Mandy Moore: ‘There’s much more scrutiny now. You’re seen from all angles’

The actor on sequins, red-carpet disco fun, denim dresses and fast-forwarding her age in This Is Us

I don’t tend to overthink what to wear to awards shows, but this felt like a momentous occasion. It was the first time I’d been nominated for an Emmy and I wanted to feel like the very best version of myself. I met with the designer Brandon Maxwell two weeks before the awards. He had just had his spring show and we talked about several ideas. He said: “Let me just make all of them, and you can mix and match.” So on the day I wore one version of this outfit to the ceremony, and then a slightly different version to the afterparty.

When I first started out [in my career], social media wasn’t a thing. There’s so much more scrutiny now – you’re going to be seen from all angles at all times. It also means that [clothes] have to stand the test of time because the pictures are going to be out there for ever. Looking back 20 years ago, not all my outfit, hair and makeup choices have held up very well – but I never regret them because I always felt great in the moment. Nowadays, I like to have fun and stretch the creative limits of a red carpet – so one day I might wear a suit, one day a bodycon dress, one day 60s blue eyeshadow and sequins, and look like a disco ball!

I never would have guessed that ill-fitting denim dresses and granny sweaters would make a comeback but, now that I think about it, Jamie Sullivan [Moore’s character in A Walk to Remember] was sort of an OG hipster. In LA, I see plenty of women dressed that way. It’s comfortable and if you can pull it off, why not?

Playing a character who gets visibly older [in This Is Us] has given me the opportunity to fast-forward in time – and my goodness, I should be so lucky if I look like her! Rebecca is beautiful, but it’s helped me embrace ageing at a time when I might not have. I don’t think I will dress like she does when I reach that age, though – I hope that I’m a little more chic, although who knows what that will look like 30 years from now.


As told to Leah Harper

The GuardianTramp

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