Mandy Moore has shared some words of wisdom for her 20-year-old self – and, like most good things, it is brilliantly simple.
Fair warning: this article contains some spoilers for the first season of This Is Us. You have been warned…
Mandy Moore first shot to fame in 1999 with her debut album Candy, before going on to star in the likes of Dr. Dolittle 2, The Princess Diaries, A Walk to Remember and Tangled.
Nowadays, though, she is best known for her standout performance as Rebecca Pearson in the critically-acclaimed This Is Us.
The hit NBC show – which airs on Channel 4 in the UK – chronicles the Pearson family across the decades: from Rebecca (Moore) and Jack (Milo Ventimiglia) as young parents in the Eighties to their 37-year-old kids Kevin (Justin Hartley), Kate (Chrissy Metz) and Randall (Sterling K Brown) searching for love and fulfillment in the present day.
The grounded, life-affirming dramedy “details how the tiniest events in our lives impact who we become, and how the connections we share with each other can transcend time, distance and even death”.
And, in the series, there’s no denying that Moore’s character is largely defined by tragedy, and many have held up Moore’s performance as proof of her maturation as an actress.
Speaking about playing Rebecca in the May issue of NewBeauty, Moore said: “’I love that I get to play a fallible human being. She’s not a perfect wife or mother, and I think that’s part of the secret to the show’s success.
“People really relate to these characters because they see themselves or their own families and the choices they’ve made. It circles back to the connection our audience has with us and our stories.
“I have never, ever been a part of something that people connect to like this, and it resonates so deeply. People want to come up to you and talk to you about the most vulnerable things in their lives and the experiences they’ve had. They want to get real with you and talk about the nitty gritty of life and that’s pretty unbelievable. It’s very humbling.”
Moore went on to acknowledge that she’s come a long way from her teenage years singing on Radio Disney, explaining that she’s evolved both personally and professionally – and admitting that she used to stress over the little things much more when she was younger.
Now, though, she tries to stay focused on the bigger picture.
“The older you get, the less of a s**t you give,” she tells the magazine.
In fact, she would tell her 20-year-old self to understand there will be bumps in the road but that she needs to believe in herself and stay strong.
“Everything happens for a reason,” Moore says in a message to her younger self, “so try to own it and embrace it because it’s going to be part of her story.”
It’s a good attitude – and one which she deployed when faced with fans’ disappointment over last year’s emotional season final of This Is Us.
Sharing a selfie of herself and Ventimiglia to Instagram (see above), Moore began by discussing how honoured she had been to work alongside her fictional husband – before going on to explain why the This Is Us finale was “fundamental to the bigger picture”.
“I stand in awe of this friend of mine,” she wrote. “He is the ultimate partner in crime and he absolutely knocked it out of the park on every level in last night’s finale. I am the luckiest. Can’t believe we have 18 behind us and at least 36 ahead, Mi. Wow.”
She continued: “And for those somehow frustrated with the finale not revealing how Jack passed, I would encourage patience,” she continued. “Otherwise you might be watching the wrong show. Last night was fundamental to the bigger picture. The story deviated and ultimately landed on (I think) a more compelling question… what was the state of this relationship in the end? And as Milo so eloquently stated, let’s focus on how the man lived! Stay tuned ‘cause it’s all leading somewhere and we’re just getting started.”