First music, now moviesÖ Mandy Moore is riding high, and sheís not even done being a teenager yet. Is she able to stay grounded and true to herself while living the celebrity life? Read on!
IML: Congrats on your new movie, How To Deal. The film addresses the issue of how young people are exposed to sex, drugs, and alcohol. How do you personally feel about that issue?
Mandy: Iím proud to address such pertinent issues to young people, and this film goes about it in a genuine, honest, and real way without sugarcoating things. At the end of the day, the film has something positive to say. I feel like Iím at an age where I want to be in movies that say something.
IML: Your character, Halley, believes that falling in love is overrated. Do you agree?
Mandy: No, not at all! Thatís why I was excited to play this character, because I couldnít find too many parallels between the two of us. I have always considered myself to be a fairly romantic person. I love the illusion of true love and soul mates and love at first sight and marriage, and all of that. It was a fun challenge to play Halley and be able to get into her mind and really discover why she feels this way. Weíre the same age and sheís surrounded by a family who loves her. For some reason, she doesnít want to acknowledge it. She wants to draw attention to herself and feel sorry for herself. I liked playing someone who is more complicated than I am.
IML: Have you personally had any rough times with love?
Mandy: Iíve never been through anything like what Halleyís going through. My parents are still together and my family is close knit. I havenít had too much trauma with love, but Iím sure itís coming sometime because you canít escape it. I feel like Iíve come off unscathed so far.
IML: Is your relationship with your family at all similar to Halleyís?
Mandy: No. I couldnít relate too much. I have a great relationship with my family. I love my parents and I travel around with my parents. I feel like Iím at an age where youíre supposed to not have that kind of relationship with them. Iím 19 and I should be rebelling and off at college and not wanting anything to do with them! But itís quite the opposite. They are such a big part of my life and what I do. Theyíre always there for meÖ I still live with them, even. It was hard to get into Halleyís mindset of being angry, but it was also kind of fun. It was amazing to have mother-daughter fights with Alison Janney, throwing pillows and chocolates at her.
IML: What do your parents think of the film?
Mandy: My parents were on set the whole time and I think they got a kick out of everythingÖ except the kissing stuff. Dadís a little protective so he doesnít like seeing any of that. I make Dad and my brothers go away from the set for a couple of hours and we get those kissing scenes finished with!
IML: How does your boyfriend (tennis player Andy Roddick) feel about the kissing stuff?
Mandy: I met him during the last two weeks of the movie, but I know heís not going to be too
happy to watch the end result. Itís a little awkward.
IML: How do you prepare him to see those scenes?
Mandy: Itís part of my job, I guess. Itís not necessarily a terrible part, but itís just something I have to do and you have to just learn to deal with it. I think itís a little bit more awkward when you talk about it with someone and address it like, ďOh, coming up is when weÖĒ I just kind of donít address it, and hopefully heíll understand that itís just part of the movie and the character.
IML: You said your family is really close knit, but do you ever fight with your brothers?
Mandy: Of course! My older brother, who is in Florida, just graduated from college. My parents have been out there for the past week with him, so Iím taking care of my younger brother, Kyle. I'm going to go home after this and squabble with him about what to eat for dinner. Because he's always like, ďI want pizza,Ē or ďI'm not hungry; I'll just have Hershey's Kisses.Ē I'm like, ďNo, you can't do that. You have to eat.Ē I have to play mother with him and he doesn't like that. He says, ďI think I'm just going to go into school late tomorrow,Ē and I say, ďYou can't do that, you have to go.Ē He says, ďI don't feel like doing my homework,Ē and Iíll remind him that when Mom and Dad are gone, I'm the one in charge. He can't take care of himself and things fall apart.
IML: Were you like that when you were his age?
Mandy: Yeah! As soon as my parents left the house. My older brother would watch Kyle and me, and I totally would try it and do what I wanted to do.
IML: Now that youíve been in the biz for several years, what advice would you give to aspiring young performers?
Mandy: My advice would be this: never pass up any opportunity to perform, because you never know who is in the audience. I was in the right place at the right time and Iím a firm believer in that.
IML: Your first single was released when you were in your mid-teens. How did you feel about missing out on high school and all the experiences that teens have?
Mandy: I believe that everything happens for a reason. I feel like thereís a path for everyone and this is just what I was supposed to do. I feel like what I do professionally affects what I do as a person and how I live my life. I definitely think itís been positive. Sure, Iíve missed out on the football games and the proms and the social aspect of school, but I feel like Iíve had similar experiences. I donít get to go to prom, but every now and then I go to a movie premiere and you get to get all dolled up and itís a similar type of event. I feel like Iíve learned so much more just by being able to travel all over the world and meet different people and experience different cultures. On top of that, Iíve gotten to do what I love to do in performing, and thatís taught me a great deal as a person.
IML: Do you plan on going to college?
Mandy: I want to go to college. Iíll probably do a couple of semesters of correspondence like how I finished high school. Iíve never had the kind of independence or freedom that college gives you, so itís alluring in that sense. I could live on my own or with a roommate and I could eat what I want and go grocery shopping, and all of that seems cool to me. All of my friends are in their freshman year and itís cool to hear them tell tales of the football games and what theyíve done.
