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Considering her overnight stardom as a pop music princess at the tender age of 15, it came as a surprise to many when she transitioned into an accomplished actress. While still in her teens, she suddenly found herself on tour with the biggest teen acts in music after being discovered by talent scouts. Specials on MTV and her own television show followed, culminating with a role in the feature film, "The Princess Diaries" (2001). It was all happening so fast. However, unlike some of her pop contemporaries, Moore's story deviated from when she turned in a respectable performance alongside the likes of icon Julie Andrews and Anne Hathaway. From there, Moore continued to grow as an actress, often in roles that played against her perceived type, exemplified by her turn as a judgmental, intolerant Christian student in the indie-comedy "Saved!" (2004) and as a villainous talent contestant in the "American Idol" lampoon, "American Dreamz" (2006). Later, Moore provided the voice of Rapunzel in the Disney reimagining of the Brothers Grimm fairy tale "Tangled" (2010). A fitting role, perhaps, for a singer-turned-actress whose successful career seemed more like a fantasy tale than some might have predicted for...
Considering her overnight stardom as a pop music princess at the tender age of 15, it came as a surprise to many when she transitioned into an accomplished actress. While still in her teens, she suddenly found herself on tour with the biggest teen acts in music after being discovered by talent scouts. Specials on MTV and her own television show followed, culminating with a role in the feature film, "The Princess Diaries" (2001). It was all happening so fast. However, unlike some of her pop contemporaries, Moore's story deviated from when she turned in a respectable performance alongside the likes of icon Julie Andrews and Anne Hathaway. From there, Moore continued to grow as an actress, often in roles that played against her perceived type, exemplified by her turn as a judgmental, intolerant Christian student in the indie-comedy "Saved!" (2004) and as a villainous talent contestant in the "American Idol" lampoon, "American Dreamz" (2006). Later, Moore provided the voice of Rapunzel in the Disney reimagining of the Brothers Grimm fairy tale "Tangled" (2010). A fitting role, perhaps, for a singer-turned-actress whose successful career seemed more like a fantasy tale than some might have predicted for the onetime teen idol du jour.
Born Amanda Leigh Moore on April 10, 1984 in Nashua, NH., "Mandy" spent her childhood in Orlando, FL after her parents, Don and Stacy, moved there prior to her first birthday. The middle child - and only girl - of the family, Moore began her musical training via voice lessons at the age of 10. Before long she was performing in local theater productions, with "The Sound of Music" being one of many. At age 15, the naturally pretty and effervescent singer-actress was already achieving a fair amount of fame in her hometown as the "National Anthem Girl" for her performance of "The Star-Spangled Banner" at several Orlando sports events. Spotted by producers who were substantially impressed by her take on the patriotic hymn, it was suggested that she cut a demo. In the blink of an eye, the tween found herself sitting pretty with her own record deal. From there, things moved quickly. Touring with the Backstreet Boys and *NSYNC in 1999 exposed the young singer to a massively large audience, and demand for her debut single "Candy" was so strong that her album release date was actually pushed up - a rare occurrence in the business. That freshman effort, So Real would go on to sell over one million copies, propelling Moore into the ranks of bubblegum pop stardom. With a video that was mildly provocative - though the underage Moore dressed conservatively compared to her bad girl competition, Britney Spears and Christina Aguilera - "Candy" served as an ideal launching pad for a MTV-friendly career.
Achieving platinum sales by 2000, Moore was now a fixture on MTV, guest-hosting the popular daily series "TRL" (MTV, 1998-2008) and starring in MTV specials such as "Mandy's Mountain Makeover" and "Spring Break 2000" that same year. Noting the performer's charm, charisma and screen presence, the cable network offered Moore her own series during the summer of 2000: "The Mandy Moore Show," which resumed in the summer of 2001 as the retitled "Mandy." A star whose work crossed media lines from the beginning, Moore began working as a Neutrogena spokesperson soon after "Candy" was released, and in 2000, the home video "Magic Al and the Mind Factory" surfaced, a children's project she had filmed in 1998. The following year saw the actress make her big screen debut; first, with a small voice role in "Dr. Dolittle 2" (2001), followed by a pivotal supporting role in the Garry Marshall comedy "The Princess Diaries" (2001). As the popular tormentor of unlikely - and unsuspecting - Princess Mia (Anne Hathaway), Moore set aside her sunshiny image to play the archetypical schoolgirl bully. Jumping at the opportunity to work with legends Marshall and star Julie Andrews, Moore enjoyed an overwhelmingly positive reaction to her entry into film from her co-stars, as well as a rather warm reception from the critics. It seemed of all her blonde pop star peers of the new millennium - Aguilera, Spears and Jessica Simpson - only the newly brunette Moore had the chops and the drive to make it as a viable actress.
