It’s been over five years since Mandy Moore put out new music, but when Star sat down with the singer on Wednesday, she revealed that she’s just about ready to start recording a new album!
We caught up the singer/actress about her new music, her Disney junior show Sheriff Callie’s Wild West, and her partnership with Purina Cat Chow’s “Building Better Lives” program. Check out the exclusive Q&A:
You’re currently involved in a great children’s show, Sheriff Callie’s Wild West, on Disney Junior. How did you first become attached to it?
I, funnily enough, auditioned for it right after I auditioned for Tangled, so it’s been that long in the making. But I loved the idea. They sold it to me as an Annie Oakely-type project, but as a cartoon cat who sings. I said, “Yeah, sign me up for that! That sounds like an adorable premise.” I just love doing voiceover work and I love the idea of working on a children’s show. They showed us a sampling of what the animation was going to look like and it was just too adorable to not be a part of.
Do you enjoy doing voiceover acting for a character that isn’t a version of yourself?
Sure, I mean, it’s slightly more of a challenge. I don’t have some perfect, Western accent, but it’s not too difficult. It’s so fun not to play an animated human being.
Your character, Sheriff Callie, has an amazing twang to her voice, though! Did you do any research for that, or did it just come out of you?
Yeah, it just came out of me! I don’t know where it came from. I’m not somebody that’s particularly adept at doing accents, but they weren’t sticklers, obviously. They said, “Just have a little bit of a twang,” so I said, “Okay.”
Speaking of cats, you have four adopted cats yourself. Why did you choose to go down the adopted road?
I grew up with cats and we adopted our cats back then. And when I got married, my husband [Ryan Adams] also grew up with cats. We adopted a dog and knew that we always wanted to add cats to our family. And we had rescued our dog, so we just figured that might be the right path to take for us, as well. I’m a big advocate for it and there’s so many animals out there that need their forever homes.
So, yeah, now we have four cats and two dogs. We have a whole little animal menagerie at the house. And I’m sure there will be more added down the road, as well. I just speak from experience, having six animals that I’ve rescued and adopted, that was the path that worked for me.
You’re doing a great partnership with Purina Cat Chow and their “Building Better Lives” program. Can you explain what that entails?
Purina Cat Chow is donating $275,000 to 50 different shelters across the country, so there’s one in each state. They’re donating money towards adoption, renovation and nutritional support. Then, there is an additional $50,000 donation to PetFinder.com that’s up for grabs. We’re asking people to, now through Sept. 2, tell us their unique rescue story, preferably about their cats, and use the hashtag #MyRescueStory. If 1,500 share their story via social media, whether it’s on Twitter, Facebook or Instagram, then that $50,000 donation to PetFinder.com will come into effect.
They’re doing such great work, and because I’m such a passionate advocate for animals and animal rescue, it’s wonderful to be aligned with a brand that has those same values. They are doing such great work for so many animals across the country.
What’s your process when it comes to naming your pets?
I’m a big proponent of human names for animals, so all of our animals have regular names. Joni, our dog, is named after Joni Mitchell. Jackson, our other dog, is actually not named after Jackson Brown, but I think we just liked the name. My husband’s favorite show is Moonlighting, so two of our cats, Maddie and Addison, are named after Maddie and David Addison. Our two other cats, Theo and Vincent, are brothers, so we wanted to name them after famous brothers and we thought of the Van Goghs.
What’s up next for you? How will you spend the rest of your summer?
There are a couple of things in the pipeline, but hopefully I will finish out my summer by making my record, finally! I’ve been writing on and off for five years and really have put the medal to the metal. I think I almost have everything written and will go into the studio in August/September.
Can you give us any hints about the record and what feel it will have to it?
I don’t know what the feel is going to be. I’ve had five years and a wealth of information and life tow rite about. I got married during that time, and I lost a very good friend of mine. I mean, there’s just so much. Friends of mine have gotten married and separated. There’s just so much in my world that has happened that I feel like I can draw from and have been drawing from.
It was difficult to really throw my entire being behind it because I kept getting distracted by other projects. It was like, ‘Oh…music will always be there.’ But I’ve come to realize that I miss performing live, touring and being in the studio. And no one else is going to make me do it. I have to put my money where my mouth is and put myself in that situation. So, that’s my goal this year. To at least have some bit of music come out before the end of the year.
I, like everybody else, just finished The Goldfinch. It’s an investment. It’s 750 pages. I loved it!
Favorite snack on the go?
I’m a little embarrassed to admit it, but I love a good string cheese — not going to lie! String cheese with some almonds…it’s perfect.
Maybe…string cheese? [laughs]
Favorite song on your iPod?
My husband has a new record coming out, so it’s his first single, “Give Me Something Good.”
Favorite summer recipe?
I’m a big fan of those produce boxes that get delivered to your house once a week. There have been a lot of beets in those lately, so I am a big fan of any sort of beet salad. I’ve been making a Farro salad with beets, carrots, brussels sprouts and a mint or garlic-y dressing.