This is Us starlet Mandy Moore is featured in the November 2016 issue of Flare Canada.
In 1999, blonde, billboard-size pop stars Britney, Christina and Jessica stormed the Earth. Pink was considered revolutionary for having a pink pixie cut. Clipping at their heels was the coltish Mandy Moore, who, like the Skipper to their Barbies, was more wholesome, more relatable, more brunette and thus receded into the new millennium’s flock of songbirds, despite having real moxie and a rare, charming sweetness.
She toured with Backstreet Boys and *NSYNC before trying acting, most memorably in the Nicholas Sparks weeper A Walk to Remember in 2002 and as a terrific villain in the sharp comedy Saved! in 2004. (Around the same time, cornball romcoms like How to Deal and Chasing Liberty tanked.) Her pivot to a singer-songwriter sound was hailed by critics yet ignored by fans. She wed singer Ryan Adams at age 24 in 2009 and filed for divorce in January 2015. The marriage officially ended this June.
You haven’t had a big hit in many years. How did it feel to book This Is Us?
“I had been so crushed by pilot season and things not moving forward for a couple of years; I had done three pilots, and they hadn’t been picked up. To be emotionally invested in these projects and for them to not go past those initial episodes was really heartbreaking. I was just so keen on breaking into TV—it’s the medium I enjoy the most, and there are so many exciting projects, specifically for women. It got increasingly more disappointing. Finding out This Is Us had been picked up for a full season was total elation. I’d never played a mother or a wife before.”
How do you feel about this role coming to you now, as opposed to five years ago, now that you’ve lived so much more life?
“There’s no way I would, for any amount of money, go back five, 10 years. I am really grateful for the life I have lived and the miles I have tread.”
What was it like to be a teenager and be on tour with Backstreet Boys and *NSYNC?
“It was pretty trippy. I went from watching them on MTV before school to six months later being on tour with *NSYNC, then six months after that, I was on the road with Backstreet Boys. Being a typical teenage girl, I had my own silly, harmless crushes on all of those guys. It complicated my friends’ feelings for me: I went from being in school with them to half a year later being in close proximity to these guys. That didn’t go over too well with some of my friends.”
You’re in a great relationship right now, living with Dawes singer Taylor Goldsmith. Is playing music together part of your lives?
“There’s music being played around the house all the time. I definitely think sooner rather than later there will be collaborations. If you’re under the same roof, that creativity flourishes.”
What is it like to wear those ’80s and ’90s clothes on This Is Us?
[laughs] “I don’t think it was the most fashionable era. I’m rocking some mom jeans pretty hard. Some of the ’90s stuff I get to wear is very in sync with where fashion is at this point. But the stuff I wore in the late ’90s—I hope it never comes back.”
This is Us airs Tuesdays at 10/9c on NBC.
Photo Credit: Sheryl Nields/August