Not everyone believes in destiny, but if you do, you’d probably agree that Amanda Seyfried was destined to be an actress. The blonde bombshell is a natural on camera, and she’s proven herself to be so versatile that her work has been comprised of drama films, thrillers, and a large slew of rom-coms. You name it — Seyfried can play it.

Even with her booming career, Seyfried has maintained an approachable demeanor, keeping her small town charm about her after all these years. The Pennsylvania native got her big break when she was cast in the blockbuster film Mean Girls, but she’s still a family gal through and through. She told Harper’s Bazaar in October 2017, "When you value your family over anything else you’re always going in the right direction."

As a film star, she’s already held so many iconic roles, and is best known for her work in films like Mamma Mia! and Les Misérables. If you’ve been sleeping on all the cinematic work she has created through the years, read on to see her transformation from childhood to present day.

Amanda Seyfried grew up in a quiet Pennsylvania city

These days, Amanda Seyfried is a Hollywood big shot, but she hasn’t forgotten her humble roots. The Ted 2 star was born in Allentown, Penn., a small city with just over 120,000 people, on Dec. 3, 1985. Even after making it big, she’s still a family gal through and through, and she’s reminisced on her tight-knit relationship with them. "My older sister, Jenn, is like my best friend," she has reportedly said, per Biography.com. "My parents are still together."

Some things never change, and her non-flashy roots have inspired her to curate a similar lifestyle for herself. When chatting with Vogue in May 2015, she explained why she wants to maintain a low-key lifestyle. "Because I want to have kids. And I want them to go to local schools," she said. She was sure to say that as her career progresses, she’d like it to have "less stress" and slightly less work on her plate.

Amanda Seyfried’s parents held down normal jobs

A true few are born into the Hollywood elite, but Amanda Seyfried comes from a traditional family who held down what most might call "normal" jobs. According to Biography.com, her father, Jack, worked as a pharmacist, and her mother, Ann, was an occupational therapist. Seyfried clearly didn’t follow in her parents’ white collar path, but she’s a down-to-earth family gal at heart. In fact, as People reported, even as an adult, she asked her mom to move in with her so they could be closer.

Seyfried also has an older sister, Jennifer, who, much like her, has a creative side. Jennifer was previously a musician in the rock band Love City. From time to time, Seyfried has been known to gush about her sister on the ‘gram. In August 2019, she reflected on how "tight" they are, saying how she hopes their kids will be even closer.

Amanda Seyfried has always had big dreams

Amanda Seyfried’s breezy, down-to-earth aura is what makes her so lovable, but she always knew she was meant for the big time. She’s had larger-than-life dreams since childhood, and she got candid about her ambition in an interview with Cinema.com. She revealed that her earliest dreams were of becoming a singer. "My family would take me to watch musicals in New York sometimes. I absolutely loved them," she told the site. "And I’ve always loved singing."

Seyfried is now known for her acting chops, and the switch to the big screen even seemed to surprise her. "Growing up singing it was always something that I thought I’d pursue," she explained, adding that "acting took over." Seyfried was sure to say how much she "loves" her job, but admitted that roles that require singing (such as her role in Mamma Mia!) is "the perfect marriage of both."

Amanda Seyfried was a model before she was an actress

It’s no secret the cameras love Amanda Seyfried, and her drop-dead-gorgeous looks almost landed her in an entirely different career. Yep, Seyfried started out in the modeling sector of the entertainment industry, and you can see her in a number of campaigns from the early 2000s.

According to Biography.com, Seyfried was modeling for the popular kids clothing line Limited Too by age 12. She wasn’t the only future star who got her start there. Seyfried modeled for the brand alongside none other than Gossip Girl actress Leighton Meester. Another one of Seyfried’s earliest modeling gigs? As HuffPost reported, she posed for the cover of the Victoria Martin Trilogy books by Francine Pascal. Little did a young Seyfried know she’d once be posing for the covers of some of the most-coveted magazines in the world! One thing’s for sure: She’s worked hard to get where she is today.

Amanda Seyfried missed a lot of classes in high school

Amanda Seyfried is one smart cookie, but she reportedly almost didn’t graduate high school because she was so overwhelmed with acting work! Her dedication towards her craft caused her to miss a lot of classes, Biography.com reported, but that’s okay because she was doubling down on her performance work. According to a July 2018 interview with inews.co.uk, Seyfried spent much of her teen years improving her vocal chops, and even trained with a Broadway coach.

