Amanda Seyfried’s ‘Lovelace’ transformation pays off

Meriah Doty
Movie Talk
Amanda Seyfried at Sundance on Tuesday, left, and in 'Lovelace'

We've seen the photos, but up until this week we hadn't seen actual film footage (below) of Amanda Seyfried wholly transformed into '70s porn star Linda Lovelace.

From her poofy brown, curly hair to her thick Bronx accent, Seyfried's bet on "Lovelace," which premiered on Tuesday at the Sundance Film Festival, has paid off... at least, initially. Shortly after it screened in Park City, Utah, the biopic was acquired for U.S. distribution by RADIUS - TWC for $3 million.

Unlike any other role Seyfried has so-far taken on, the 27-year-old, green-eyed "Mamma Mia!" actress changed her outward appearance by wearing brown eye contacts, a brown wig and all of the gaudy, skin-tight '70s fashion that went along with playing the star of famed porn film "Deep Throat." The look dramatically differs from the way we are used to seeing the actress -- long, blonde locks, fashion-savvy attire and an overall all-American look. (And without directly quoting her rather colorful and explicit description, Seyfried has noted the extreme lack of comfort that comes along with wearing super-tight pants. Use your imagination.)

[Related: ‘Lovelace,’ ‘Kink,’ ‘Very Good Girls’ and more bring lurid thrills to Park City]

The real Linda Lovelace, left

But it is Seyfried's voice, along with the overall tragic, real-life character she portrays, that arguably denotes her greatest acting departure to date. In the clip (below), Lovelace (Seyfried), is dressed in a period-perfect, trashy, burgundy one-piece with giant hoop earrings. She sits atop a stool as photographer Larry Marchiano (Wes Bentley) persuades the troubled adult film starlet to feel comfortable on set, prompting her to talk about her adult film character. "Well, at first I'm closed up like a flower," Lovelace tells Marchiano in what is the first glimpse we've had of Seyfried in character on film. Her Bronx accent is spot on, but it's clear she plays Lovelace as vulnerable, timid, and -- in this scene -- ecstatic to be experiencing a respite of joy in her life that had otherwise been filled with abuse and pain.

Seyfried admitted at Tuesday's Sundance premiere that "Lovelace" was a "tough shoot." "She did kind of shut down after a while," she said of the woman she portrayed, adding that she was glad to shed the character and start in on "Les Misérables" just three weeks after she completed the porn actress biopic. Lovelace must have been extra miserable for her!

James Franco as Hugh Hefner in 'Lovelace'

The scenes of violence were more difficult than the sex scenes, Seyfried said. "I had to go some place else," she described of the scenes depicting the physical abuse Lovelace endured from first husband Chuck Traynor (Peter Sarsgaard). On the other hand, there were a lot of laughs on set when Seyfried was depicting the famous '70s porn flick. "I think the most fun I had was reenacting her scenes from 'Deep Throat' in this movie because they're so cheesy and it's terribly acted by everybody. But its' not meant to be good acting -- it's a really fun porn movie!" Seyfried told Entertainment Weekly.

The reviews are still few, but early reaction is positive on Seyfried's performance (and not on the film as a whole). "... a transformative, gung-ho performance," wrote HitFix. And Indiewire said, "Seyfried tries valiantly [to] make her character into a figure of sympathy." Something tells me the critics wouldn't be as kind if the woman who was originally cast didn't get fired: Lindsay Lohan.

Other stars who appear in "Lovelace" include Juno Temple ("Jack & Diane," 2012), Sharon Stone, Chris Noth, Adam Brody, Robert Patrick, Chloe Sevigny, Hank Azaria, Eric Roberts, and James Franco as Hugh Hefner.

"Lovelace" is set for a fall 2013 release.

Watch Amanda Seyfried And Wes Bentley In A 'Lovelace' Clip:

Compare Seyfried's Lovelace Voice (above) With Her Normal Voice:

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