Entertainment Television

Mandy Moore previews epic This Is Us finale and talks about reviving her music career

By Jane Stevenson, Postmedia Network

Mandy Moore (NBCUniversal Media LLC)

Mandy Moore (NBCUniversal Media LLC)

Mandy is ‘moore’ than grateful for This Is Us.

In fact, 32-year-old singer and actress Mandy Moore says her Golden Globe Award-nominated role on TV’s acclaimed new drama is the best job she’s ever had.

“It’s kind of beyond my wildest expectations,” said Moore, a late ’90s pop star who went on to make such films as A Walk To Remember and voiced Rapunzel in the animated film Tangled (which will debut as a Disney animated series later this month with her reprising the role). 

“This is number one with a bullet, yep, for sure. It’s the best job I’ve ever had. I’ve said that. I think [my co-star] Milo [Ventimiglia, who plays her husband Jack] has said that [too]. We’re all just in awe of the crazy good fortune we’ve had.”

Postmedia Network caught up with Moore — who’s currently dating Dawes lead singer Taylor Goldsmith after her seven-year marriage to singer/songwriter Ryan Adams ended last year — on the line in L.A. to talk about why This Is Us struck a chord with viewers and critics, its epic finale that airs tonight on NBC and CTV (the series has been renewed for two more seasons) and why she doesn’t want to be Taylor Swift.

Can you tease Tuesday night’s finale?

The finale has a little bit of everybody in it but it maybe focuses on Milo and I as Jack and Rebecca more  — before they were Jack and Rebecca. And sort of the counterpoint to that being where they are in their marriage now in 1996. It’s an interesting juxtaposition of seeing the fractures more currently in 1996 versus who they were before they got married.

Was the on-screen chemistry between you and Milo, who you’d never met before, immediate?

I don’t know what to attribute that to other than I just really love Milo. I was really on the surface with him immediately when we first met each other. He’s just so lovely. He’s everything that you want him to be. He’s the greatest partner in a scene. In a weird way, we kind of have our own language just ’cause we have worked together for seven months on these really intimate, crazy and intense storylines. We both approach our work with the same degree of passion. We take lots of notes and ask each other lots of questions. We read our lines in hair and makeup to one another. It’s nice to feel that from the person you’re supposed to be on the same page with. 

What does it say about the times we live in that a show that celebrates ‘the family’ is so popular right now?

I think that people are really looking to be cathartically entertained. I think people want to be able to feel their feelings and be able to relate to these characters and these stories and relate it back to their own life. But ultimately, I think people want hopeful entertainment and something that feels unifying in this really divided, divisive world that we live in these days. I think that’s a very important part of the show’s DNA and its success as well.

I read that you walked in the Women’s March in L.A. Why was that important to you?

I think we have no choice but to have to be political these days. As a woman, I felt a responsibility. I wanted to be there with my friends and my community. It was really energizing and incredible to feel that sense of community. 

It was not only an event but also a safe space for everyone to pour out all of their confusion, disappointment or uncertainty. It was nice to have that outlet for sure.

Will you return to music at some point given your last disc was released in 2009?

Well, I’m happy with [acting] being my path for the time being, but I don’t see why not. This Is Us is on hiatus for a couple of months so it would definitely be fun to think about music again. I’m trying to figure out how music could factor into my life again. I think as long as I can do it on my own terms, I’d be happy. I don’t want to be Taylor Swift. I’m not looking to sell out [big venues]. That’s not the goal. That’s not the musician I see myself being. I’d be happy to make music for myself and figure out a way to put it out in the world. I don’t want to be a pop star.

And how are you doing post-divorce?

I am fantastic. Life is good, couldn’t be happier.

Have you listened to Ryan’s month-old new album, Prisoner?

[Chuckles] No, I have not.