Amanda Seyfried is loving every moment of her biggest role yet: mom.
The actress, 33, shares her 2-year-old daughter (whose name she prefers to keep private) with her husband, fellow actor Thomas Sadoski, whom she married in March 2017 while she was nine months along with their first child.
“I just happened to get pregnant,” Seyfried tells PEOPLE of their happy surprise in this week’s issue, on newsstands Friday. “If it happens to you, you just make it work.”
Though Seyfried would love to expand her family, she’s keeping that same open attitude when it comes to trying for more kids with Sadoski, 43.
“I want to get pregnant again, but I’m not ready just yet to have a second,” she says. “I would like my daughter to be in school and then have my own time with a new baby. But it’s so hard to plan.”
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Seyfried and her family recently moved from California to New York, where she splits her time between the city and relaxing at her renovated farmhouse in the Catskills. On the farm, Seyfried’s daughter and their rescue animals, including a white donkey named Gus, roam free.
“[My daughter] visited the baby horse that lives next door because their horse had a baby so they went and saw it, and she told me about it,” Seyfried says. “She told me about it! ‘We went on the zoom zoom and saw the baby horse and it was like, “Neigh,” and it licked me.’ She has the best life.”
“She’s a little person,” the star continues of her child. “She’s her own thing. She doesn’t look exactly like me. She doesn’t look exactly like Tommy. She looks like her. She’s an individual with individual thoughts and individual dreams and nightmares. Making people is a very big responsibility, and it’s so worth it.”
Helping with the responsibilities that come with raising a child is Seyfried’s mother, Ann, who lives with the family of three. “I’m lucky that there’s three parents,” Seyfried says. “And if three people could make a baby, that would be really great. It takes a village!”
Seyfried admits it “would be so amazing” for her older sister Jennifer, who is pregnant, and her husband to also move in with them on the farm. But she’s doubtful that’ll actually happen, saying, “They’re not going to do that.”
“They have a house here, and they love it,” Seyfried tells PEOPLE. “I’m having a niece and she’s due in November, but she’s due at the end so I’m hoping that she has the baby on Dec. 3 [Seyfried’s birthday]. I’m her doula. That’s going to be my second doula experience — the first one was with a stranger.”
Since becoming a mom, the Mean Girls star’s priorities have also shifted.
“I used to sometimes be like, ‘That script’s good enough. I like the director, and the actor in it is good. We should do it, right? I mean, we’re not doing anything else,’ ” she says. “No longer. I will no longer take roles because it’s good enough. I will take roles and projects that work for me and my family.”
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Sadoski being an actor also presents an added struggle, but they make it work. “You just have to go one foot in front of the other and talk as a family if it works for you guys because [our daughter] is still young,” Seyfried says. “She’s not in school yet. We are more flexible, but it’s going to be different as she gets older and the more kids we have.”
“I think it’s more important that we have a roundtable about it as opposed to me just being, with my agent, ‘What do you think?’ ‘Yeah, I guess I could do it,’ ” the Les Misérables actress tells PEOPLE. “I’ve done a lot of jobs that haven’t deserved me and jumped in just because.”
That’s why Seyfried’s latest turn playing Milo Ventimiglia‘s wife in their new film The Art of Racing in the Rain, which is told through the eyes of the family dog, was a perfect fit.
“This job, very specifically, I was like, ‘This is what I want to do. I love this book,’ ” she says. “I read it when it came out. I was obsessed with it. It changed my life. The whole family came with me to Vancouver to shoot [the film].”
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There are also movies in Seyfried’s 15-year catalog that she can’t wait to watch with her daughter one day when she’s older.
“I want her to see Letters to Juliet because so many young girls — girls of all ages, really — come up to me and say, ‘I loved Letters to Juliet. It was so beautiful,’ ” she says.
“It is people who really love love, who love that movie for some reason,” Seyfried continues. “And it means a lot to me because my friend [Gary Winick], who has passed, directed it, and he was a very special man.”
“So I’d be really excited to see it with her,” she adds. “I haven’t watched it, like, since it came out. And Mamma Mia! when she’s older. But now I’m excited to show her all the Disney movies I grew up with.”
Amanda Seyfried Glows in Gorgeous Yellow Gown on The Art of Racing in the Rain Red Carpet
Hoping to be a role model to her daughter, whom she calls a “three-nager” and says is “really stubborn, just like me,” Seyfried is determined to continue making smart choices.
“I really don’t have any excuses anymore to be lazy about who I am or who I want to be,” she tells PEOPLE. “I’ve learned that there are some ways that I was raised that I don’t want to raise her. Just little things here and there. And I’ve learned that presence is everything.”
So far, her parenting and professional methods seem to be working out well. “It’s heaven,” Seyfried says of where she has found herself. “I love what we’ve created.”
The Art of Racing in the Rain is in theaters Friday.
For much more on Amanda Seyfried’s life now, pick up the latest issue of PEOPLE, on newsstands Friday.
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