IML: What would you study?
Mandy: Iím interested in journalism, musical theatre, fashion design, and American History. I want to learn more than what I learned in high school. I have something to fall back on hopefully in a career, but I would just be going to fill my mind with stuff that appeals to me.
IML: Do you want to spend equal time on your musical and acting careers?
Mandy: Yes. Iím very blessed that I get to dabble in both. Iím going to continue doing both as long as people are accepting of me in both roles. I devoted most of last year to doing films and I just finished doing a record and itís something Iím so passionate and proud of, but itís weird to switch gears. There are parallels in the music and film world, but they are very different schedules and circles of people. I feel like they are two different ways to channel my creativity.
IML: All this must keep you very busy! When you get free time, what do you like to do?
Mandy: Iím the laziest person when I have the time off! I had most of November and December off and I love being a couch potato. Iím addicted to TIVO and ďAmerican Idol.Ē I love getting on the Internet and shopping and hanging out with my friends and my dogs. Iím a homebody. Going out for me is a real stretch. Going out is dinner and MAYBE a movie.
IML: Being a young celeb comes with a big glam factor, but it seems like you avoid the ďHollywood sceneĒ that so many of your peers participate in.
Mandy: I donít like it. I live in Los Angeles for work, but I love it because I love the mountains and the ocean. I love when I have a day off, so I can get in my car by myself and listen to music with the top down, and not worry about anything or anyone. I think the whole ďHollywood sceneĒ kind of turns me off. Itís such the stereotypical thing to go out every night to parties and I couldnít keep up with that lifestyle.
IML: Do you hang out with other celebrities?
Mandy: This is going to sound really bad, but I donít have many friends out here. The few friends I do have out here are people I relate to and people I have something to learn from. I donít want to be friends with someone just to be friends with them. I have my handful of close friends that I can count on one hand and most of them arenít here. Theyíre either in school or living in New York or something. I donít really feel sorry for myself because when Iím not working I just want to go home and relax and eat dinner with my family.
IML: It sounds like you have a real good idea of who you are. Do you have a role model?
Mandy: As odd as it may sound, Bette Midler. Sheís unique. Sheís a household name but sheís been herself her whole career. Sheís done Broadway, movies, TV, recording. Sheís accomplished everything that I hope to accomplish in my career. She was someone I admired and I always loved ďBeachesĒ growing up. She did inspire me in many ways.
IML: We hear you love to play tennis.
Mandy: I always joke around when I'm with Andy. I think, "Yeah, I think I'm ready to join the tour and give everything else up." I'm no good. He says that I could have been good if I had started younger. I could have been better than I am now. But even though I'm not athletically inclined, I enjoy it. I have fun.
IML: How often do you play?
Mandy: When I'm hanging out with Andy, whenever he practices, I'll usually practice too. I warm him up before tournaments.
IML: What else do you do to stay active and in shape?
Mandy: I go to the gym. I have a trainer who I work out with. He's cool. He's made me like running, and Iíve always hated running! I don't like running on a treadmill, though. I like running outside.
IML: What kind of relationship do you have with your dad?
Mandy: I am such the "Daddy's girl." I have my dad wrapped around my finger. He's so great. We have what we call ďDaddy/DaughterĒ days every now and then.
IML: What do you do on Daddy/Daughter day?
Mandy: Oh, we'll go out to dinner. We'll go out to lunch or something together. We'll go out shopping or we'll just drive around and listen to music, or if I have errands to do or he has errands to do, we just kind of spend the day together.
IML: Do your parents have rules for you, or are you past that?
Mandy: My dad has rules. I live with my family, but I'm not like a big "going out" person, so I don't really have a curfew. I'm a homebody. They don't really have anything to worry about.
IML: What is a typical day like for you?
Mandy: I'll leave work and I'll go home and I'll watch TV, take a shower and get into my pajamas at 8:00pm and go to bed at 9:30pm. I'm so painfully, numbingly boring. I do what I do all day, I come home, and the last thing I want to do is go out. Even going out to dinner is a chore. It's terrible.
IML: What is your advice on ďhow to dealĒ?
Mandy: I donít have a personal motto, but my family has always instilled in me the Golden Rule, and thatís something that I carry around with me every day. Treat people how you want to be treated. It stands by itself.
IML: Okay, hereís a fun question. Where do you think you'll be in ten years?
Mandy: In ten years, honestly, I see myself still doing this. Hopefully, I'll be able to be a little more picky about what I do. In ten years, I'd like to have a family and I'd like to be married, concentrating on that, but I'd also like to open a theater for young people. I'd love to continue recording and take on some projects as well, as long there's an audience out there for me.
IML: Many people consider you a teen idol. Do you think that comes with certain responsibility or expectations?
Mandy: If youíre lucky enough to be in show business, there are going to be people who look up to you and consider you a role model, and itís always going to be in the back of your mind. At the end of the day, you have to live your life and be yourself. I think itís flattering that people would think that about me, because I have been allowed to be myself. With me, what you see is what you get!
Read more about young celebrities in Celebs Say....
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