"Really what you see on screen is definitely a fusion of Marion and me," Amanda Seyfried says of portraying Marion Davies

By Alexia Fernández
January 21, 2021 11:02 AM

Amanda Seyfried's transformation into the legendary Marion Davies in Mank was all about capturing the famed actress's "essence."

In a PEOPLE exclusive clip, Seyfried says she "watched a bunch of her movies and I read her autobiography, which is hilarious and interesting and insightful" in becoming Davies for the Netflix film.

"I read interviews of how people saw her, I got a lot of gems on how she was backstage hanging out," says Seyfried. "I had enough to create this version of Marion, this essence that I wanted to capture."

She continues, "It was just such a gift to know that I really understood her in certain levels. We're both actors, we both feel like we were dropped into this dream world."

"Really what you see onscreen is definitely a fusion of Marion and me," she adds.

Credit: John Kobal Foundation/Getty; Theo Wargo/Getty

Directed by David Fincher, Mank follows the story of screenwriter Herman J. Mankiewicz (Gary Oldman) as he is enlisted by Orson Welles (Tom Burke) to write the script for Citizen Kane

Mankiewicz bases his main character, Charles Foster Kane, on the powerful newspaper publisher William Randolph Hearst. Along the way, Mankiewicz grows close to Heart's mistress, Davies, who introduces him to the publisher. 

Both Mankiewicz and Welles would go on to win the Academy Award for Best Writing (Original Screenplay).

Lily Collins, Tuppence Middleton, Arliss Howard and Charles Dance also star in Mank. This is Fincher's first film since 2014's Gone Girl earned over $350 million at the global box office.

Mank is now streaming on Netflix.