? Were they emotionally exhausting?
Seyfried: Kind of fun, not emotionally exhausting. Very physically exhausting. I got hip-bone bruises from her because I was straddling her for days for this scene. We got pretty close physically. I was strapped to her, so we were like, "Yeah, so, what's up?" It was kind of fun, and I feel like I got a good work out from it, and I learned a lot about stunt work which actually doesn't do me any good. It's really an awesome, powerful sequence of scenes. I don't know. I think we worked really hard for some of those scenes to look really cool.
Q: What was your dynamic like with Megan off camera to get that relationship between Needy and Jennifer down-pat? 
Seyfried: It's kind of just normal. We are very communicative. I'm pretty direct with her, and she's pretty direct with me. We share secrets. We are on the same side of things usually. We tend to gang up on a lot of the crew if we have a problem with something. Not in a mean way, but it's kind of fun. We kind of fuck around with people together. I don't know. I'm kind of her sidekick in a way, and she's like mine in a way depending on whose life we're dealing with. She's just cool. We have chemistry. It works out like really well.
Q: What's it like being on such a female-dominated set with a female director, screenwriter, and two female leads?  
Seyfried: It doesn't feel female-dominant at all because we have a slew of 30 year old male producers who are really cool and excited and happy and smart. It feels very well balanced. It doesn't actually feel that way. It is a female movie. It is more geared toward women and strong women, and in that way it's great because with a female director you find yourself understanding more and you relate to each other and you relate to the characters. I don't know. It's easier sometimes depending on what movie you're doing, but yeah, it doesn't feel that way at all. It's totally super balanced and really awesome and civilized.
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