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Mandy Moore has been a household name ever since she sang about craving love “like candy” back in 1999. Since then, she’s made the tough jump from pop star to legit actress. She nailed mean-girl roles in The Princess Diaries and Saved! She scored her first lead in tearjerker A Walk to Remember and played the girl Vincent Chase just couldn’t shake on Entourage.
But it’s her current role as Rebecca Pearson in NBC’s This is Us that’s led to critical acclaim for the 33-year-old. Last year, she earned a Golden Globe nod for her performance as the matriarch of the unconventional Pearson clan, for which she gets to wear everything from vintage ’70s treasures to a glossy Cher wig.
We recently caught up with Moore at Everleigh in West Hollywood for a lunch presented by the American Express Blue Cash Everyday Card. Dressed in an Isabel Marant leopard blouse and an L.K. Bennett black pencil skirt, she dished on her upcoming nuptials to Dawes frontman Taylor Goldsmith, her holiday traditions, and what she’s learned about beauty and style from This Is Us.
This Is Us spans several decades—the ’70s, ’80s, ’90s, and today. Which decade inspires you the most, style-wise?
I love any of the ’70s flashbacks the most, just because it’s the furthest from my recollection. I have no point of reference. I’m a kid of the ’80s, so even if I wasn’t wearing some of those fashions, my mom was, and I recognized the world around me in that sense. I love the ’70s — the makeup, the hair, the whole thing put together. It’s my favorite decade.
You rocked the Cher wig on This Is Us!
The Cher wig was fun. The Cher eyelashes, not so much. It was like a strip lash on the bottom. I don’t know how she she does it. It was not fun, not comfortable.
You also have to wear old-age makeup on the show. What’s that like?
It takes about three-and-a-half to four hours [to put on], and it takes a little over an hour to remove. That’s usually the worst part, because everyone’s done for the day. The rest of the cast is leaving, and I’m going to be sitting there with a pile of hot towels on my face. I’ve done it so many times at this point, but the first few times I think I studied myself in the mirror to see if I looked like my grandmother or my mother, and I don’t think I look like either one of them, so I don’t feel like it’s an indication of what I’m going to look like when I get older. But I wouldn’t be mad at that, because girlfriend has some kind of skincare regimen that’s from another planet. Like, for 67, she looks real good. I don’t know what she’s doing, but I like it. I’m into it.
You got engaged in September. Can you tell us anything about your upcoming wedding? Have you thought about the dress?
I haven’t thought about any of that stuff yet! I’m not a super traditional girl pretty much in any sense, especially when it comes to weddings and engagements. Contrary to what my job may suggest, I don’t like being the center of attention! I’m not looking to have a big lavish affair when it comes to a wedding.
You mentioned that you prefer a low-key Thanksgiving dinner with friends to a traditional family sit-down. What’s your outfit of choice for the occasion?
I feel like there’s a less formal component to it; I think you still want to feel polished and elevated, but comfortable. It’s a step up from my everyday attire of, like, jeans and a T-shirt and a heel. I want to feel comfortable and relaxed, so if I have to get my hands dirty or whatever, I can do that, but I still want to feel put together. An easy-going, long-sleeved, sort of fall-inspired dress — that was my go-to the last couple of years. And a cute flat, so I can run around. Dogs are there. Babies are there. You’ve got your hands full!
Since you’re a devoted dog mom, I have to ask: Do you dress up your pets for the holidays?
No; they’re, like, 50 or 60 pounds. I don’t want to put them through it. [Laughs] Like, when they get baths [and the groomers put bandanas on them], I always feel so bad, they’re so disgusted. But dogs are included at Friendsgiving! Everybody brings their dogs, and so there’s a mess of them outside running around.
This Is Us airs Tuesdays at 9 p.m/8 p.m. central on NBC.