Watch: On ‘Late Show,’ Letterman Reveals Private History with Alcohol

by | December 12, 2012 at 2:44 PM | Late Show with David Letterman, TV News

Was Amanda Seyfried drunk on the “Letterman” show?

When Dave asked the actress if she’d been drinking prior to coming on stage as his first guest on “Late Show” Tuesday night, she didn’t hesitate to say yes. And Dave seemed to believe her, because once they got on the subject of alcohol, Letterman stayed on it for a while — even talking about the personal battle with alcohol he waged earlier in his life. It’s a subject he rarely discusses, if ever.

The topic came up as Seyfried was talking about the rigors of filming the movie she came on the show to promote — the musical “Les Miserables,” opening Christmas Day. And she happened to mention that she refrained from alcohol when the movie was being shot.

That’s when Dave asked: “Have you been drinking tonight?”

And she replied matter-of-factly: “Yeah, I’m pretty drunk.”

“How many drinks have you had?” Dave asked.

“To be honest with you, Dave, I’ve had about three,” she answered.

The thing is, as you might also observe if you watch the clip (above), Seyfried did not seem inebriated or distracted in any way. So it wasn’t unreasonable to wonder if she was telling the truth. Dave pressed on, however, asking her to specify the type of alcohol she had imbibed.

And she said she drank some whiskey — from a bottle her “Les Mis” co-star Russell Crowe bought her for her birthday — before arriving at the Ed Sullivan Theater. And she drank some more in her dressing room, she said, from a bottle Dave’s own staff provided (offering guests alcoholic beverages has long been common practice on the late-night shows). The indications were that she had consumed quite a bit — and yet, she didn’t seem drunk to us.

She even admitted, blithely, that she’s never done a TV talk show (at least one that aired after 12 noon) without “some liquid courage.” She said she suffers from stage-fright in such situations, which is one reason why she has not pursued a career on-stage (preferring TV shows and movies).

“Do you think that one day we’ll hear that you’re in a program?” Dave asked, seeming to be concerned with her alcohol consumption. She said no.

“By the way,” Dave said — and this was very interesting to us, “I used to be a horrible alcoholic. I’m fine now. I started drinking when I was, like, 12 and didn’t stop until I was in my 30s.”

Amanda noted that she’s only 27, so, she told Dave, she has a few more years of drinking left to do.