Mandy Moore became a movie star with A Walk To Remember. Before the 2002 Nicholas Sparks film adaption came out, she had only acted in The Princess Diaries. She was more known for her music at the time, but she was eager to break out onto the big screen. She did just that with her co-star, Shane West, and it turns out the feelings in their on-screen romance were also felt off screen.
‘A Walk To Remember’ turns 19 on Jan. 25, 2021
A Walk To Remember came out on Jan. 25, 2002. It began the long string of Sparks film adaptations—the Moore flick and 2004’s The Notebook being the two most popular. Looking back on her long career, Moore said A Walk To Remember is the film she’s proudest of.
“I had such a visceral reaction to it that I remember not being able to read because I was almost hyperventilating while I was crying,” she told The Los Angeles Times in 2010. “It was my first movie and I know people say it may be cliche and it’s a tearjerker or it’s cheesy, but for me, it’s the thing I’m most proud of.”
Shane West and Mandy Moore’s auditions for ‘A Walk To Remember’ happened quickly
West said a 2017 interview with Entertainment Weekly that the audition process for the wildly popular movie happened fast.
“Back then, I did audition for it, but I swear to God I only read once,” he told the outlet, according to E! News. “Adam, the director, had a lot of control, and he really liked the idea of Mandy so he was seeing if I could cut it with her. He brought us together in a room and we read a few scenes and chatted mostly, and then all of a sudden it was happening.”
Adam Shankman was told to consider Jessica Simpson for the role by Warner Brothers, the film’s production company, but Moore ended up booking the role.
Mandy Moore loved everything about Shane West while filming ‘A Walk To Remember’
Once they were finally on set, Moore swooned over her co-star. She told Entertainment Weekly in 2017 that part of her was “absolutely” in love with him.
“Shane was so cool. Everything about him—the way he dressed, the little cigarettes that he smoked, and the music he listened to,” she said, according to E! News. “He was the character to me and there was definitely a part of me that absolutely fell in love with him.”
West fell in love with Moore, too. He told Access Live that it was hard not to fall in love with a script like that. He said:
“I think we both [fell in love]. I was in a little punk rock band at the time and doing acting for a while and she was doing the pop star thing for a while and this was kind of her first lead in a film. So we were definitely opposites attract. So I think at first I’m not sure if we loved each other—or liked each other—right off the bat, but it quickly changed. The writing helped, the direction helped, and the fact that she is one of the sweetest people ever.”
While the two never dated, the love they felt for each other is clearly seen on screen in the movie. Now that you have this in your head, enjoy ugly crying the next time you watch the movie! As if it weren’t already enough of a tearjerker.
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