Mandy Moore, the star of NBC’s hit This Is Us, talks dating musicians, staying sane in Hollywood, and the upside of being boring.
Though, after conquering Africa’s tallest mountain, we’re a little skeptical about her being ‘boring.’
Are you talking to me from sea level? Because I saw on Instagram that you were just on Mount Kilimanjaro.
I summited! It had been on my bucket list for so long because it feels somewhat out of character for me. Like, I had never been camping before I went to Kilimanjaro, and then I spent an entire week living on a mountain in a tent.
Never been camping even once?
I’m not the most adventurous girl. I’ve been skydiving a few times, but I don’t consider myself a typical adventurer. Still, the idea of literally conquering a mountain—it’s something I’ve always wanted to do.
So how was it?
Indescribable. You feel unbeatable, as if you can do anything. The trip changed me fundamentally. We’re already figuring out what our next adventure is going to be.
Did you do any training to prep for the trip?
No, I just planned it five weeks beforehand. My most important prep was breaking in my new hiking boots.
Kilimanjaro’s summit is at nearly 20,000 feet. How’d you deal with the altitude?
I was OK. The key was staying hydrated, which meant you had to get really comfortable pulling down your pants and just squatting to pee anywhere. The guide told us to call it “sending a message.” My friends and I got really comfortable with one another. I was like, “You’ve definitely seen my vagina, but I don’t care at this point. I’ve just gotta pee and move on.”
Last year, you got engaged [to Taylor Goldsmith, of the band Dawes]. What’s that like?
I hate saying the word fiancé. It sounds so fancy: fiaaaaaancé. I’m just gonna go from boyfriend to husband. Most of the time I just refer to him as my dude.
Your dude is a rock star, as is your ex, Ryan Adams. What is it with you and musicians?
What I love about being with a musician is that there’s constantly somebody sitting at the piano or playing acoustic guitar in the house. It’s beautiful to be sitting here in the middle of the afternoon and somebody is at the piano figuring out a chord progression. It goes right to my heart.
On This Is Us, your character, Rebecca, sometimes appears as 68 years old. Is it scary to see what you might look like some three decades in the future?
I love it. At 34, I definitely have wrinkles around my eyes, and I see signs of aging, but I’m OK with it. I don’t know how I’m going to feel in five or 10 years. But now I’m not superbothered.
That’s a healthy attitude.
That said, I love taking the makeup off at the end of the day, because I’m like, “Oh, I feel fantastic!” I leave feeling good about my face every night.
You’ve been in the public eye since you were a teen pop star, coming up at the same time as Britney and Christina. How did you manage to stay in showbiz and stay sane?
I have really great parents, and in this industry, you’ve got to make sure your family is there to support you, not manage you and bank off you. Also, I didn’t have the same degree of success as some of my contemporaries, who became gigantic worldwide phenomenons. That helped me to skate under the radar a lot more. Oh, and I’m boring.
I wasn’t out at the club every night, so there wasn’t any tabloid fodder. I’m lucky—I just wanted to work and was a homebody.
Are you still that way?
Yeah, I’ve been an old lady for my entire life. If left to my own devices, I will go to bed at 8:30 or 9. I’m meant to live a quiet life with a bunch of cats.
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