'It feels like you're going to die.'
Words by Lindsay Kimble
From the editors of PEOPLE
Amanda Seyfried says she used to experience debilitating panic attacks onstage while performing in the 2015 off-Broadway show The Way We Get By – and that she leaned on her costar (and now husband) Thomas Sadoski to get through them.
‘I started having like panic attacks every six or seven shows,’ the actress revealed during part one of her two-part interview on Dr. Berlin’s Informed Pregnancy Podcast. ‘It feels like you’re going to die. It feels like you need to leave the stage.’
Seyfried said the attacks would sometimes happen ‘in the middle of the play’ and she ‘would just connect with Tommy and he would always be aware of it.’
‘He would recognise that thousand-yard stare and then he would bring me back, and the lines would keep flowing but my whole body would be cold and I’d be sweating at the same time,’ she said. ‘It would only last like 60 seconds and then I’d get through it.’
She said the audience never seemed to notice however, and she’d just continue with her lines.
The new mom previously opened up about living with obsessive-compulsive disorder in a 2016 interview with Allure, telling the magazine, ‘A mental illness is a thing that people cast in a different category [from other illnesses], but I don’t think it is.’
She continued, ‘It should be taken as seriously as anything else. You don’t see the mental illness: It’s not a mass; it’s not a cyst. But it’s there. Why do you need to prove it? If you can treat it, you treat it.’
Seyfried told Dr. Berlin that some of her anxiety had previously kept her from performing in live theatre, because film felt more ‘safe’.
‘Up until [The Way We Get By] I just didn’t have the energy to fight my fears,’ she admitted. ‘Because the fear is just too much.’
Still, Seyfried’s performance chops are no question: She has starred in the big-screen musical adaptations of both Les Misérables and Mamma Mia.
She won’t, however, appear in any film version of the musical Wicked.
‘I found out last week that I’m most likely going to be too old to play Galinda in the Wicked movie musical,’ she told the podcast, revealing that she was in consideration for the long-anticipated adaptation. Seyfried added, ‘They probably won’t make it for a while and someone said that off-hand from the studio.’
She continued, “And, you know, okay. I’m not gonna do it. And I’m okay with it and that’s why I try to keep my expectations low.”