We met Mandy Moore from her 1999 single “Candy” and although she was often lumped in with the Disney girls, her career had the opposite trajectory: She started as a singer, then branched out as an actress. The thing is, we’ve always had trouble figuring out which one she’s actually trying to be, since nearly every project of hers has one of her songs in it. To settle the debate, we look at her big movies (in chronological order) and rate whether — regardless of lines or soundtrack listings — she’s appearing more as a singer or an actress.
Center Stage – “Candy” and “I Wanna Be With You”
Technically, Moore was never in this movie, but since two of her bubblegum pop hits made it in to the 2000 dance rom-com and she made an accompanying music video, we’re counting it. SINGER.
The Princess Diaries – “Stupid Cupid”
Moore fit nicely into the role of Disney female villain, playing nasty cheerleader Lana Thomas who’s out for blood when it comes to social outcast Mia (Anne Hathaway). I was tempted to term Moore a simple singer in this due to the completely indulgent number above, but since it’s such a small slice of the movie, I’ll swing to the other side. ACTRESS.
A Walk to Remember – “Lighthouse”, “It’s Gonna Be Love”, “Cry”, “Only Hope”, and “Someday We’ll Know”
This was Moore’s “pretty ugly girl” role, where she put on a fugly sweater and wore her hair in a ponytail — oh, and quoted Scripture — which made her a boner killer for all high school boys. Except the one guy who saw what a beautiful person she was under that plainness! True, Shane West‘s character in the Nicholas Sparks book is stunned by Jamie’s beauty in the Christmas pageant, but she doesn’t sing a sappy song. That was added for effect. SINGER.