It’s been 15 years since Nicholas Spark’s film adaptation of A Walk to Remember debuted in theaters, and now the stars of the movie, Mandy Moore and Shane West, are opening up about one of their most romantic parts of all time.
A Walk to Remember, one of the first of many film adaptations of Spark’s novels, followed characters Jamie Sullivan and Landon Carter, two people from incredibly different walks of life that fall in love unexpectedly. As with all of Spark’s novels, A Walk to Remember is set in a small town in North Carolina and features characters that you simply can’t help but fall in love with.
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Jamie, a minister’s daughter, has grown up in a very religious and conservative home- she wears modest clothing, no make-up, and only owns one sweater. Landon, on the other hand, is the popular guy in school, who has known Jamie her whole life but had never actually noticed her. It wasn’t until Landon gets a fellow classmate seriously injured, and is forced to tutor students and participate in the school play, that he realizes he has feelings for her. Their relationship starts out rocky, with Jamie helping him learn the lines for his part, and ends with them falling deeply in love with each other. Jamie later reveals to Landon that she has leukemia, which triggers a reaction from him that no one expected. Landon helps Jamie fulfill her bucket list, and the pair eventually marry before Jamie passes away.
To celebrate the 15th anniversary of A Walk to Remember, Entertainment Weekly sat down with Mandy Moore and Shane West to take a brief walk down memory lane. At the time, Moore was only 16-years-old, and was at the peak of her musical career. She had just released her song “Candy,” and had appeared in the Disney movie Princess Diaries. On the contrary, West was in his mid-20’s and was into punk rock, the complete opposite of his co-star. Despite their differences, however, Moore’s and West’s chemistry on-screen was superb.
“I think that it was such an overwhelmingly positive, memorable experience for me because it was my first leading role and it was the first film I worked on away from home,” Mandy told EW.“We shot it in Wilmington, North Carolina, and it was the first time I’d ever had that kind of camp-like experience where you come home and cry when it’s over and you’re determined to keep in touch with everyone. It just gives me an all-encompassing warm feeling inside. There are very few times in your career when the memories and the relationship you have to a project match the relationship that an audience has to the project — but this movie is as special to me as it seems to be to people out there in the world. I mean that’s the reason that 15 years later we’re still talking about it.”
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West added that “It genuinely was a phenomenal experience. From start to finish, it really was a wonderful experience and that was because of Adam Shankman, the director. He kept everyone invested, together, kept the mood right, especially for some of the dramatic things we had to do, and everyone genuinely loved each other — or liked each other at least. Those types of things can happen often, but then maybe the movie or TV show isn’t very successful and people don’t really get to know about it. In our case, it was a great experience, it was a lot of fun, everyone bonded on set and off, and it happened to turn out to be a success. You couldn’t ask for anything more.”
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