Tribute's Bonnie Laufer talks to teen singing sensation Mandy Moore about her first starring role on the big screen in A Walk to Remember.

B.L. This is your second film, but your first starring role.
M.M. My first starring role, it was so exciting.

B.L. Of course, you have quite a fan base from your music, but as far as making a transition from music into acting how is it going so far?
M.M. It's going okay, I'm doing really well. I feel really lucky and blessed at this point to dabble in a little bit of everything. It's different from what I expected, but also really similar. I think, as a recording artist coming from the world of music videos, it's a very similar process in terms of that, just breaking it down. But I think that you have a little bit of practice acting and conveying your emotions across to the audience during a performance — that's definitely an element of acting.

B.L. Which do you think is harder, the music business or the film business?
M.M. I think the music business is harder but both of them are crafts that I am still perfecting. I think as an artist I still want to be fine-tuning and perfecting my craft and that's what I'm doing with voice lessons and acting lessons. They are both equally difficult but the music industry is crazy.

B.L. What attracted you to the role of Jamie Sullivan in A Walk to Remember?
M.M. Well, first of all, it is based on one of my favourite books by Nicholas Sparks. I like that she was the daughter of a Southern Baptist minister. I died my hair dark brown and cut bangs and I wear dowdy clothes literally for the whole film. It was awesome. It's not a movie about being cute and setting trends and it's not a teen flick. I think that adults are going to want to see it because they have read the book. I think teens will want to see it because cutie pie Shane West is in it.

B.L. And you too!
M.M. I hope so. It was the most amazing experience to take two and a half months off, go to Wilmington, North Carolina, stay there and become a completely different person. The experience, compared to working on The Princess Diaries, was so different. My first two experiences delving into films were opposites. I got to try two completely different films and types of characters. Obviously one was a lot more responsibility than the other but I was so ready for it. The movie is such a beautiful wonderful story — for anybody who has read the book you'll know what I mean. Darryl Hannah is in it, and Peter Coyote. I am so psyched.

B.L. Among other themes, A Walk to Remember deals with the high school experience. Being a performer for most of your life, you didn't have a traditional high school experience.
M.M. That's right. I left half way through my freshman year of high school so I think in a way this was me reliving what I missed, the social aspect of high school, although what we filmed in this movie makes me kind of realize that I didn't really miss that much. I did miss the football games and the homecomings and all of that, but some of the clique stuff and horrible peer pressure, you have enough of that in the real world anyway. I'm glad that I kind of skipped over that.

B.L. How was your chemistry with your co-star Shane West? On screen you guys looked like you clicked. Plus you both also have music in your lives, so that must have helped.
M.M. Thank you. We had a wonderful time; we became good friends. He's a great guy and a talented actor and I think that people are really going to be amazed with his performance in the movie and it was cool to find that common ground with the music. He introduced me to some good musicians and I did as well. It's good to have a friend like that.

B.L. In the movie, your character has a list of things that she wants to accomplish in her life. What are some of the things on your list?
M.M. On my list? I want to be able to speak French fluently, I want to go to college and study journalism and I want to travel around the world and perform in some countries that I have always wanted to visit.