When you look at certain things like that, it’s written down — it’s not much dialogue. Then [Adam] put a camera inside of the car. Why do you think A Walk to Remember really resonated with people? I’ve always wanted to do fantasy, Game of Thrones–type stuff, space-type stuff, science fiction, and all that kind of stuff, just being the guy. But I think he had always said that [Mandy] was his favorite and I was his favorite, so he wanted to put us together, work with us, and see if we could have chemistry. He was right. I don’t know how that would work, and I don’t even know if that’s even possible. There’s a moment where you can hear loud rock music before I turn the car keys off. She was great. Adam did a great job of keeping us joking around, laughing, happy. So we just threw our last names on it, [and] it looks like a law firm. It was pretty gross. In a conversation in early June with Vulture, 19 years after A Walk to Remember debuted, West discusses how his music ended up in the film, Jamie’s sweater, and the possibility of reuniting with Moore for a project in the future. Apparently, we did. Remarried with six kids. Basically, we were told, this movie succeeded while being PG. Related

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Lisa Jakub Answers Every Question We Have About Mrs. Where do you think Landon is now? Everyone liked each other. So it was man-made, but somehow stuff got into it. I was never the type that wanted that. Was that planned in the script? I just try to be private about it. But they have to take the chance on you. My only guess would be the simplicity of the story, the right time, the right place, and the chemistry that we all have. How did that change your relationship with fame? She was his inspiration. Everyone got along and had a great time. We didn’t have a label. I mean, he got married at 18. It was one of the nicest auditions ever, where Mandy and I got to read together, with the director, at Warner Bros. But you have a new film called No Running at the 2021 Tribeca Film Festival. For those who need a refresher: A Walk to Remember follows the popular, rebellious Landon, who finds himself on the route to redemption as he crosses paths with Moore’s Jamie Sullivan, the town reverend’s devout and optimistic daughter. At the time, I was playing a little bit of a brooding son on Once and Again. But we were able to know how the world worked before everyone was stuck on their phone, and I think that kind of helped us out — to stay away from a lot of chaos. I was proud of her in reality, during the moment. I’ve wanted to do something a little edgier as I got older because I knew I could go back to doing the heroic love story. Obviously, Landon is super-brooding for half of the movie. Not for Dawson and not for Pacey. Obviously, I was a little smitten in a way. As the two enter into a star-crossed romance, due to Jamie’s terminal-leukemia diagnosis, she captures Landon’s heart and ultimately inspires him to turn his life around, while Landon teaches Jamie how to really live. My character didn’t want to be there, didn’t want to act, and didn’t care. It was the opening, where I pull up in the car, and I absolutely bought that car, and Adam bought the other car because it was cheap. That’s Adam doing that. I do remember, mid-20s, leaving a bar and there’s a million photographers, and it’s just like, I’m going to stop going to these places. I was always into rock and roll and punk rock, so transitionally, it was kind of me. I loved the Nicholas Sparks story; I immediately loved the director, Adam Shankman. That is another reason why I think I got it. But it was such an amazing experience. In reality, I actually joined them. Certain locations where I was like, “Oh man, I hate to tell you, but that alleyway I don’t think was really planned out. Today, it’s hard to imagine there was ever a time without a plethora of Nicholas Sparks movies to soothe our hearts and numb our minds, but when A Walk to Remember hit theaters in 2002, it was only the second film adaptation of the author’s novels. I want to keep batting 1,000 when it comes to [projects]. Back in the day, I had a Discman. That was not what I was striving for, not that there’s anything wrong with that for anyone else. By the time we wrote this song [“So What Does It All Mean?”] and the soundtrack accepted it, we couldn’t get the rights to Average Joe, and we had no idea what to name ourselves in the 24 hours to do so. This was a great story, and it deserved to be told. Just be proud of what you did.” And that’s kind of our thoughts going into it. He didn’t need to do that. That was another one of those things: You didn’t want to do too many teen films and not have them do well. But it wasn’t my thing. I don’t think there are — where I peel it off and it’s like a third