“Welcome to the Mandy Moore roast session,” writer and director Dan Fogelman said at Mandy Moore’s Hollywood Walk of Fame ceremony Monday morning.
Moore was inducted into the Hollywood Walk of Fame with her own star on Monday, March 25th. Known for her work as a musician, pop artist, actress and influencer, Mandy broke out with her debut single “Candy” at the age of 15, her breakout movie role as Jamie Sullivan in A Walk To Remember, and a career spanning roles in early 2000s rom-coms such as Chasing Liberty, Because I Said So and even being forever immortalized as Disney princess Rapunzel in 2010’s Tangled. She has been co-starring as Rebecca Pearson in NBC’s This Is Us in 2016, for which she received a Golden Globe nomination.
I was able to attend her Walk of Fame ceremony on Monday — and what can I say, it was truly something else (and seeing her reunite with costar Shane West from A Walk To Remember was a sight my tween eyes and heart just couldn’t believe).
I’m finally starting to understand and own who I am. It may have taken a long time to get here and a long time to feel comfortable in my skin but hard work is what grounds us. If I’ve learned anything, it’s that you must be grateful for where you’ve been in order to keep moving forward. And I have such an appreciation and fondness and respect for my young self, because she is what brought me to this moment today, 20 years later, with her own star on the walk of fame.
Below are some excerpts from the ceremony:
DAN FOGELMAN: “I do remember hearing her voice for the first time and thinking about how there was something so pure and sweet in her voice. There’s a reason that Mandy for so many years has been typecast into American sweetheart roles. It is because she is one. … She was destined for a star on this sidewalk long before today, but we do her a disservice if we think of her as just a star, she is a talented force of nature and she is just simply not messing around anymore.”
SHANE WEST: “Apparently our director Adam Shankman for A Walk To Remember decided, ‘Hey, let’s put these two opposites together.’ And what can I say but I’m glad he did. Not only was this film a wonderful experience in every way, it also gave me the chance to fall for this fantastic woman. Mandy, you are an absolute gem. Your smile is ridiculous, seriously, it’s ridiculous, it lights up a room when you walk in. Your energy is irresistible, and your heart is second to none. I always knew you were incredibly talented and always knew you were gonna go on to do amazing things, and here you have, here you are about to be immortalized on Hollywood Boulevard and hopefully no one pees on it.”
MANDY MOORE: “Today is a milestone of sorts, a celebration of that goal coming to fruition. And as I reflect back on my past journey, I can’t help but look forward to the future and everything that’s on the horizon. A career is shaped by many things and for me, there are two monumental projects that represent both where I started and where I am now: A Walk To Remember and This Is Us.
It takes just one person to see a spark in you, to see you in a way that you may not see yourself, to give you permission to go beyond what the world may or may not expect of you and completely change the path of your life and your career. And back in 2001 as a bubbly blonde pop singer with relatively no experience in front of the camera, director Adam Shankman did just that for me when he cast me as the morally-sound plain-jane Jamie Sullivan in A Walk To Remember. Reflecting back on that time, my first leading role, I can’t help but think of my poor sweet co-star Shane explaining the basics of filmmaking to me like how to hit my mark, and when and how to deliver my lines. He was exceedingly patient, kind and so talented. On set I was a nervous wreck but I felt buoyed knowing that I had such a capable friend who had my back and lovingly let me ride his coattails into teen romance infamy.
Honestly none of us knew that project would have the reach and the resonance it’s had over the years with new generations discovering it and falling in love with the story that will forever hold a very special place in my heart. Before This Is Us I found myself coming up against many walls. I knew that I had more to give as a actor and a performer and a human being, I was so hungry for a challenge and I was seeking something more colorful and creative, something I knew people wouldn’t expect from me.
At this chapter in my life, things are starting to feel like they’re coalescing. They’re coming full circle yet with so many blank pages to fill, and that’s what excites me the most with this juncture. Those of you who know me well know that I am inherently uncomfortable in this position, but recently I have found myself stepping into my power in a new way. I have. I’m finally starting to understand and own who I am. I’ve discovered a sense of authenticity and confidence in what’s next, and I feel really lucky. It may have taken a long time to get here and a long time to feel comfortable in my skin but hard work is what grounds us. It’s what makes us reach further than the day before and trust in our lead. If I’ve learned anything, it’s that you must be grateful for where you’ve been in order to keep moving forward. The opportunities that we’re offered in the present are stones that we’re turning and building on. And I have such an appreciation and fondness and respect for my young self, because she is what brought me to this moment today, 20 years later, with her own star on the walk of fame. I did not know it was possible to dream dreams this big.”
Mandy Moore has always been such a huge inspiration for me. As a young tween girl, her character in A Walk To Remember spoke great lengths to me, as I saw myself reflected in someone onscreen and someone to whom I could look up to as inspiration, continuously, throughout her life, career and journey.
It was one of the most Hollywood things I would ever do, and not many people I would go to these #Hollyweird events for, but I’m so happy I was able to witness such a special and intimate moment with friends, family, the This Is Us family and Shane West himself. This movie and her journey have stood for so much for me throughout my life, and her life, work and presence have given me so much light and inspiration over the years.
As bubblegum-pop as her early music was, to her days exploring her folk roots and American singer-songwriter, I’ve always seen so much of myself in Mandy and couldn’t be more happy — and excited!! — for her to reach such a milestone at such an early age (and 20 years into her career).
Thanks for following along, friends.
This was a dream — and a walk (of fame) to remember. ❤
With love and honesty,