‘AMANDA looks like she was born to be in a fairy-tale.’
Like many Hollywood stars, Amanda Seyfried has an optical appeal that can conjure such fantastical thoughts. With silky blonde hair and blue eyes so big that they tempt you, like a swimming pool on a sweltering day, to dive right in, you may be forgiven for thinking Amanda had once been rescued from a dragon-guarded castle.
It is this appearance – in particular the hair – that initially led 22-year-old Tanya Ananchenko to fall under Seyfried’s spell and draw this fairy-tale comparison. Tanya, who runs an Amanda Seyfried fan community page for Ukrainians and Russians, dedicates between one and four hours a day to all things Seyfried. This, she tells me, has been part of her daily routine for the past five years.
‘Along with my friends, we started running a fan community page on Russian social platform VK.com in 2013 – and we are still doing it to this today.
‘I can tell you without a doubt that we are the best source about Amanda on the Internet. We post everything – news, new pictures, updates on her movies and all her social media. I also personally translate her interviews into Russian.’
Tanya is clearly proud of her work, but why give up so much free time to cover the every move of a celebrity for no monetary gain?
For Tanya, who has more than 14,000 followers on her Seyfried-dedicated Instagram account, it is rewarding way to stay close to fellow fans and Amanda herself. She explains: ‘I get to act as a kind of link between Amanda and her fans. I bring the fans either new information or just entertaining posts about her. They like it, they thank me and it feels really good.’
Tanya was late to the Seyfried fandom party. Her obsession first took hold in 2013 – nearly ten years after the Pennsylvanian-born actress had her big-screen breakout as airhead Karen in high-school favourite Mean Girls.
‘The first movie I saw with Amanda in it was In Time. I liked it but a few weeks later I watched Jennifer’s Body and I really loved the blond girl in it.’
She continues: ‘I decided to google this beautiful, new – at least to me – actress and I was shocked to find it was Amanda, the same girl from In Time. Yes, she wore a red wig in In Time but her acting was so different and skilful in Jennifer’s Body that I decided to watch every single movie she had been involved in.’
As Tanya discovered, Seyfried’s filmography is impressive one. Yet despite her highly GIF-able role in Mean Girls and her enjoyable musical turns in Les Misérables and Mamma Mia!, it still feels as though we are waiting for the Oscar-worthy roles that may truly define Amanda’s career.
Tanya is confident those roles will come, as she tells me: ‘Amanda is extraordinary actress. She deserves amazing roles and I’d like to think that one day she’ll get the role which will bring her a much-deserved Oscar.
‘But overall she is already a winner. Her fans love and appreciate her so much and I think this is the best award for any actress.’
Away from the screen – where most fandoms truly sink their teeth in – Tanya refreshingly points to Seyfried’s positive influence rather than personal dramas or celeb gossip. This includes Seyfried’s passion for animals – she was recently given an award at the 2018 Best Friends Animal Society New York City Gala for her service to animal welfare – and her ‘brave’ openness about her struggle with OCD (Obsessive Compulsive Disorder).
These causes all match up nicely with the blunt and teasingly playful approach Seyfried takes into her media work. Like a slightly more composed version of Jennifer Lawrence, Seyfried has a jovial, if not plainly vulgar, sense of humour that means she is never afraid to embarrass herself for a laugh. Perhaps this publicly care-free outlook can be best summarised by a tattoo on her foot reading ‘minge’ – a nickname she picked up after working with Colin Firth on Mamma Mia! in 2008.
Next up for Seyfried is the worldwide release of Mamma Mia! Here We Go Again.
Tanya, who expecting a busy few weeks covering Seyfried’s media work for the film, says: ‘This movie is a pocket of happiness, fun and carefreeness. Mamma Mia! always lifts me up, relieves stress and just makes me smile.’
You get the impression from Tanya that the feel-good Mamma Mia! vibes carry through to a lot of the Seyfried fandom. While other communities are marred by infighting, Seyfried’s online fans seem to mirror the behaviour of their beloved actress – jaunty and relatively controversy-free.
When I ask Tanya about the impact Seyfried has had on her life, she reveals: ‘Amanda has motivated me to be me – to love myself and become better every day.
Although Tanya’s only interactions with Seyfried are limited to ‘a couple’ of likes on social media and a happy birthday comment with ‘a couple of emojis’, it appears she has picked her fandom wisely.
Seyfried is an actress who has conducted herself with an honesty and affability befitting of a fairy-tale princess – albeit one with ‘minge’ tattooed on her foot.