Q&A: Mandy Moore goes on tour, releases album post ‘This is Us’

Mandy Moore's new album "In Real Life" came out in time for end of "This is Us" and the start of her first tour in 15 years. PUBLICITY PHOTO

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Mandy Moore's new album "In Real Life" came out in time for end of "This is Us" and the start of her first tour in 15 years. PUBLICITY PHOTO

She comes to Variety Playhouse June 10.

Mandy Moore had a respectable music and acting career in the 2000s until 2016 but at age 32, she landed the acting role of a lifetime: Rebecca Pearson, the matriarch of a new NBC family drama “This is Us.”

The show hit a chord with fans hungering for nuanced, emotional storytelling and became a runaway hit, immediately supercharging changes in Moore’s life. She was already in transition after her divorce from Ryan Adams in 2016. She then met and married Taylor Goldsmith, lead singer of Dawes, in 2018. And she became pregnant with her first child during the pandemic.

On top of that, playing a woman who was also a musician inspired Moore to return to writing and recording music again after a decade break.

First was her 2020 album “Silver Landings,” followed by her well received “In Real Life,” which came out May 13, 11 days before the series finale of “This is Us.” She will embark on a summer tour, her first in 15 years, to support the record beginning at the Variety Playhouse in Atlanta June 10. (Tickets are available at axs.com for $55 to $89.50.)

The Atlanta Journal-Constitution spoke to her about her album and the impact the TV show has had on her life:

Q: This album is out just two years after your last one. What got your creative juices going for this one?

A: It was a direct response to what was happening in the world and being able to lean on music during times that are scary and confusing. I was able to connect and collaborate with my husband and find a way to pass the time and process what was unfolding. It was very intentional. We were home from March to September of 2020. It was so strange. He was supposed to be on tour. And I was pregnant. There was so much going on. Music was a real godsend in a way.

Q: I heard your new song “Little Dreams” on SiriusXM the other day. Does picking or finding hit singles matter to you at this point in your career?

A: I don’t even know what that means. None of that factors into me writing or recording music.

Q: So you’re obviously not gunning for massive radio airplay.

A: That’s not the type of career I’m aiming for. I’m not going on some giant arena tour. I don’t want to be some big pop star, which is fantastic.

Q: That was more your aim in 1999, right?

A: At one point, that was more my speed. It’s not my lane anymore.

Q: How did playing Rebecca shape your music? You got to play a mom before you actually became a mom.

A: Being a creative person, all different mediums you’re able to dabble in can certainly influence you. The work that I got to do in my day job definitely found a way to infiltrate itself into the music. If nothing else, I think being part of the show and my character having a back story with music opened up my world. It took me back into the studio around musicians singing music that influenced me. It activated something in me again that I had missed. I wanted to make it part of my life again.

Q: And now you get to tour again.

A: Having a husband who is also a musician makes it easier with a young child. I’ve spent enough time already with Taylor and his band on the road to remember what it was like to tour. It’s been 15 years for me. It’s certainly going to be a new experience with a toddler but we’re excited. We get to go around the country. It’s kind of the coolest summer vacation ever.

Q: Tell me how it feels to end “This is Us.”

A: It’s bittersweet. I’m still in denial. It doesn’t feel real yet. We normally would be taking summer hiatus right now. It will really hit me in the fall when we don’t go back. I’m just happy people got to have some closure and say goodbye. The episode [where her character dies] was a great way to close that chapter.

Q: The show really took your character and made it the true heartbeat of the entire show. You have said you didn’t expect that going into the show in 2016.

A: The moms are often the unsung ordinary heroes of the story. I’m glad that Dan [Fogelman], the creator, was able to honor his mother and I feel like this is a tribute to her and it was so beautiful.

Q: In that [penultimate] episode, you had to pretend to lie there unconscious while family members said amazing things about your character.

A: I had to very much go to a different place and not be keyed into what was happening. The first take, I had tears streaming down my face. This is not how it’s supposed to unfold. It was very challenging!

Combined ShapeCaption
THIS IS US -- “Day of the Wedding” Episode 613 -- Pictured: Mandy Moore as Rebecca -- (Photo by: Ron Batzdorff/NBC)

Credit: Ron Batzdorff/NBC

THIS IS US -- “Day of the Wedding” Episode 613 -- Pictured: Mandy Moore as Rebecca -- (Photo by: Ron Batzdorff/NBC)

Credit: Ron Batzdorff/NBC

Combined ShapeCaption
THIS IS US -- “Day of the Wedding” Episode 613 -- Pictured: Mandy Moore as Rebecca -- (Photo by: Ron Batzdorff/NBC)

Credit: Ron Batzdorff/NBC

Credit: Ron Batzdorff/NBC


IF YOU GO

Mandy Moore

8 p.m. June 10. $55-$89.50. Variety Playhouse, 1099 Euclid Ave. NE, Atlanta. variety-playhouse.com.