‘I Was Just So Madly In Love With Shane West’: Mandy Moore Remembers Working On A Walk To Remember And How Far She’s Come In Hollywood

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Mandy Moore has always had a lovely girl-next-door relatability about her, and her completely understandable reaction to working with teen heartthrob Shane West in 2002’s A Walk to Remember is even more proof. 

The actress-singer — who, fun fact about A Walk To Remember, turned 17 during the production of the romantic movie — detailed working opposite her hunky, then-23-year-old, co-star during a wide-ranging interview with USA Today. She revealed that she was “madly in love” with West while making the film, saying: 

Oh my gosh. I was just so madly in love with Shane West. It’s not news to anybody, but he was older than me. He was so handsome. I didn’t know enough to separate the fiction from real life. He was the loveliest guy. I had such a gigantic crush on him.

Though the “Candy” crooner had already appeared in supporting film roles, including her iconically bitchy performance as bully Lana in The Princess Diaries, A Walk to Remember marked Moore’s first leading role on the big screen. 

She revealed to the outlet how she turned to her more experienced co-star for support during filming, because she was “such a newbie in every sense”:

I was terrified. I didn’t know what I was doing. I didn’t know how to memorize lines. I didn’t know how to hit a mark. Poor Shane West really had to teach me everything on that film. I was just such a newbie in every sense.

Despite any nerves she might have had while making the movie, the performer is more than pleased with the response the romance has had in the decades since. 

When told that A Walk to Remember is still one of the top five search queries you get if you Google the star all these years later, Moore said she was “flattered” by how the film has endured with fans: 

Maybe it’s just the universal themes and stories of a good girl reforming a bad boy. I’m flattered that anybody would still find it relevant and love it in the way that we loved it all those years ago. It means a lot.

And she’s not opposed to the fan-favorite film being remade. Moore previously dream-casted fellow pop icon Olivia Rodrigo to take up her role as good-girl Jamie Sullivan should an updated version of A Walk to Remember ever get made. 

In the two decades since the romance film came out, Moore said she’s become more confident in her acting abilities. The actress would go on to receive a Golden Globe nomination and an Emmy nomination (though it should have been more) for her performance as Rebecca Pearson in the NBC family drama, This Is Us, and got a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame in 2019. 

She told USA Today

I’m able to trust myself and trust my instincts in a way that I never would have known to do as a kid. Also, I had no life experience. I had nothing to draw upon, whereas (now) I’m going to be 40 next year, so I got a lot of baggage (laughs). I have a lot to color my experience now.

Moore is returning to television in her first post-This Is Us lead role in the second season of Dr. Death, which you can stream with a Peacock subscription. Mandy stars as news producer Benita Alexander, opposite Edgar Ramírez’s thoracic surgeon, Paolo Macchiarini. 

In terms of her future career, Moore says she’s simply looking for “longevity,” and she wants to prove to her kids that “Mom did some cool things with her life,” telling the outlet: 

I just want longevity. I want to keep having the opportunity to do this in some sense, in some form. I want to make my kids proud. I want them to be able to look back one day and be like, ‘Mom did some cool things with her life.’

Given how swoon-worthy her onscreen romance with Shane West is still considered all of these years later, we’d say she’s already got the longevity thing down pat!

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