Cue “Dare You to Move”! Mandy Moore and Shane West still have fond memories from their 2002 movie A Walk to Remember, which was released 15 years ago this month. (Grab a tissue and watch a scene from the movie above!) The actors reflected on their time filming the Nicholas Sparks movie in a new interview with Entertainment Weekly.
The former pop star, now 32, played innocent Jamie Sullivan in the Adam Shankman–directed flick, three years after her debut single “Candy” was released. West, 38, played bad boy Landon Carter, who falls for the reverend’s daughter after he’s forced to do community service.
Many fangirled (and still do!) over West’s grin and charm — and Moore was no exception. “Shane was so cool. Everything about him – the way he dressed, the little cigarettes that he smoked, and the music he listened to. He was the character to me and there was definitely a part of me that absolutely fell in love with him. I don’t know if I could discern the difference between him and the character at that point in time because, again, it was my first experience doing anything like this and I was a 16-year-old, impressionable girl. I was just so caught up in the moment and the experience,” the This Is Us actress recalled. “I absolutely walked away from that project so convinced that there would never be a project as special as that. Shane was so wonderful.”
West noticed that Moore was “nervous” at the start of production, but says she quickly settled into the role of the girl next door. “She really grew up on that movie. We all did, but we were all in our twenties apart from her. I might have had a baby face and that’s great, but I believe I was 24,” he told the mag. “There was someone else — who I’m not going to say right now — whose name was batted around for Mandy’s role. I remember I wasn’t keen on that idea and thankfully it didn’t happen.”
The Salem actor didn’t name names, but noted that the other person “just didn’t seem right” for the part.
Moore and West auditioned together before eventually shooting the project in North Carolina. The film had many memorable moments, including when Landon checked off several of Jamie’s bucket list items and when he gifted her with a pink sweater.
“The makeup and wardrobe? I knew what I was signing up for,” Moore told EW, referring to Jamie’s drab, oversized tops and long skirts. “I was excited to take on a role like this knowing that I was going to completely step outside of myself and dress in a way and in a manner that was appropriate for this character,” she added. “I think what they had struggled with initially was having to keep the fact that my character was sick under wraps until a certain point in the project. I remember the first makeup test when they cut my bangs and were doing the first camera test. They made me so ghostly white that it was just a little uncalled for — I’m not dead yet!”
Moore and West shared most of their screen time together. Moore particularly liked singing “Only Hope” during the school play, and West’s favorite line took place when they chatted on the bus.
“Besides the classic ones, I remember being on the bus and saying, ‘You don’t care what people think about you?'” he said. “I always liked that one because the scene was very real. It was almost like we really believed what we were saying and we were just talking. Sometimes that’s how you get your best performances, when you’re just being and that’s kind of how it was. I just remember seeing her cute little face and cute little smile and being so affirmative about her beliefs. It was part of the storyline, but it was also when I, myself, started to believe in her. So that’s always a line that stood out to me.”
Moore and West have both added to their résumés since A Walk to Remember. But in between their busy schedules, they hope to cross paths again. On Wednesday, when a fan asked if they will reunite, Moore tweeted back, “We’re working on it!”
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