Amanda Seyfried is not your usual plastic Hollywood starlet. The Pennsylvannia-born actress and singer is candid, warm and seems so normal it's disarming. During our interview she admits to listening to audio books and cuddling her dog Finn when she's having a bad day. Decked out in a cream Giambattista Valli dress for her group interview, she also has beautiful, glowing skin and arresting, almost alien-like blue eyes... but you knew that already. The star of hit movies like Mean Girls and Mamma Mia, is also lucky enough to star in Showtime's upcoming 2017 Twin Peaks reboot directed by David Lynch — one of her personal heroes as he "makes the craziest shit, but I love it."
No, Amanda, is not as prim as some other actresses, but she has a charming realness — she makes several good-natured jibes at her older sister Jenny throughout the interview — and clearly has a passion and quiet tenacity when it comes to her craft. She is not afraid to chase down a role and relates to us how she laid down singing tracks for both the characters Éponine and Cosette so that Les Miserablés director Tom Hooper took notice and wanted her for the part. She has also spoken up about the wage gap between men and women in Hollywood. Seyfried candidly admits that is "sucks" to lose a role to another actress — and revealed that she just found out she lost a part she really wanted — but is happy when at least it goes to a good actress.
But today we're here to talk to Amanda Seyfried as the face of luxury brand Clé de Peau Beauté. And with her natural and clean-faced beauty, it's no wonder the Japanese-French brand has tapped on her pulchritudinous charms for their skincare and makeup ranges. Even when she's wearing smoky eyes or a bold lip on the red carpet, Seyfried has the luck of never looking overdone. But makeup was never a part of her life as a young girl — she admits to sneaking around mascara for her blonde eyelashes — and in her downtime the actress is often snapped barefaced.
Here to represent the brand's revamped Basic Skincare range, Seyfried is the best possible advertisement for the products. In person, she has the same lit-from-within glow that Cate Blanchett has, that makes you wonder what soft-focus makeup she's wearing. The correct answer? Not much. At the press event she says, "I can relate to radiance from within. It's a beautiful product and I'm happy to share it with you today."
The line consists of a two moisturisers — a Protective Fortifying formula for day and an Intensive Fortifying one for night — that come in emulsion and cream textures. There is also a Hydro-Softening and Hydro-Clarifying Lotion — again based on your preference — as the second step after cleansing, to prepare the skin. The star product is the brand's super luxury La Crème, which Seyfried particularly loves, it being the first Clé de Peau Beauté product she was introduced to. The upgraded skincare range has been reformulated with the Illuminating Complex EX — a blend of moisturising and retexturising ingredients that reduce the damage caused by our environment.
Seyfried says that while the science behind the skincare fascinates her, it is the results that speak to her. "My skin is so much better since I started using the products. Not only am I putting really incredible Japanese science into my pores, but it's obvious when you have a routine, your skin really appreciates it." When asked how she would promote the skincare, Seyfried says, "I would just let them use it. I've learned how strong yet how delicate our skin cells are. Our cells rebuild and rejuvenate and we need something that works with them. It's science and it's really great that someone can understand that for us and give us these products to use. But when you use it... it's all in the actual experience of it. You can only explain so much."
In beautiful visuals for the line, Seyfried is shot by famed fashion photographer Bruce Weber in gorgeous daylight. The campaign and accompanying videos accurately depict the brand's relaxed yet luxurious philosophy — easy-to-use, but beautiful skincare that simply works. It's a refreshing and almost cinematic approach to skincare photography — which is usually about glossy, overly touched-up studio images that look almost unreal in their perfection.
In our 40-minute sit down with Seyfried, we learnt more about her skincare routine, relaxed attitude to hair and makeup and dream collaborators.
What is your normal skincare routine and what are your must-haves when travelling?
When you have a routine, your skin really appreciates it. My skin is happy, although I do have the normal, hormonal spot issues — but it's easy to cover with the concealer. I take about five minutes to finish my routine; there's not a lot of maintenance.
In the day I use the Gentle Foaming Cleanser, the Lotion and the Emulsion with SPF. I use the La Crème at night. In the morning it's important to really massage your skin. Before photo shoots I usually massage product into the skin to just get the blood flowing. I don't really use masks, though I should. I should be using them every few days, but I probably only use them every two weeks. When you're taking care of your skin and cleaning it properly and moisturising it properly, the less you need to think about it.
I also take supplements like odourless garlic for antibiotic purposes, olive leaf, blackcurrant seed oil, oils for skin, an immune booster and coconut oil. I also drink so much water. I try to drink as much as I can and add fruit juice to it sometimes.
When I travel, I bring the Concealer Stick, La Crème and the eyebrow pencil. Those to me are essential. On the plane I use a heavy dose of La Crème on my face, because it's so drying. I also put coconut oil on my legs.
Do you put a lot of thought into your hair and makeup before big events like the Oscars or the Met Gala and what do you bring with you?
For big events, I don't care... I let the experts decide. I only know what I don't want! If I have a strong opinion then we don't do it. I bring whatever lipstick I'm wearing and my key, my money, my phone and some gum. The purses are so small, especially those Judith Leiber ones where you can't get anything in there... it's not practical!
If you were a makeup product what would you be?
A red lipstick. I can be full of energy and shine like a light at times. I think of myself as feminine enough, but super low maintenance.
What was it like working with Bruce Weber on this campaign?
Bruce Weber only uses film so you don't know what you're getting. It's a mystery. You just have to trust that he's capturing the right energy and the right moments. What was really fun about these shoots was that we had animals. We had birds on my head, hand and shoulder, puppies and a horse in the video. It was nice. I was on the beach and in my element — and it's nice to be out in the world as opposed to on a set. Bruce and I love animals and they bring out an energy and they're part of nature and space and represent that atmosphere. It's fresh and clean, it's even in black and white and sepia tones for La Crème.
Which directors, writers and actors would you like to work with?
Darren Aronofsky. I would like to work with Cate Blanchett. I've always looked up to her, she's very honest, smart, a great actress and she is a great female influence. David Lynch is like the most amazing man ever. [Seyfried is working with him in Twin Peaks]
I would have liked to work with the late Paul Newman. I'd like to work with Christian Bale again, because he's amazing. I'm about to work with Shirley MacLaine if we can get the financing for that movie. I don't want to say too much because I get superstitious about these things... I would also love to make a full-length movie with Joe Wright.
What has been the biggest surprise in the life of acting?
My biggest surprise in acting? How little it takes when you're with a really good actor. It's almost effortless to react to what they're doing. It becomes real life. That was a huge surprise.
Meryl Streep and Julianne Moore were really effortless. Julianne and I were doing an intense scene [in the movie Chloe] where she was breaking up with me — and the director would say cut — and we would go back to our conversation about something we had read in a magazine.
What are some of your favourite stores and restaurants around the world?
I like Liberty in London. I love it there — they have a haberdashery that is a blast. I like Takashimaya in Tokyo... just the way that it's curated, is just different. I usually go there on the last day that I'm here in Tokyo before I head to the airport. Tokyo Hands is also great. In New York, I love ABC Kitchen and ABC Cocina. They're way too expensive. It makes me angry yet I love going there.
Who is your favourite designer?
Givenchy. I wear most of their things. I love their new dresses. Their shoes are the greatest and their suit jackets are just sexy.
Check out the stunning and evocative video, directed by Bruce Weber, below: