Amanda Seyfried was born and raised in Allentown, Pennsylvania, to Ann (Sander), an occupational therapist, and Jack Seyfried, a pharmacist. She is of German, and some English and Scots-Irish, ancestry. She began modeling when she was 11, and acted in high school productions as well as taking singing lessons. She landed a recurring role in the long-running US soap opera As the World Turns (1956) when she was just age 15.
More soap work followed as she completed her schooling and had already secured a place at Fordham University when she was offered a role in the Tina Fey-penned teen hit Kötü kizlar (2004). She deferred her university education to complete the film. More TV work followed, raising her profile across America, while her appearances in Mamma Mia! (2008) and Kiz ve kurt (2011) helped establish her international fame.