Lovelace: Amanda Seyfried as Deep Throat Porn Star

Shooting on location in Los Angeles proved to be a major advantage to the production. “We were fortunate to secure the California state tax incentive, and thus gaining the benefits of shooting in and around Los Angeles, lining up great actors and crew on a tight budget, with period production and costume design elements,” says Young. California also doubled well for Florida, which is the setting for the majority of the story.

For the small scenes set in New York City, the filmmakers used downtown L.A. and the Warner Bros lot. In the course of the 25 day shoot, production also shot at the Alex Theatre in Glendale, the Langham Huntington Hotel in Pasadena, the Moonlight Rollerway Skating Rink in Glendale, and on location in Long Beach.

Amanda Seyfried as Linda Lovelace

The casting for any movie is essential. However, the role of Linda Lovelace called for someone particularly committed to portraying the role. “If I have two words to describe Amanda Seyfried — it’s fearless and brave,” says Markel. “She was the perfect actress for this part, because of her complete commitment to the character, her immersion from the very beginning – taking voice lessons, studying, reading every book there was about Linda.” Rister agrees that Seyfried had a “lack of inhibition and she was really ready to tackle this story with all that she can give.”

After a lengthy dinner meeting with Epstein and Friedman, Seyfried was impressed by the directors’ “perfect vision and meticulous preparation.” It became clear to the actress that she was going to completely commit to making this character come to life. “This was the first time I’ve stepped out of my comfort zone, and playing someone that existed comes with a lot of responsibility. Linda worked so hard for so many years for someone to listen and to find a voice that was going to be heard. It’s a tale of survival, and it was important to me to validate everything she went through, because it is told through her point of view.”

As Seyfried was not yet born when DEEP THROAT premiered, she had to do her research from scratch. “I knew nothing about Linda Lovelace, and I think most people only know the idea of her. Yes, she was a porn star, but it comes with so much more.” Seyfried had access to the original copies of Lovelace’s autobiographies as well as exclusive footage over the years from the time she was in DEEP THROAT to the point she died. “I had a lot to draw from, and her accent is ingrained in my head.”

Seyfried ended up watching the infamous DEEP THROAT only halfway into the filming of LOVELACE. “It was really intense and hard to watch, knowing what happened and the story behind that movie. But at the same time it helped me to completely absorb what Linda was about.”

“Amanda was a joy to work with,” says Friedman. “She is a wonder of spontaneity, comic timing, and fearless access to raw emotion.” “She makes Linda’s journey – from innocent girl to uninhibited sex symbol to self-possessed woman – completely believable,” says Epstein. “It’s a demanding and challenging part that Amanda fully embraced and excelled at.”

Peter Sarsgaard as Chuck Traynor

In casting Linda’s husband, Chuck Traynor, the filmmakers were looking for a leading man, as well as a character actor, that would be able to capture two contradictory sides to Chuck – the magnetic, charismatic personality, but also the abuse and sheer force that was controlling Linda. “Peter Sarsgaard came in and immediately showed such complexity and range,” remembers Rister.

Sarsgaard wasn’t sure at first if he would be able to take on an intense role like this, especially out of consideration for his then-pregnant wife. “But Maggie thought that it would be a good thing for me to do. I’ve done a lot of films that have dark material and she reminded me that I usually feel better after having done a movie like this than I might have otherwise. You get it all out of your system and sort of feel purged in the end. It definitely felt cathartic.”

In exploring their characters, Seyfried and Sarsgaard accessed very early on the dynamics of Chuck and Linda’s relationship. “We had a week of rehearsal time with Amanda and Peter that really helped create a sense of trust and intimacy,” says Friedman. “You can see it in their scenes together.”

“They are both deeply naïve, and I see them as a little girl and a little boy. He didn’t let her out of his sight, and wouldn’t even let her go to the bathroom without his permission. So when she became famous, there were so many other people involved that she almost felt like she was escaping it in a way. It allowed her distance from Chuck and from the reins of him, and that ultimately saved her life, says Sarsgaard.”

In addition to immediate chemistry between Sarsgaard and Seyfried, both actors had a mutual admiration and trust for the other. Says Seyfried, “I could never believe that someone so charismatic can play such a menacing, evil monster. I mean, this guy was so unpredictable and weird, and Peter completely captured that. He absolutely understood that the audience needs to see that side of him that Linda initially fell in love with.”

Sarsgaard in return was “inspired by the enthusiasm of someone who hasn’t been in the business forever,” he says of working with Seyfried. “I’m experiencing things for the first time with her. She’s making things seem brighter for me, more spontaneous and alive.”

In summing it up, Seyfried adds that in the end “it’s about this woman’s journey and this relationship that was unbelievably foul and impossible. It’s a character study, and we are finally getting Linda’s story told the right way.”