Seyfried’s hard work paid off, and she began taking on professional work throughout those pivotal four years. She took the time to reminisce on her high school days during a December 2015 chat with InStyle. In addition to admitting she looked basically "the same," she remembered she always made time for primping. "I used to straighten my hair every day," she said.

Despite having poor attendance her senior year, Seyfried graduated from Allentown’s William Allen High School in 2003, and she was well on her way towards superstardom.

Amanda Seyfried appeared in soaps before transitioning to film

Unless you’re born into a famous family, working in Hollywood requires paying your dues, and Amanda Seyfried certainly paid hers. In her earliest acting days, long before she was known as Karen from Mean Girls or Sophie from Letters To Juliet, the budding star took a stab at being a soap actor.

As The New York Times reported, Seyfried spent her teenage years commuting to the Big Apple to film some of the most well-known soaps of the decade. She played the role of Jamie Martin’s girlfriend and Reggie’s friend Joni Stafford on All My Children from 2002 to 2003. Previously, Seyfried brought the drama to As the World Turns while portraying Lucy Montgomery from 2000 to 2001, Soaps.com reported.

While some stars have a tough go at making it to the big time, Seyfried had no problems later transitioning from soap opera roles to high-budget blockbuster flicks.

Amanda Seyfried dropped out of college before her first class

Amanda Seyfried did take a stab at the higher education route, but her college career was remarkably short-lived. As The Boston Herald reported in December 2020, the Pennsylvania native dropped out of college in order to sign on for Mean Girls. As the story goes, Seyfried was about to attend her first class at Fordham University when she was called for a screen test for the movie. She told Self magazine that, after the test, she made her way to campus, but ultimately decided to skip class altogether. After that, she never returned.

Clearly, the bold decision worked out well for Seyfried, who now has multiple MTV Movie + TV Award wins and nominations under her belt. In retrospect, she wouldn’t change a thing. "I think you have to be really careful and really be deliberate about your choices when you want longevity," she told the Herald. It’d seem Seyfried’s instincts told her it was time to start working in the industry right away. "The priority for me was always that I just wanted to be working."

Amanda Seyfried’s big break came when she was cast in Mean Girls

The world fell in love with teen comedy Mean Girls in 2004, and it marked the first time people got to meet Amanda Seyfried on the big screen. The flick was her "big break," as some would call it, and it put her on the map in a big way. Even today, she’s shell-shocked by the film’s massive success and is eternally grateful.

"I was so innocent," she told IndieWire in January 2013, reflecting on her time starring alongside Lindsay Lohan, Tina Fey, Rachel McAdams, and more. "I was so green. I look back and I’m like, ‘Really, I thought I was doing a terrible job.’" Of course, she didn’t. Fans fell in love with her quirky character, Karen, and Seyfried got a laugh out of the role herself. "It was written so well and so wonderfully directed. Mark Waters (the director) made me look good; he made me funny. … I’m so grateful for every experience."

She’s been transparent about her anxiety and mental health

Celebrities live life a little differently than the rest of us, but a true few are transparent about their personal trials and tribulations. Amanda Seyfried is one of them. The Dear John star got candid about her battle with mental health in an October 2016 interview with Allure magazine. For Seyfried, the stigma of mental health isn’t holding her back in the least.

"A mental illness is a thing that people cast in a different category [from other illnesses], but I don’t think it is. It should be taken as seriously as anything else," she told the beauty mag. "You don’t see the mental illness: It’s not a mass; it’s not a cyst. But it’s there." Seyfried also admitted to facing anxiety issues that stemmed from OCD, but has learned how to maintain her mental health better as she ages. "Knowing that a lot of my fears are not reality-based really helps."

Taking medication for mental illnesses may be a taboo subject, but it’s one Seyfried, one of many celebs who suffer from anxiety, doesn’t mind broaching. "I’m on Lexapro, and I’ll never get off of it," she insisted. "I’ve been on it since I was 19, so 11 years," she bravely shared in the Allure profile.

A huge animal lover, Amanda Seyfried got herself a farm

If you need proof that Amanda Seyfried is one of the most endearing celebrities out there, just look at her collection of farm animals. Yep, the stunning actress lives on a full-fledged farm property complete with goats, pigs, and more.

The star told Allure magazine all about her animal-filled abode in October 2016, and it sounds like one eventful household! "We have four chickens and a rooster," she shared. "We have a whole new design for the property. We’re going to get a goat and a pig; they’re going to grow up together, so there shouldn’t be trouble," she noted, adding, "This past week, we rescued two cats."

Seyfried also shared that "a lot of goats just need homes," and she eventually adopted quite a few more. In November 2020, she shared a video to Instagram which showed off her barn full of goats. She’s also been known to share photos of her horse as well.

Amanda Seyfried secretly got married in 2017

Despite her A-list actress status, Amanda Seyfried prefers to keep her private life tucked away behind the scenes. Which is exactly why in March 2017, Seyfried and fellow actor Thomas Sadoski tied the knot in total secrecy.

Thankfully, the star later shared a few details with fans. Seyfried’s hush-hush ceremony took place in Topanga, Calif., she shared with Porter magazine over a year later in July 2018. The Mamma Mia 2 star said the super secret ceremony didn’t include a reception, but instead she shared a romantic brunch with her hubby at café Cheebo in Los Angeles. The low-key details also included a dress Seyfried purchased herself at Free People. "I didn’t have a wedding reception. I get married all the time," she told the publication, referring to her many movie roles. "I was in a wedding dress last week! I don’t care about that stuff."

Seyfried may not have had the fantasy wedding most celebs opt for, but then again, she’s not most celebs.

Amanda Seyfried gave birth to two kids with husband Thomas Sadowski

Amanda Seyfried was pregnant during her wedding to Thomas Sadoski, one of the gorgeous husbands you didn’t know celebrities had, and soon after they tied the knot, she gave birth. Amanda Seyfried’s daughter was born on March 24, 2017, according to PopSugar.

Seyfried, who has been open in the past about wanting a family, welcomed her second child just three years later. This time around, she was more open with fans about the birth. When she and Sadoski welcomed their baby boy, they shared the news via Instagram with a moving statement to INARA and War Child USA. "Since the birth of our daughter 3 years ago our commitment to the innocent children that are so brutally affected by conflict and war has been a driving force in our lives," the couple said alongside the first public photo of their newborn. "With the birth of our son the work of INARA and War Child has become our North Star."

Amanda Seyfried became known for her charity work

Amanda Seyfried has supported a number of different charities through the years, and it’s become an integral part of her persona. She and her husband, Thomas Sadoski, became ambassadors of War Child USA in the fall of 2018, and they’re the ultimate philanthropic couple of Hollywood. As the War Child USA site says, they’ve teamed up to host fundraising events in the Los Angeles area, but their impact has reached nations across the globe.

Seyfried’s philanthropic reach doesn’t end there. In December 2020, she celebrated her 35th birthday by doing what she does best: donating to charity. She urged her 4.8 million Instagram followers to help her support the Inara Smiles foundation, which provides "medical care for children from conflict areas."

Another one of Seyfried’s biggest passion projects? Her work with Bestfriends.org, a site that encourages pet owners to adopt from a shelter rather than buying from a breeder. "When you adopt, you not only save a life, but you end up with an amazing friend. Please adopt your next pet from a shelter or a rescue group," Seyfried said in a statement for the site. Taking a piece of her own advice, she adopted an adorable dog named Finn, who frequents her Instagram account.

Amanda Seyfried found peace outside of Hollywood

Some stars live in the Hollywood Hills, while others flock to Malibu. But when it comes to Amanda Seyfried’s housing preferences, she feels most fulfilled in suburbia. The actress’ farm is located in the New York Catskills, and she’s beyond thrilled with her purchase made back in 2013, per the The New York Times. In addition to her animals having space to roam, Seyfried enjoys that the peaceful home puts everything into perspective. "It’s insane how much I can feel so accomplished and successful here without having to be in a successful movie," she told the Times.

To this day, it makes her happier than any mansion in Hollywood could. It’s the reason she’s stayed so long, and it’s the reason she doesn’t plan to leave, she told the Times. According to Seyfried, settling down in the Catskills has helped her find work-life balance. It "solidified my need to be out of the game when I’m not working, to be in nature and to refresh," she shared. "Everybody needs a center of gravity. Somewhere to feel safe."