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The Real Reason Amanda Seyfried Turned Down This Huge MCU Role

Every Hollywood career is filled with roads not taken.

Sometimes actors just barely miss out on the part. Sometimes they have to drop out because they can't quite make the timing work. And sometimes they turn them down, no matter how far that path might have taken them. Such is the case for Amanda Seyfried and her chance to join the Marvel Cinematic Universe, as she explained in a lengthy career retrospective with The Hollywood Reporter's Awards Chatter podcast.

Seyfried turned down the part of Gamora, the righteous assassin and adopted daughter of Thanos, who would eventually be played by Zoe Saldana in James Gunn's Guardians of the Galaxy. She thought this was going to be the time where Marvel's ambition had exceeded its audience's interest. "I didn't want to be a part of the first Marvel movie that bombed," she explained. "Because I said, 'Who wants to see a movie about a talking tree and a raccoon?' Which is clearly –- I was very wrong."

At the time, who could blame her for doubting? Marvel's going to make a creature-filled space-faring action-comedy? One that follows an alien C-team that only sort of counts as superheroes and is connected to the wider world of Iron Man and Captain America solely via a Walkman? And it's going to star a sitcom supporting actor, a professional wrestler, and Vin Diesel as the aforementioned talking tree? Let's not pretend with the benefit of hindsight that everyone knew this was going to work out.

Amanda Seyfried worried Guardians of the Galaxy could hurt her career

For Seyfried, the risk wasn't just limited to "What if this movie doesn't succeed?" As she told host Scott Feinberg, "The script was great, it was all based in not wanting to be 'that guy'. Because if you're the star of a giant movie like that, and it bombs, Hollywood does not forgive you. I've seen that happen to people and it was a giant, giant fear. And I thought, is it worth it?"

To her, it proved not to be, especially considering the nature of the work and the heavy makeup it was going to require. She said she had done prosthetics for another movie and hadn't enjoyed the process, particularly of applying and removing them at the beginning and end of each day. She said she thought, "I don't want to be green for six months. I don't want to have to go to work and get green and then have a few hours to do my job and then get un-green to just go back to work and get green again."

Despite the success of the film and the steady work its sequels might have provided, Seyfried is at peace with her decision. "I made a good choice for myself, in my life." Not every road not taken necessarily leads to regret.