Since shooting her breakout performance in Mama Mia! in Greece, 24-year-old actress Amanda Seyfried has spent a lot of time in Canada.
Her two TIFF films this year were both shot in Maple Leaf land, but on opposite ends of the country. Jennifer’s Body was lensed in Vancouver and Chloe, her film with director Atom Egoyan, in Toronto.
“We actually got to use Toronto as a real setting,” she said. “You don’t normally get to do that because you’re usually using it to cover for another town or masking it as a made up town.
“(Using Toronto as Toronto) makes everything feel more real. It’s difficult for anything to seem completely authentic when you’re on a movie set but this is as real as it has ever gotten for me.”
In Chloe, Seyfried plays an escort hired by Catherine (Julianne Moore) to test her husband’s (Liam Neeson) fidelity. It’s her first real adult role and one that proves she’s capable of more than teen musicals or comedies.
She credits working with Egoyan with pushing her to deepen the character by exploring every facet of Chloe’s life.
“I’ve never worked with anyone who has discussed the character so in-depth with me,” she says. “Atom would reiterate things to me with different descriptions and with a twist from what he had said last time. Every time we’d go for dinner or have lunch or sit down for coffee the first thing he would go to was, ‘I was thinking that Chloe would do this or that.’
“It was almost completely overwhelming in the beginning but he couldn’t have said less because I don’t think I would have captured it otherwise.”
Chloe is a complicated character with many notes to her personality but with Egoyan’s help Seyfried brings her vividly to life on screen.
“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 pay it right I had to have Atom Egoyan.
In order for a movie like this to work you have to have someone like Atom Egoyan and there aren’t many people out there like him.
“Mr. Egoyan 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.”
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