You know what’s obnoxious about me? (How long do you have?) I’m a gloater. I can’t help it. Not when it’s going to hurt anyone else, or anything like that, but when Amanda Seyfried won the Emmy last night, I immediately smugged that I called it months ago.
Lainey backed me up, probably because she knew I had receipts at the ready, but it’s true that what I wrote to her, specifically, in April, was “I cannot see how Amanda Seyfried doesn’t win the Emmy. She was born to play this role.”
It was a great show, The Dropout, and she really had a great partner in Naveen Andrews – but the show is all her. It has to be. The whole story, the whole sham, turns on the cult of Elizabeth Holmes’s personality, and Seyfried makes you believe it and understand it even as you hate it. From a sheer acting perspective, it is enormous work, and it’s worth pointing out that I definitely think she’s been underestimated as a performer many, many times before now. She deserves this one.
A small illustration:
Where celebrating or ‘leaning into her moment’ or any sort of gloating from her is concerned – we were not getting any. She has been quite open in the press about how she had a lot of anxiety when she was working on Broadway, and that living away from Hollywood has had a beneficial effect on her; she’s living a life now that allows her the presence of mind to thank her dog in her acceptance speech (who among us does not owe a great portion of our mental health to our dogs?) and everything from her relatively understated dress – lovely, sequinned, but not what you call a showstopper – to her speech tells us we’re not getting a lot more.
There’s a school that says the less she gives, the more easily she slips into the next character, and I’m okay with that since she’s a performing force to contend with over the next few years, but she’s so dynamic onscreen I wish we got a little more of it from her. Amanda’s got a real Nicole Kidman energy, holding back, and it works for her, because it leaves me wanting more. Yes, I just compared her to Nicole Kidman. You want to be mad?
Also – a performer’s face or physicality or youth is not what makes them good at their job? But it is UNCANNY to see Seyfried, at 36, convincingly play an 18-year-old. Convincingly! It was more of a stretch in Veronica Mars when she was 18!
Anyway, you should watch The Dropout to tide you over until the next witchcraft Amanda Seyfried performs. We probably won’t be ready for it, either.