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Mandy Moore and Shane West Discuss A Walk to Remember 2017

Mandy Moore and Shane West Talking About A Walk to Remember Is Too Much for Us

Image Source: Everett Collection

Jan. 25 marked 15 years since the release of A Walk to Remember, Nicholas Sparks's weepy tale of young romance. While we're still crying over the most memorably sad moments, stars Mandy Moore and Shane West have moved on — but that doesn't mean they don't also appreciate the movie. Moore, who was 17 years old (!) when the movie premiered, and West sat down with Entertainment Weekly to reflect on the film, and they dropped some feelings and knowledge that we were not prepared for. Here are the highlights!

  • Mandy Moore may or may not have been actually in love with Shane West. "Shane was so cool. Everything about him – the way he dressed, the little cigarettes that he smoked, and the music he listened to. He was the character to me and there was definitely a part of me that absolutely fell in love with him. I don't know if I could discern the difference between him and the character at that point in time because, again, it was my first experience doing anything like this and I was a 16-year-old, impressionable girl. I was just so caught up in the moment and the experience. I absolutely walked away from that project so convinced that there would never be a project as special as that. Shane was so wonderful."
  • West was very different than Moore. "It was kind of perfect the way we came into the project because she was coming from this pop background at that time — she had her song 'Candy,' and a role in The Princess Diaries. . . . Mandy was really nervous, I remember, in the beginning, but once she committed to it she slipped right into the role effortlessly and it just really fit her. She really grew up on that movie. We all did, but we were all in [our] 20s apart from her. I might have had a baby face and that's great, but I believe I was 24."

Image Source: Everett Collection

  • Someone else almost played Jamie. "There was someone else – who I'm not going to say right now — whose name was batted around for Mandy's role. I remember I wasn't keen on that idea and thankfully it didn't happen. . . . The person just didn't seem right. When they brought up Mandy, I was like 'I don't know Mandy.' Then we had that meeting where we had an audition and were both in the same room and I was like, 'She's perfect for the role.'"
  • It still holds a special place in Moore's heart. "We shot it in Wilmington, North Carolina, and it was the first time I'd ever had that kind of camp-like experience where you come home and cry when it's over and you're determined to keep in touch with everyone. It just gives me an all-encompassing warm feeling inside. There are very few times in your career when the memories and the relationship you have to a project match the relationship that an audience has to the project — but this movie is as special to me as it seems to be to people out there in the world."
  • Aside from the school play, Moore's most memorable scene is when Jamie breaks the bad news to Landon. "The scene where I tell Landon that I'm sick was very memorable scene because they weren't sure if I was going to say that I was just sick, or that I had leukemia. They were still trying to figure it out so we had to do several different versions. It was a very hard place to get to emotionally, to be able to tell him that and then to have to say, 'I have cancer,' 'I have leukemia,' 'I'm sick.' We were just trying out all these different options so that once they got in the editing room and had tested the movie, they would have their pick of what would eventually make it into the film. That was a sort of bizarre experience."

Image Source: Warner Bros.

  • West has a favorite line and it's adorable. "Besides the classic ones, I remember being on the bus and saying, 'You don't care what people think about you?' I always liked that one because the scene was very real. . . . I just remember seeing her cute little face and cute little smile and being so affirmative about her beliefs. It was part of the storyline, but it was also when I, myself, started to believe in her."
  • The movie was literally changed because of Save the Last Dance. "I remember a lot from that opening scene by the water . . . we were all supposed to be drinking, but a movie called Save The Last Dance came out and did very well and there was no drinking or cursing in the film so they made an executive decision to drop that the day of shooting the scene. Instead, we all pretended that we might have been drinking to be 'out of control dangerous' or whatever is was."
  • That setting? It was also used by Dawson's Creek. "What was really creepy was that that body of water had been sitting there for a long time and was apparently used on Dawson's Creek. It was giant pool overgrown with leaves and seaweed. They had to put in scuba divers to search for eels so when I had to jump in to rescue Clay (Matt Lutz) we were pretty freaked out by the fact there had been divers in there looking for wild animals. That was really creepy. I remember the rest of them, like Clayne Crawford and Lauren German, just feeling so bad for us. Not only because it was freezing, but if anything touched our legs we would've screamed. It was one very long night, but we got through it. Not exactly the way we thought we were going to start it – hey, jump into a creepy eel-infested pool!"
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