Mandy Moore on Reinvention: “I Truly Feel Like This Is My Second Life”

Welcome to MyDomaine's Second Life podcast, a series spotlighting successful women who've made major career changes—and fearlessly mastered the pivot. Hosted by Hillary Kerr, co-founder and chief innovation officer at MyDomaine's parent company, Clique Brands, each episode will give you a direct line to women who are game changers in their fields.

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There are two ways to tell Mandy Moore’s career story. Perhaps the one we’re most familiar with is the highlights reel: At just 15, Moore was catapulted into the spotlight with her chart-topping hit “Candy,” and more recently, she was nominated for a Golden Globe Award for her role in the wildly popular drama This Is Us. But the real story is one punctuated with self-doubt and setbacks—a side that Moore is surprisingly candid and forthcoming about.

“Three different pilots for four years didn’t happen… It is so defeating and that form of rejection is so deeply personal that it’s hard,” she says in episode 12 of MyDomaine’s podcast, Second Life. “I remember I auditioned for something I didn’t even like… and I didn’t end up getting it. I seriously started evaluating if this is for me. [I thought] I don’t know if I can hack this.

Those years of rejection and setbacks had a silver lining, though. “In those moments, I decided that it was okay to allow myself to feel my feelings and be upset, but then very quickly I needed to find a way to take control,” she says, developing a strong sense of resilience. “Whether that was going back and writing music so I could feel somewhat in control of my creative faculties, [or] taking a class—doing everything I could to make sure I was in ‘gym shape.’”

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Looking back on those tough years, Moore says it taught her to persevere and trust in the process. “I was keeping myself ready and limber for when the moment did come—and it did,” she says of her role in the wildly popular show This Is Us. The most important lesson? “Being patient and trusting that this is what I’m meant to do. This is who I am; this is who I’ve always been,” she says. “There is no plan B; there’s no other option for me. This is what I want.”

Now that she’s 34, it's clear that Moore has come into her own. Despite the show's runaway success and her new role as a Garnier ambassador, she won't forget what it took to get to this point. "I truly feel like this is my second life. This is my second act." We couldn't be more excited to see her master the next phase. 

Download the full episode on iTunes to hear Moore talk about the first time she heard the lyrics to “Candy,” finding her sense of self, and her ambition to produce and direct.