As "The Princess Diaries" was set to open in 2001, Moore had just finished filming "A Walk to Remember" (2002), a period romance set in small town America that paired her quiet, good girl character opposite a troubled bad boy (Shane West) in a syrupy but heartfelt teen "Love Story"-esque tale. The film was a modest and unexpected success, putting Hollywood on notice that Moore possessed an appeal that transcended flash-in-the-pan teen idoldom. That year also saw the release of Moore's self-titled album, Mandy Moore, that showed a more mature, musically experimental side to the singer, spawning a hit single with the edgy lead-off, "In My Pocket." After her debut starring role drew respectable box office numbers, Moore was next cast as the lead in "How to Deal" (2003), playing a teen whose cynical view of romance - reinforced by her dysfunctional family's misadventures in love - is turned on its head when she falls in love for the first time. That film was followed by another musical release, Coverage (2003), in which Moore attempted to expose songs by Elton John, Cat Stevens and other classic artists to her generation of listeners. She next played the rebellious, overprotected daughter of the U.S. president who, while on a road trip to escape constant surveillance, unknowingly falls for the undercover Secret Service agent assigned to shield her, in "Chasing Liberty" (2004).
Moore subverted expectations with her next project when she co-starred in the sly indie comedy "Saved!" (2004) - easily her best film up to that time - demonstrating a convincing edgy side in her portrayal of Hilary Faye, an overzealous and self-righteous Christian school student who reacts with a surprising degree of intolerance when her pregnant best friend refuses to be "saved." Moore's previously unsuspected dramatic depth and improvisational ability added layers of complexity to her character, which, in the hands of a less intuitive actor, would have played entirely unsympathetic. For "Racing Stripes" (2005), a family-friendly combination live-action and animated feature, Moore provided the voice of Sandy, a young horse who helps Stripes the zebra run his first race. In 2005, Moore continued to impress on screen, when she scored a recurring stint on the Hollywood-centric comedy series "Entourage" (HBO, 2004- ). Playing a fictionalized version of herself, Moore as Moore became involved in a complicated romance with her co-star Vincent Chase (Adrian Grenier) while shooting a big screen superhero movie for director James Cameron. After appearing in director Paul Weitz's "American Idol"-inspired cultural satire, "American Dreamz" (2006), Moore did the best with what she had as Diane Keaton's daughter in the misbegotten comedy, "Because I Said So" (2007), one of a string of box office disappointments for the actress that year.
It was a busy year for Moore, if not particularly a banner one. Following right on the heels of "Because I Said So" was the highly anticipated romantic comedy "License to Wed" (2007), co-starring Robin Williams and John Krasinski. The result, however, was mixed, with the film being largely dismissed by critics and met with ambivalence by audiences. Greeted more warmly by reviewers, but lacking the marketing power to make much of a dent at the multiplex, was the sardonic romantic comedy "Dedication" (2007), directed by Justin Theroux. Neither of these could compare to the star-studded critical and financial catastrophe that was writer-director Richard Kelly's apocalyptic mash-up "Southland Tales" (2007). Despite this stretch of feature film misfires, Moore's musical career provided a bright spot with the release that summer of her first self-written album, Wild Hope. Taking a break from Hollywood, Moore continued to focus on her music for the time being, releasing the thematically more mature album Amanda Leigh in 2009. In 2010, Moore took on a small recurring role on the popular medical melodrama "Grey's Anatomy" (ABC, 2004- ). In her next cinematic effort, Moore provided the vocals for the Disney-fied version of the Brothers Grimm fairy tale, "Rapunzel" in the animated "Tangled" (2010).
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CAST: (feature film)
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Mandy Moore on making her first video, the hit "Candy": "It was a lot like making a commercial, except I was the product. I was the box of soap, I was the candy bar, or something. So I found that was pretty funny, but it was still amazing."
"I just stopped myself sometimes and thought, 'Whoa, Mandy, look at all these adults. This is their job. They're trying to make a video for you. They're working hard for you.' It's just mind-boggling. It's like, 'Wow, all these adults' jobs are relying on you.' But again, in another sense, it's just like, 'Whoa, this is party time! I'm ready to go!'" --to MTVNEWS.com, December 1, 1999.
"My parents ... I guess you would call them stage parents. They were always really supportive, but at first they were kind of hesitant, especially when I was first starting in the very, very beginning. They thought, 'It's just a phase you're gonna grow out of in a few years' and stuff like that. But once they saw me onstage and knew how much it was my passion, how much I did love it, they were like, 'Okay, maybe she's taking this more seriously.' And definitely when some deals were starting to come in and some offers, my parents were kind of hesitant, because really, you have to sacrifice a lot, and people sometimes forget that. But they knew how much I loved it and how much I really wanted to give it my all and try. I'm really grateful that they were that supportive." --Moore to MTVNEWS.com, December 3, 1999.
Mandy Moore on "The Princess Diaries": "Growing up, I did a lot of musical theater, like 'The Sound Of Music' and stuff like that. It's a cool film, and I get to play the really mean, rude, crude, popular girl in school who's always making out with her boyfriend. The one who gets ice cream in her face. It's going to be fun. I'm looking forward to it." --to MTVNEWS.com, September 6, 2000.
"I don't want to take fame for granted because that is when you start to think you are better than everyone else. That is when you start thinking that you are someone that you are not."---Mandy Moore quoted by Askmen.com
"I have been very lucky in the sense that I'm not the biggest star in the world," she says. "So I was a little bit more anonymous and had the ability to kind of manoeuvre into roles that were a little bit more unexpected from me because people didn't expect much from me at all."---Moore on her transition to acting Movie Hole July 14, 2003
"There are those out there that definitely play up their sexuality and whatnot, but I don't and I never really have, so it's kind of weird to kind of see yourself in that light or for people to regard you in that light."---Moore in an interview with the Associated Press April 16, 2004
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