Mandy Moore

updated 01/09/2004 AT 1:00 AM ET

originally published 01/09/2004 AT 10:00 AM ET

Mandy Moore’s teen-pop colleagues have taken some different career paths lately – Jessica’s doing reality TV, Christina’s talking trash and Britney’s busy marrying and annulling. But for Moore, 19, who has successfully jumped from singer to box-office draw with flicks such as A Walk to Remember and How to Deal, her big-screen career has already lasted longer than a Las Vegas wedding. She also recently released another album (Coverage), and her personal life ain’t too shabby either – she linked up with hunky U.S. Open tennis champ Andy Roddick more than a year-and-a-half ago.

Her latest foray into film is Chasing Liberty, in which she plays the eager-to-be-liberated First Daughter of the President (played by Mark Harmon). Moore recently talked about her career plans and what it’s like trading volleys with her offscreen boyfriend.

So, you and Andy have been dating awhile. Any engagement plans?
No, no engagement. (Laughs.) Do you see a ring on my finger? No engagement, but seriously dating, of course. He handles his world and I handle my world. It’s nice.

How did you first meet? Didn’t you go out and track him down?
I guess, kind of. But the funny part was that he told me that afterwards I was kind of his “celebrity crush,” which was sweet. But yeah, my mom helped me a lot in terms of meeting him.

How so?
Well, I was shooting a film and my mom was going to watch him play tennis anyway, and I said jokingly, “You know, if you do end up getting to meet this guy, invite him back” – thinking that one, he’ll have no clue who I am, and two, that he’s not going to accept some weird invitation from some woman’s mom. But he obliged. He came and we met and hit it off.

So, is this the most serious romance you’ve had?
Absolutely. I’m 19. It’s a big deal and love is a big deal in anyone’s life.

How does he deal with being a sex symbol now?
He doesn’t care, and so I don’t care. It’s just a little weird: I never thought that I’d date someone who was such a heartthrob, but I guess that you get used to it. It’s like you get used to the women fawning all over him. He’s oblivious to it, which is why I love him all the more. No one fawns over me, which is the difference.

They don’t?
No. Guys are just really shy. Guys won’t approach you. Girls are just relentless. It doesn’t matter if the guy is taken. Guys, they lurk in the shadows and they don’t want to make their affections known, I guess.

In Chasing Liberty, you play a First Daughter (Anna Foster) trying to escape the pressure of the spotlight. Can you relate?
I can definitely draw parallels in my life and Anna’s life, certainly not to those extremes. I can’t sit here and say that I know what it would be like, even after making this film, living in that bubble and having people kind of surrounding you 24 hours a day – and I don’t think that I’d want that.

You are in a very public relationship right now. Does anything about that creep you out?
There are relationship questions that have made me feel kind of creepy, like, “What are your pet names for each other? What’s the most romantic thing you’ve done for each other?” It’s like, “That’s my relationship. Why would I spill all the beans to you?” It’s no one’s business.

In addition to movies, you are still dedicated to your music career. Anyone you’d like to work with?
I actually have a song coming out on the soundtrack to (her next movie, Saved.) I do a cover of one of the best songs ever, the Beach Boys’ “God Only Knows,” but (R.E.M.’s) Michael Stipe, who produced the film, is on it with me. I just heard the final version. He sang with me, and it’s so weird. I’m sitting here at 19 going, “Michael Stipe. I have a song with Michael Stipe.” So, obviously with him, I’d love to collaborate in the future.

I’d love to write with, like, Carole King, who I covered on Coverage, Elton John, and just people I have so much respect for. Just to sit in the same room with them, I think that I’d be happy.


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