Celebrities

Mandy Moore on the “Low Point” in Her Career That Ended with This Is Us

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When Mandy Moore first received the script for what would become This Is Us, “I was at sort of this weird lull and low point.” As she tells Laura Bradley on this weeks episode of Little Gold Men, she had just decided to stop auditioning for a traditional pilot season, after shooting four network pilots that went nowhere. After reading the script for what at the time was known as Untitled Dan Fogelman Project, she thought, “This was the exact thing we just mentioned I wasnt going to get my heart set on. I didnt know if I could face that rejection anymore.”

Instead, she not only landed the part of Rebecca—a mother and wife seen from ages 22 to 68 on the show—but This Is Us also became one of the only true network success stories of recent years, the kind of seismic hit that lands the post-Super Bowl time slot and so, so many memes. “We recognize how special the moment is and how special it is to be part of something like that,“ Moore said of her and her castmates reaction to the shows success. “I drive through the gates of Paramount every day that Im at work and say, thank you, universe.

In a wide-ranging conversation, Moore reflects back on her early days as a teenage pop star, and how even at the time she felt she didnt quite fit the mold of what was being asked of her. “Thinking back to my contemporaries when I started music, everyone went off and did a version of a film where they played an extension of themselves,” she said—not directly naming Crossroads or The Dukes of Hazzard, but, well, come on. When she began her acting career in earnest, after breaking through with the 2002 weepie A Walk to Remember, Moore found herself wanting to stretch into more challenging roles, but she was never given the chance. “I was really not in line with what I was craving at the time. People saw me through one lens. I love that with the benefit of time and patience and now having the opportunity to be part of a show where I do play this 22-year-old to 68-year-old . . . hopefully, that has opened peoples eyes.”

Listen to Lauras conversation with Mandy Moore above. Also on this weeks episode, Richard Lawson, Katey Rich, and Joanna Robinson discuss the Tony Awards and what the Oscars might learn from them, the new Pixar film Incredibles 2, and the very competitive Emmy race that is best lead actress in a drama series.

Take a listen, and find Little Gold Men on Apple Podcasts, where you can also leave a rating and a review.

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