It’s 38 degrees and I’m stuck, phoneless, in a Parisian traffic jam en route to interview Amanda Seyfried for the launch of Givenchy’s newest scent, Live Irrésistible. “She not wait for you?” asks the driver, as I tell him to pull over. But I’m already running.
I enter the room a hot mess. Seyfried, on the other hand, is cool and composed in a black shift, her waist-length locks framing her porcelain complexion. She pours herself an iced coffee, unfazed by my frazzled state. She’s mostly concerned about how I am travelling without my phone, which I lost the week before.
Seyfried, who got her start on the big screen as the vacuous blonde in 2004’s Mean Girls, is a natural nurturer, whether it’s caring for her Australian shepherd, Finn, or supporting charities. (Two weeks after we meet, she donates her golden mane to Locks of Love, which makes wigs for children with illness-related hair loss.) But as the 29-year-old approaches a monumental birthday in December, she’s taking a moment to self-soothe.
“I’m trying to be gentle with myself,” says Seyfried, fresh from the off-Broadway run of Neil LaBute’s The Way We Get By. The play, about what ensues the morning after a drunken hookup, marked her stage debut—no small feat for someone who has always struggled with anxiety.“I feel like I’ve climbed a mountain and I’m still standing at the top,” she says. Her doe eyes well up as she describes her final bow. “It taught me a lot about not judging my panic, because it is fleeting.”
That aha moment coincided with the launch of Live Irrésistible—a scent designed for the girl who “doesn’t have a care in the world,” according to the press dossier. With top notes of pineapple; rose and allspice in the middle; and a base of amber, the juice is a blithe antidote to designer Riccardo Tisci’s dark romanticism. “It’s good to balance out that Givenchy look—white shirt, black pants, jacket—with something floral and a bit fruity and light,” she says.
Seyfried is all about finding balance at the moment, and despite the attendant terror, she hopes to do more theatre in the near future. Until then, find her in a movieplex near you. Seyfried currently stars in Pan, Joe Wright’s adaptation of the Peter Pan story, where she plays the young boy’s mother (alongside Hugh Jackman, Rooney Mara and Cara Delevingne). The classic plot celebrates eternal youth, but Seyfried is warming to the idea of growing older. “I’m learning a lot about myself through experience,” she says. “And the more experiences, the better.”