Porn identity

Lovelace, starring Amanda Seyfried.

Amanda Seyfried has now become funky.

She always seemed like such a nice, innocent girl in films like Mamma Mia, Dear John and Letters To Juliet.

Even in edgier ones such as Jennifer's Body and Red Riding Hood, she struck one as a very prim sort of young woman.

She showed signs of kinkiness in Chloe, but nothing too terribly alarming.

Now, the 27-year-old US star is starring in Lovelace, and all bets appear to be off.

She plays real-life US adult film actress Linda Lovelace, who took porn mainstream in the '70s with her smash hit Deep Throat, one of the highestgrossing films in the genre.

Opening here on Oct 17, the flick (rating to be advised) gives us a behind-thescenes look at how her husband-pimp Chuck Traynor (Peter Sarsgaard) basically forced her to appear in the notorious movie, then forced her to do other unpleasant things.

In promoting Lovelace, Seyfried has been anything but coy. On the contrary, she seems to be completely comfortable talking about sex.

"Everybody should be able to freely express themselves, sexually or otherwise," she told Vogue magazine.

"People should be able to watch whatever they want. "I don't support violence and paedophilia or disturbing things like that, but porn's a big genre and I don't think it should be censored."

Though she has a spectacular body, Seyfried has managed to keep it under wraps through most of her career.

Of course, that wasn't going to be possible in Lovelace.

Seyfried bares her bosom and simulates sex acts on multiple occasions, though there's not much erotic charge given the context.

The sex in Lovelace is undoubtedly there to serve the story, and not for cheap thrills.

"It's funny, because I felt liberated when I was doing it," she told UK's The Sunday Times.

"I'm sure people that are very protective of me wouldn't feel very comfortable with that, but it's like, what's the big deal."

Supportive

Seyfried notes that the atmosphere created on the set by directors Rob Epstein and Jeffrey Friedman was very supportive, as were her co-stars.

In fact, filming Deep Throat's most infamous oral sex scene ended up being quite comical.

A popsicle was apparently used as a stand-in for a very crucial piece of "equipment".

Of course there will be those who will judge Seyfried for associating herself with porn.

Before committing to the project, she'd actually feared that it might ruin her career.

As it turns out, Lovelace hasn't been all that controversial. It's a movie about porn, but that doesn't make it porn.

If anything, the film itself paints a rather unflattering portrait of the industry The whole point is that the real Linda Lovelace - who died in 2002 at the age of 53 - was coerced into the sleaze, then struggled to break free and ended up becoming a spokesman for the feminist anti-pornography movement with the publication of her autobiography Ordeal in 1980.

Though she dallied in a dark world, she somehow retained much of her purity. Similarly, Seyfried seems unsullied by Lovelace.

She's the same lovable blonde, but now with a slightly deeper shading.

"(Lovelace's) story is insane and tragic and overall just very depressing," she told Vanity Fair.

"People assumed a certain thing about her and just pigeonholed her as this adult film icon.

"They judged her for the choices she made in life, even though she did not actually make a lot of those choices.

"As an actor, I'm sure that I'm seen as a one-dimensional figure like she was.

"We are all humans though, with our own feelings and our own story.

"She tried so hard to tell it, but people didn't want to listen because they didn't think she was worthy of being heard."

Lovelace's sad story is certainly being heard now, and Seyfried has been brave in telling it.

jjohnson@sph.com.sg


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