LOS ANGELES (AP) – If Mandy Moore is bracing for an emotional boost, it’s understandable.
She and her musician husband, Taylor Goldsmith, welcomed their first child in February, an event she says turned her world into “Technicolor,” and the couple have collaborated on an upcoming second album.
The Cloud Ahead: The end of “This Is Us,” the NBC drama she says was an “every-level dream,” of her ever-energizing co-stars at work. The 18-episode final season, which premieres Tuesday on NBC, will feature an episode directed by Moore.
“It’s going to be so horrible to say goodbye in a few months” when checking in for envelopes, Moore said. “I haven’t really wrapped my brain around this yet.” She plays matriarch Rebecca Pearson in the decade-changing family drama created and produced by Dan Fogelman – who she says has firmly resisted calls to continue.
Moore won’t have much lull after the recording ends. Next summer, the singer-songwriter and Goldsmith plan to tour in support of their 2020 follow-up album to “Silver Landings,” with his son August on his heels. Moore calls him “the best thing of my life” and a lookalike for his frontman dad Dawes, including the dimple they share (“little chin ass”, as Moore happily calls him on the baby, nicknamed Gus ).
In an interview with The Associated Press, Moore spoke about motherhood and what she envisions for her career, which already includes teenage pop celebrity, movies (“A Walk to Remember,” “Saved!” ) And a lead actress Emmy nomination for “This is Us.” Notes have been edited for clarity and length.
AP: As a new parent, how would you describe your life now?
Moore: It’s all clichés, life in Technicolor. It is a love without limits that you could never have imagined. It’s exhausting and exhilarating and everything in between. Professionally, I approach my work with a whole new heart. I want to go back to the start of this show now, because I have a sense of what it’s like to be a mom and what loving a mom is and what it makes you do, and crazy choices you could never have imagined yourself making before becoming a parent.
AP: Your comment about wanting to revisit “This Is Us” with your new perspective is a reminder of how protective Rebecca was when her son Randall’s biological father tried to enter her life.
Moore: That’s exactly what I was thinking. It was a choice that I really disagreed with Rebecca at first. It was really hard to see how she could have made this decision. And now, being a mom, it was her baby. The idea that anyone could potentially harm your child emotionally or could potentially physically remove your child is all unfathomable. So I certainly have a lot more compassion and empathy for the choice she made.
AP: Dan Fogelman’s challenges have been thrown at you every season, adding to Rebecca’s dementia. Do you remember your reaction when you found out what she would face?
Moore: It was initially shocking, but also heartbreaking. This poor woman, at every moment of her life, has had challenge after challenge. It says so much about who she is and what she brings to the table that with every challenge, she takes it up with grace. I was also terrified, as I was when Dan first told me, “Hey, we’ve got this idea where you’re playing this character today, because we’re going to jump back in time.” I think I had the same initial, “Whoa, can I do that?” thinking of (playing) this woman with this very real diagnosis that millions of people across the country and the world face with their loved ones. I wanted to make sure I did due diligence and approach this chapter of her life thoughtfully, because I know what platform the show has to really have an important dialogue about Alzheimer’s, dementia. and diagnosis.
AP: At the start of your acting career, you played a number of ugly and arrogant characters, and at one point you expressed concern about being labeled. Now you are playing the role of a beloved mother, so it looks like you weren’t.
Moore: I have not been cataloged. In fact, I’d love to start playing the villain a little more, especially after six years of playing arguably the best mom on TV. I think for a while I continued to struggle with being cataloged in these kind of pretty romantic comedies and so on. And that’s definitely a certain side of who I am. But it took Dan, and for all of us, I guess, as actors or creators, just one person to see something in you and give you an opportunity that opens up an entirely new world. And that’s what Dan Fogelman did for me with Rebecca.
AP: What awaits you musically?
Moore: Last July we went back to the studio, the same group of musicians (on ‘Silver Landings’). And the plan is to resume in June and July 2022 and get back on the road as we planned a week before the world was shut down due to COVID. I feel like we’ll have this tour made entirely of music from ‘Silver Landings’ and music from my next album. It’ll probably be out around the same time as our tour next year, and we can bring Gus with us. So we will have a bus with mum, dad and Gus and play music every night. This is the dream. It’s going to be a fun year in 2022.
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