Mandy Moore – Interview [2002]

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Mandy Moore

A talk with A Walk To Remember star Mandy Moore!

Mandy Moore is only seventeen. Believe it. She’s got two albums behind her, a few films, modeling and more. Mandy has matured quite a bit over the years and she is showing it in her career choices. For her the most important thing isn’t whether you or I notice it, but that she is enjoying herself and can hold her head up high.

At the premiere of A Walk To Remember we had a chance to spend a little time with Mandy Moore and get down to business.

The last few years have been a whirlwind for you.

It’s been really crazy. (laughs)

Early in your career it seemed that you were ready for everything that was coming at you. Were you?

You can never prepare for this industry and all the ups and downs that come with it.

Are you starry-eyed still?

I am still. I’m only seventeen so I’m a huge fan of a lot of the people I meet. I think I will always be like that. I still can’t believe I’m in the same business as them.

Do you think of your music career and film career as separate?

Well, you can keep them separate, but you can also keep them together. I’ve kept them separate. I think I’ve done roles that weren’t expected. I think in the pop genre people usually opt for the sappier rolls where they can look cute.

Were you looking for your roles specifically? Because sometimes you’ll see artists really playing characters that are just like they are.

I didn’t want to do that because it was the obvious choice. I wanted to do something different and was more challenging. You read a lot of scripts these days and they are the epitome of every single teen movie. I wanted something with meat.

So what about A Walk To Remember interested you?

Actually, I had read the book by Nicholas Sparks and I was a huge fan before I heard about the film. I wanted to be a part of it when I heard it was going to be a movie regardless.

Did you know that Darryl Hannah and Peter Coyote were going to be a part of the cast?

Actually Shane (West) and I had no idea who we were going to be working with. It was amazing. It was almost overwhelming to work with Peter Coyote. But I was able to make him a little soft in some of the scenes just because he was my dad. I’m a daddy’s girl and he was protective of me in the movie, so it was great. It was quite an experience to watch the scenes I was in just to learn things.

Do you ever pick any actors’ brains?

Not really, because that is sort of the last thing you want to talk about. You want to get to know them and have a conversation with them. But maybe I’m not using my time well enough with them. I just don’t know if that is what they want to talk about.

How do you approach a character?

You just have to wing it. I read the script and I picture myself being the character. Sometimes it comes out how I expect it to, but sometimes it surprises me too. Sometimes I just follow the other actor’s lead, and eventually you get into such a mind frame that you are the character and you know what they would say.

What is the hardest part of being an actress? Are you good at memorizing scripts?

For some reason, memorizing has always been easy for me. I don’t know why, but since day one it was easy. I think concentrating on one thing at a time is the hardest part instead of thinking about a whole bunch of things.

It must be a great opportunity to be cast in the main role.

It was and it’s funny because it wasn’t something I was looking for. I was figuring that I’d get a supporting role in the film. It was really something that I couldn’t pass. I loved playing Jamie, but in the beginning any way I could have been a part of the film, I didn’t care. I just wanted to be involved.

What is next?

I just want to try something new. I would like to maybe do an independent film next.

When did you film this?

April and May (2001). It was a long shoot for me because I’m not used to being anywhere that long. It was great because we became sort of a family and we are all still friends.

Do you ever get stuck in a role?

I get stuck sometimes. It’s harder for me to get out of character than it is for me to get into. The tricky part is after an emotional scene, trying to get into a better mood. It was hard to disassociate.

Is it at all comparable to coming offstage?

No. Sometimes I’ll come offstage and can’t even remember what I did onstage. It’s just a blur.

Listening to your last album, it seems that you have matured in light years between the two albums. How much has life changed really?

Not light years. (laughs) I think what really changed between the two albums was me having a say. I wasn’t necessarily told what to do, but it was recommended. I was fourteen at the time I recorded that album, and honestly, I had no concept that the album was going to be around forever. I was much more aware of that this time around and had much more creative control. I was passionate about the songs and went in without regard to whether the record label was going to like it. I’m about to start recording again next month and I’ve been writing a lot and I’m excited.

I was honestly impressed by the last album because of the amount of change. Going in were you worried that if you did another Candy album you’d be stuck with that forever?

I don’t want to do the same things over and over. As much as you want to do something new and refreshing, you really need to do it for yourself as well because you love it. I really wanted to be happy with the music too. I’m really proud of this album and it bums me out that it wasn’t as accepted. But it drives me even more. I like the idea that people will continually say that they wrote me off with the first album but that I’ve continuously come back to shock them over and over again. It’s about showing people who you are.

Is it hard or is it still fun to have the spotlight on you?

I don’t feel it. It’s the weirdest thing. It seems right. Doing the MTV stuff is so much fun and doesn’t feel like pressure. The thought that millions of people are watching never goes through my mind. I’m afraid if it did bother me that I wouldn’t enjoy it or I might get overwhelmed. I also keep the mindset that it’s just me and I don’t get a big head and start feeling really special. I know how lucky and blessed I am to get to do what I do, but I need to keep it in perspective.

Do you see it as juggling between music and film?

I don’t see it as juggling. I finished the album, then the next morning I shot the video for “In My Pocket” and then went to film the movie for two months, got done, colored my hair blonde again and then went to the Keys for MTV and started shooting for them. I think if you have the right people around, you can do it all. Especially if you are recognized as a human and not as a robot, you can do it.

+ charlie craine