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Everyone needs to read Shane West’s beautiful tribute to BFF Mandy Moore

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Kayleigh Dray
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Shane West and Mandy Moore in Walk to Remember

It’s official: the A Walk to Remember co-stars are absolutely friendship goals.

Ah, A Walk To Remember. Some 17 years after the Nicholas Sparks adaptation first hit cinemas, it seems the tragic teen romance is still a movie to remember (sorry) for co-stars Mandy Moore and Shane West.

In the film, the duo play polar opposites Jamie Sullivan (Moore) and Landon Carter (West). She’s the daughter of the local preacher, he’s the town’s resident bad-boy, and they have absolutely nothing to do with one another until they’re unexpectedly paired up for their high school’s upcoming drama production.

You know the drill, obviously: the pair fall for one another, hard, despite their differences. However, the story ends in tragedy. Inspired by the life and death of Sparks’ sister, Danielle Sparks Lewis, the film (albeit largely fictional) is based on real experience. For example, just like Jamie, Danielle was never popular at school and always carried the Bible around with her everywhere she went. Just like Jamie, Danielle never believed that someone would ever see past her sickness and fall deeply head-over-heels for her (her husband proposed after learning of her cancer diagnosis). And, just like Jamie, Danielle tragically lost her battle with cancer in 2000.

As Sparks noted in his eulogy: “I suppose I wrote this novel not only so that you could get to know my sister, but so that you would know what a wonderful thing it was that her husband once did for her.”

However, while Landon and Jamie’s love story ends in tragedy, Moore and West’s relationship is well on its way to a happy ending – a fact which was made particularly clear after the actors’ most recent reunion.

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Earlier this week, Moore was honoured with a star on Hollywood’s Walk of Fame – and West turned up to honour his A Walk to Remember co-star with a moving speech.

“We could not have been more opposite when we met,” he said, as noted by Us Weekly. “I was busy wearing ill-advised clothes and having dubious hair choices and eye-liner in my garage punk band – or whatever that was – and you were killing it on the pop star scene.”

Roasting Moore slightly over their differing music tastes, West added: “I was trying to get you to listen to The Clash and the Ramones. You were not interested but you were very sweet about it. You stuck to your Fleetwood Mac, always Fleetwood Mac.”

It was at this point that West grew more serious, noting that – in spite of Moore’s Fleetwood Mac obsession – they forged a deep bond during the filming of A Walk To Remember. And a deep bond based upon mutual respect, no less.

“Not only was this film a wonderful experience in every way, it also gave me the chance to fall for this fantastic woman,” he said.

“Your energy is irresistible and your heart is second to none. I always knew you were incredibly talented and I always knew you were going to go on to do big things and amazing things, and you have!”

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West finished by saying: “I couldn’t be more proud of you. I couldn’t be more happy for you. [I] love you.”

Moore, clearly moved by West’s words, later took to Instagram to share a throwback photo of the pair of them on the set of their (now iconic) rom-com.

“Stars have always sort of been our thing,” she wrote, referencing the fact that, in the film, West’s character names a star after Moore’s.

“Thankful to @theshanewest for his kind words on this very special day, one which I will never forget. It was a walk (of fame) to remember.”

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It is not the first time that the pair have spoken about their transformative friendship. Indeed, speaking to EW for their movie’s 15th anniversary, Moore said: “It was such an overwhelmingly positive, memorable experience.

“Shane was so wonderful… I felt incredibly lucky right off the bat that I had someone who was as willing to work with me and who was patient and understanding. He was just the perfect partner for that.”

West shared similar sentiments, telling the publication: “It genuinely was a phenomenal experience. From start to finish, it really was a wonderful experience and that was because of Adam Shankman, the director…

“It was a lot of fun, everyone bonded on set and off, and it happened to turn out to be a success. You couldn’t ask for anything more.”

Image: Getty

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Kayleigh Dray

Kayleigh Dray is editor of Stylist.co.uk, where she chases after rogue apostrophes and specialises in films, comic books, feminism and television. On a weekend, you can usually find her drinking copious amounts of tea and playing boardgames with her friends. 

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