From the 48th floor of the Andaz Toranomon Hills, the sprawl of Tokyo is a glittering blanket stretching out to infinity, and Amanda Seyfried is a tiny movie star with manga-size eyes to capture all of it. Her white silk separates look like the kinds of clothes that goddesses wear when they go to bed — the fact that they are designed to look like pajamas feels like an elaborate joke and would be offensive to most sweatpants, but under the light, they give the impression that Seyfried is glowing from golden head to pearlescent toe.
She is glowing because of Lancôme, the French cosmetics company that last year selected Seyfried as its latest face. A Lancôme "ambassadress"-ship for a Hollywood actress is like a Nike contract for an Olympic athlete — the contracts are long and presumably lucrative; the brand sponsors the Vanity Fair Oscars after-party — and Seyfried joins their unproblematic, superlatively beautiful Pantheon, which includes Julia Roberts, Isabella Rosselini, and Lupita Nyong'o, among others.
Seyfried is thrilled. She is so thrilled that she flew to Tokyo for a full day of interviews with the international beauty press who had gathered for the occasion. The idea of taking a 14-hour flight across the world only to sit for hours of conversation with strangers in full hair and makeup might be a dull experience for some, but Seyfried never flickered, not once.
This travel and interview took place prior to the coronavirus outbreak.
AMANDA SEYFRIED: "I don't think you need a lot of products to feel clean and beautiful. We all want to be attractive to somebody, and it doesn't have to take so much."
AS: "It's interesting what sticks around in your head when you think about beauty. Because when you're a teenager and you're going on a date or out to the movies and you're seeing your crush, you think about what you're going to look like. It's never as good in person, but you still feel beautiful anyway."
AS: "My favorite thing is when the makeup artists are like, 'I'm not going to cover your skin; I'm just going to make you look a little tired.' I just want to feel real. This is my issue with Hallmark movies. I'm obsessed with Hallmark movies. At Christmas time, I really just want to watch a Hallmark movie every single day. But I don't want to see Jessica Lowndes's hair perfectly coiled in every scene. Although maybe it's the Christian thing to do your hair. [Laughs.] Your heroine does not need to be pretty."
AS: "They try to. In the beginning, I was just literally auditioning for big- boobed girls. Karen Smith [from Mean Girls] wasn't super glamorous. She was just a character with big boobs. But then I got Big Love, and that changed things because I got stuck on the show for a little while. So there were no opportunities to get those other roles. And then I just jumped out of it. I made the choice to jump out of it because I understood what they were doing. [Although] I did have giant boobs."
AS: "It was because I only have C [cups] now. It's fine. I mean, I was like 15 pounds heavier [then] than I've been in the last 15 to 20 years because I had an issue with craft services. [Laughs.] I kept eating donuts every day. They put a girdle on me in Mean Girls."
AS: "That was a great show. I think it went five years. I didn't do the last year, because I was like, '[I'm] not holding babies in the background.' They were like, 'We get it. You're right.' You make choices, like when to not take the money job over the more interesting job. And the more you do that, the more benefits that you get in the long... It's a long game. I'm still here, so I guess it's kind of working."
AS: "Korea. When I went to Korea, I was a Beatle. There were hands on the car. I couldn't believe it, because I'm me in every other country, and then I go to this other country where I'm someone else. I still keep in touch with these two [Korean] fans that I have. One I met on a photo shoot. The other was sending me all this fan art to my P.O. box when my mom used to do my fan mail. She goes to college in Canada for graphic arts now. I don't know what it is [that appeals]. My eyes, I guess. With the newish filters they have [in Asia], you can make your eyes bigger and you can make your face into a V shape. It's terrifying. I mean, you look so much better with a natural chin. I think people look better with chins. What does that get you? More boyfriends or modeling jobs? To what end?"
AS: "Probably not. Is Gigi Hadid happier than I am? Somebody's got to call her and ask her."
AS: "Because you have to stay present and go day-to-day. There's bad news everywhere. A friend's mother has just been diagnosed with something horrific. And somewhere other people are dealing with something very similar because that happens all the time. When it really hits home, you're like, 'How am I going to keep crocheting and watch Spirit Riding Free with my daughter?' You actually teach yourself to distract. You just do; you compartmentalize. I've had moments when I've been sitting here, having just tiny little shocking reminders of something that I dealt with at lunch or something. And because I have OCD, I'm really adept at throwing thoughts out. It's served me well in having a child. I can be present. I can watch her have trouble putting the shorts on the Barbie, you know? It's those little moments that I'm like, I can find happiness in every little thing if I choose to do that."
AS: "She knows the most important thing is to be kind. She understands it like she understands the sun comes up during the day. She understands it so well that I don't think I'm going to have too much of an issue trying to instill in her that her face is not everything. I don't know what she's going to look like. I mean, she's beautiful, but I don't know what her face looks like. I mean, I don't see her face. You know, when you love somebody, you just don't see what they look like. You don't pay attention.
But she's going to grow up. She's going to go through her phases, and I just have to be present for each one of them and try to remind her what is true, and what is perception and what is delusion, and if she's being taken advantage of. It'll be a while, but I have faith. I really do think that the social media thing is going to be different. I think our government will be different. And I think that my daughter is going to feel like a beautiful woman because she's going to know she's funny and worthy and loved. I think it's going to be that simple. And that is all that fucking matters."
AS: "I'm suspect of Botox. I just am. And most of my friends do it. I didn't do drugs, not because I didn't think they were fascinating. A lot of people with OCD don't do drugs because they're afraid of losing control. And that also relates to how I feel about any needles or [cosmetic procedures]. What happens to it through the years? I'm ready, but I'm not that ready. I have a '1' on my forehead. Everybody knows about it. All of the [photographers] are like, 'Don't move your face this way.'
But I use a piece of tape when I sleep. It's called Toute Nuit — 'all night.' It's just surgical tape in the shape of a triangle to keep [the wrinkle] relaxed. I use a new one every night. And it doesn't stick too hard, because I wear this Lancôme Génifique [serum] to sleep. It's funny what you learn as you get older and what you begin to fear too. Just call me when you're 34."
More from our May issue:
- The Beauty of K-Pop
- Members of TWICE Share How They Define Beauty in an Exclusive ishonest Interview
- Jihyo of TWICE’s Career Has Been 15 Years in the Making
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