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Box Office to back-room porn sets: Amanda Seyfried takes on the role of Linda Lovelace

Amanda Seyfried has been making a splash in the film industry and media of late, with her role in the smash-hit musical Mamma Mia putting her on the map and her most recent big break starring alongside Russell Crowe in the  in blockbuster Les Miserables keeping her there, so why take on a small-budget film about a tortured porn star?


Following these wholesome roles, she’s now moving from girl-next-door to back-stage-door, marking a turning point in her acting career by playing the infamous Seventies porn actress Linda Lovelace and with such, flexing her acting versatility.

Those of you who are hardened porn fans will know the story of Linda, the troubled star of adult movies who went mainstream after appearing in the shocking 1972 sex film Deep Throat.

To begin with, she embraced her career in X-rated films, declaring them as sexually liberating but she soon found herself in hot water when she was forced to perform extreme sex acts under the threat of the barrel of her first husband’s gun.

Those close to the star knew that her husband, Chuck Traynor was a violent man who beat and exploited Linda, it only really became common knowledge years later.

Speaking of her role as Linda, Amanda confesses in an interview that she can understand completely why some women are attracted to bad men like Traynor. The 27-year-old American, who dated British actor Dominic Cooper, said: “Unfortunately there’s something attractive about someone who is broken, for me, and for a lot of women that I’ve spoken to.

“My best friend and I are attracted to creeps”

Reflecting on her past relationships with her own messy men she added “They’re interesting and mysterious and they provide us with this rush and this need to chase or fix – just these needs they fill in yourself.

It doesn’t make any sense. It’s a weird psychology but unfortunately it’s the way the world works.”

 

Lovelace, whose real name was Linda Boreman, eventually escaped pornographer Traynor’s control, but also alleged her second husband, cable installer Larry Marchiano, was a heavy drinker who was verbally abusive too.

Lovelace, starring Amanda, is bound to set tongues wagging and spark controversy as there was no way it could depict the adult movie industry without featuring sex scenes and nudity.

Amanda believes America and many other countries get too wound up about nakedness. But she thinks audiences and filmmakers are becoming more liberal in their attitudes towards sexual material.

She explained: “Sex in movies shouldn’t be as big a deal as it is.

“Guns are huge in American cinema but with sex everybody is so prim about it here. Something is changing in American cinema.

“We’re going through some kind of sexual revolution right now, I’d like to think.”

Talking about sex, she added: “Everybody does it. Who doesn’t do it? So why are we shying away from it so much?

“I mean I’m not flashing my everything for gratuitous reasons, I’m just exploring that on camera.” And she insisted Lovelace is more about Linda’s relationship with Chuck than pornography.

Amanda said: “I knew this was not going to be a movie about a porn star. It was going to be about a woman and her relationship with her husband first and foremost.

“So with that in mind I knew we weren’t going to go anywhere it didn’t need to go. We weren’t going to just shoot stuff that was just to get people into the theatres.

“I think if you have the wrong idea, the wrong intentions, that could ruin your career and take your career in a different direction — and, you know, we didn’t.

“At the end of the day it wasn’t really about nudity. I barely see it. I’m seeing something much more complex than that.”

Linda’s story is certainly involved. She was a police officer’s daughter who went to a private Catholic school and her mother was a strict disciplinarian. At school Linda was considered prim and proper, but that changed when she met Traynor.

Amanda explained: “From the beginning you’re thrown into the world of this naive, young woman who is just looking for acceptance and not getting it from her family.

“She seems very sexually aware and accepting of this industry, then you realise that actually this is the last thing she ever wanted.

“She was looking to be an actress, looking for love and acceptance from her partner and, of course, she had a really tough life.”

Lovelace later used her experiences as a way to become an anti-porn campaigner and spoke out about the horrors of domestic abuse.

But Amanda is not too critical of Deep Throat, the movie which Linda later disowned and asked people not to watch. She insisted it was “a bit boring — a little naive, innocent. But sweet”.

The film caused a stir at the time as Linda’s character could only climax through the act of oral sex. Linda was forced to perform those sex acts on film and Amanda thinks her dislike of the role really shows in Deep Throat.

Amanda said: “I think she turned off. She was almost like a robotic machine when she was doing those sex scenes.

“It’s not a turn-on, she’s very disconnected and she wasn’t a very good actress. So you can see her trying her best to be realistic and it’s kind of sad because she is so disconnected.”

To some, moving from box office hit films to smaller, almost cult movies such as Lovelace might seem backward in direction but Amanda is happy as she feels it poses more challenges for her and that her choices when accepting roles are not all based on the pay cheque at the end of it.

She said: “It’s not about how much I’m getting paid and more about making sure I solidify some kind of presence in this industry and so I can continue to do crazy stuff like this.”

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