- Man arrested in car bomb plot at Kansas airport
- Prison inmates take up ‘Knockout’ game, target female officers
- U.S. Army hails success with drone-shooting laser
- John Kerry: Israel-Palestinian peace deal paved for April
- India diplomat who touts women’s rights busted for $3 wage to nanny
- MSNBC host Ed Schultz paid $252K by unions in 2012-2013
- Korean War memorial ordered to take down Christian cross
- Billy Graham near death, ‘close to going home to be with the Lord’
- SeaTac, Wash.: City’s new $15 minimum wage heads to court
- Obama mulls support for Islamists in Syria, with conditions
Growing up Mandy
Mandy Moore, the angel-faced actress and sometime singer, interrupted her recent concert in Manhattan to grumble for a moment about the men who did her wrong.
“You know, guys suck,” she proclaimed, her sweet facial expression diluting any post-breakup bitterness. “I don’t want to make a sweeping generalization, but some guys suck. And I’ve come across a few.”
The statuesque 23-year-old, who split from TV star Zach Braff last year and has dated tennis hunk Andy Roddick and man-about-town Wilmer Valderrama, sings through some heavy stuff on “Wild Hope,” her first studio album in more than three years.
The folk-pop disc, released last month and recorded in New York’s rustic Catskill Mountains, is a departure from the bubble-gum music of Miss Moore’s not-so-distant past. The album was produced by John Alagia, who has shaped albums by Dave Matthews and Liz Phair, and its acoustic sound and mature themes of heartbreak and personal growth would be more at home in a coffee shop than on popular radio.
Miss Moore, who has had more success as an actress than she ever did as a singer, is fine with that.
After all, her star continues to rise in film, overshadowing her singing career and forays into fashion design. She co-stars with Robin Williams in the new comedy “License to Wed” and will appear later this summer in the art-house romance “Dedication.” Music, however, remains her biggest passion.
“It’s just where my heart really is,” she says during an interview in a trendy Manhattan hotel. “I love going back and forth and doing a little bit of [singing and acting]. I feel fulfilled creatively by a little bit of both.”
Getting to the finish line was the hard part. As she branched out into movies — playing against her goody-two-shoes image as a judgmental teen in 2004’s “Saved!” and as an ambitious reality TV star in last year’s “American Dreamz” — Miss Moore parted ways with two record labels, Epic and then Warner Music Group, over the organic direction she wanted to take her music.
“Basically, it was me being adamant about wanting to write a record and not wanting to perform somebody else’s material onstage anymore,” she says, adding that higher-ups at Warner wanted to make a “very, very different pop record” than she had envisioned.
Miss Moore, who tackled classic songs in her 2003 album, the low-selling “Coverage,” eventually signed with the Firm Music, a new label run by her management company. As part of the deal, in which artist and label share ownership of each record, Miss Moore gets full creative control. She co-wrote every track on “Wild Hope,” bringing little-known singer-songwriters Lori McKenna and Rachel Yamagata into her team of collaborators.
Recording the album last year, she says, was “completely cathartic” and helped her sail through a low point in her life after her breakup with Mr. Braff.
The bottom line, she notes, was to “try to feel better in general and less confused and less like perplexed by life and everything that sort of comes along with it as you enter adulthood. Because that’s what it was for me.”
Her spell of sadness was only temporary. During this interview, Miss Moore reveals herself to be outgoing and chatty and, yes, wholesome. She sips apple juice. She introduces her new boyfriend, singer Greg Laswell, who sits at a laptop computer inside the hotel suite.
If she’s all smiles, it’s partly because she has a CD and two movies to promote. There’s “License to Wed,” a romantic comedy (which opened Tuesday) about a newly engaged couple forced to undergo a marriage preparation course, and “Dedication,” directed by Justin Theroux, slated for limited release in August. In the latter, she sports heavy eye makeup as an illustrator who falls for a misogynistic children’s book author played by Billy Crudup.
By Mangosuthu Buthelezi
Memories of a long brotherhood tempered in common struggle
- U.S. Navy-China showdown: Chinese try to halt U.S. cruiser in international waters
- Obama birther theories float as Hawaii health director killed in crash
- House budget bargain faces Senate filibuster; Republicans line up to oppose
- PRUDEN: The last living witnesses; they wore the yellow star and remember the Nazi terror
- Obama's Afghanistan experts stumped on U.S. death toll, war costs during hearing
- North Korea's official report on Jang Song Thaek
- Billy Graham near death, close to going home to be with the Lord
- NAPOLITANO: A conspiracy so vast
- James Bond: The spy who is really an alcoholic
- U.S. pilot scares off Iranians with 'Top Gun'-worthy stunt: 'You really ought to go home'
Independent voices from the The Washington Times Communities
Topics will include politics, religion, race, culture, and anything else that needs to be discussed...
Our Choice: Individual responsibility and self-government or the abandonment of the American Revolution
A stat-head’s outlook, direct from his worn in couch cushion.
John Glaser turns his pen toward foreign policy and international relations around the world
Extraordinary day at Redskins Park
White House pets gone wild!
Let it snow