“Big Love is really important to me and important for my career. But by the end, it was just like, ‘I can’t hold babies anymore,’” Seyfried said of her decision to leave the series after four seasons. “It’s been a long, long road. My character needed to grow up and, in a way, I kind of just need the freedom to focus 100% on a movie.”
How to watch: Stream on HBO Max.
Mamma Mia! (2008); Mamma Mia! Here We Go Again! (2018)
Even with honey-coated vocals and a sufficient resemblance to Meryl Streep, it was far from certain that Seyfried would land the role of her daughter in Mamma Mia!. When an adaptation of the stage hit was announced, Sophie became the most sought-after role for any actress that could carry a tune. Mandy Moore, Amanda Bynes, Emmy Rossum, and Seyfried’s former Mean Girls cohort Rachel McAdams were all said to be contenders.
“I had to jump through hoops to get Mamma Mia!” Seyfried told W, and thank goodness she did. It takes a true star to hold her own in a jukebox musical where Colin Firth dons sequined spandex and Meryl Streep cannonballs into the Mediterranean Sea. Among the many joys of the MMCU—Mamma Mia! Cinematic Universe—Seyfried’s turn as a bride-to-be supplies its vibrant, beating heart. Come for the campy thrill of watching Hollywood’s finest do drunken ABBA karaoke, stay for the gorgeous mother-daughter relationship that Streep and Seyfried sell so convincingly.