Mandy Moore on Why She Stayed Brunette After ‘A Walk to Remember’

Blondes may have more fun, but Mandy Moore never looked back after dyeing her hair brunette for her first film as a leading lady, the 2002 hit A Walk to Remember. Watch Moore and her dark locks in a scene from the movie above!

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Mandy Moore and Shane West in A Walk to Remember.
Mandy Moore explains why she never went back to blonde after dyeing her hair brown for her first leading role in ‘A Walk to Remember.’ Warner Brothers/courtesy Everett Collection

“I was blonde then and, for the most part, haven’t gone back since,” the This Is Us actress, 32, told Entertainment Weekly in honor of the film’s 15th anniversary. “It was transformative because it came at a time in my life when I was only seen from the pop music landscape and through that lens. There was a real significance to coloring my hair. As silly as it sounds, there was a real significance in the way that people saw me, but also in the way that I carried myself and that I saw myself. It was the last little piece of the puzzle I think in terms of getting into the character.”

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As for her character’s especially modest wardrobe and occasionally ghostly complexion — she was sick, after all — Moore said she was wholeheartedly on board. “I knew what I was signing up for,” Moore said of playing Jamie Sullivan in the movie, based on the Nicholas Sparks book of the same name. “I’ve never been someone who’s put a tremendous amount of time and effort into that, especially when it comes to playing parts. I don’t really care. 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.”

Mandy in 2005; Mandy in 2017.
Moore in 2005, during her pop days, and in 2017, at the Golden Globes. Jamie McCarthy/WireImage; David Crotty/Patrick McMullan via Getty Images

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But her costar Shane West, who played her bad-boy-gone-good love, Landon Carter, believes that her onscreen transformation did more than get her into character. It affected her real life too. “I remember that Mandy was very nervous about dyeing her hair,” he told EW. “It’s amazing how it really changed her life — well, the movie changed all of our lives — but hers especially, aesthetically. She kind of went with that look after that — she didn’t go back to the platinum blonde.”

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