Mandy Moore has got an interesting career going, in that a lot of her fans still think of her as a teenager, thanks to the 1990s pop music she made. And then, she’s got a whole other group of fans that think of her as a grandmother, thanks to her role as Rebecca Pearson on NBC’s hit family drama, “This is Us.”
The actual Mandy Moore is somewhere very much in-between – not a kid anymore, but nowhere near retirement. In fact, she’s doing more than ever.
“I’m 35, and I’ve been doing this since I was 15,” Moore said. “Twenty years of having a career, like, all the successes, all the failures, everything in-between.”
Before the pop hits and the network TV roles, there was an eight-year-old Amanda Leigh Moore growing up, with big dreams, in Orlando, Florida.
“The Orlando Sentinel used to have this audition hotline that every Friday I would call before school,” she recalled. “And I would sort of, like, write down with my pencil and paper what ones sounded appealing, what ones were looking for children my age. … I was my own agent!”
And an effective one, it turns out. when she set her sights on her next big performance opportunity: singing the national anthem at Florida sporting events.
“I begged my parents to get me a little pitch pipe, and they recorded me. And then my Mom, so the story goes, hand delivered this VHS cassette of me singing the national anthem with fresh baked cookies. And I think that’s what, like, solidified everything for me. I got the gig.”
All that performing in front of crowds started to get Moore some attention. Even record labels took notice, and before long Mandy Moore was a certified teen pop star, with hits like “Candy,” which reached the Billboard charts, but even impressively had a two-month stint as one of the top music videos on MTV:
“You were, obviously, really successful with this stuff,” said correspondent Luke Burbank. “But you weren’t, like, Brittany Spears successful?”
“Was that kind of lucky?”
“So lucky,” Moore said. “I think about that often, ’cause there’s wasn’t that sort of expectation like, ‘You’ve had hits. You have to deliver more hits.’ But also, it allowed me to branch off into the acting world and to film and television.”
And she didn’t just sing on MTV; she started hosting shows, which in turn led to acting roles in films like “Saved” and the teen tearjerker, “A Walk to Remember.”