of a butterfly, or half a butterfly, or it didn’t work at all. I don’t even know what character. But it was, and they spent time on it, making sure it looked the way that it did. It’s kind of an A24 indie film or the Marvel Universe. It’s just harder. I obviously knew of Mandy Moore, but I didn’t know of her as an actress. But that’s just how shooting goes. We had no idea that this was going to hit home. No one was talking about that, but she’s mainly known for being blonde, and she wanted to change it up for that film as well. I don’t know if she comes back. I didn’t think of it. It was a bit overwhelming at the time, but not necessarily negatively. With movies like A Walk to Remember, Whatever It Takes, and Get Over It, you became a true teen heartthrob. I’d love to join the Marvel Universe, the DC Universe, the comic-book world because I’m a big comic-book fan. I was listening to the Cure or someone that could depress me and then when they were ready, I just sat on the street outside my [character’s] dad’s house and then they came over and tapped me on the shoulder to let me know that they were rolling. It’s why television has taken over film. At the beginning of that movie when we jump in that man-made lake, it was freezing and terrifying, and apparently there were giant eels in that lake. It was fun to do. I know Adam, after the premiere wrap party, pulled Mandy and I aside and said the reaction was so positive, which was awesome yet surprising for us. But we didn’t know what was going to happen, of course. The butterfly on the shoulder? So I would say maybe he would stay single and happy, hopefully not miserable because he is staying single. You know, it’s hard. It was the opposite of the movie. The song is on the soundtrack, but it’s also in the movie for one second — a good trivia question for the fans out there. It’s hard to say if he would remarry, because you could really go two different ways with that. That would be the “sequel”: a different project starring the same, familiar faces. I think he lived his life to the fullest. But it wasn’t something that we felt we should do. I think we [Mandy and I] both had a little bit of a crush, but then we were just there for each other in the most honest and purest of ways. It just has to be the right project. And in a smaller, cult extent, myself and Janet in Salem. I was screwing it up constantly. I’m 99 percent sure, yes — not realizing the film would be as successful as it was, would we know it’d become kind of an iconic piece of clothing. We turned into Jonny Was, and I started working on ER, and around that exact time, I had done a film called What We Do Is Secret that was based on this old-school punk-rock band called the Germs. Maybe chemistry? My publicist at the time came up to me with the passes for the after-party, and she was bawling, and I didn’t know what was wrong. I don’t know. Did the project want me? That leads me to my next question. This one absolutely stood out. But you could also say the same thing would set him up for happiness with someone else, just with all respect to the past. You want to be acknowledged for the work that you’re putting in, but I was never really a TMZ person. I don’t want to throw my dating life in anyone’s face. Maybe that was lightning in a bottle right there. I’m thinking I’m going to sell it next year because I just can’t have it anymore. Someday I’ll have to write about it, but it kind of cured my pop-punk aspirations at the time. I want there to be chemistry there that has the right people behind it, because we did catch lightning in a bottle with that. So I kind of shunned it while still liking it. More power to them. That’s a tough question because he’s made so many. She dies. But this one was so special in story and content. But those characters, even though they were love stories, were a little bit darker. After a steady run on ABC’s family drama Once and Again and a few teen rom-com roles, West had built up a considerable following and steady buzz surrounding his career, but it wasn’t until A Walk to Remember that he’d not only finally land his breakout role but also become a lusted-after Hollywood heartthrob. We could turn this into a genre piece, and she comes back from the dead, and it’s a zombie movie. Here’s a little bit I forgot happened. There might have been some moments where Adam ad-libbed and said, “Let’s talk about the sweater more.” But it was basically there in the script. I was struck by her performance in reality, during the moment. It was several years down the line. I knew that was a part of the deal — as she should. I do not know the history of Dawson’s Creek, but I do know I auditioned for it, and I didn’t get [the part]. I remember thinking Mandy, even though I didn’t know her, was perfect for this. Some of our Jonny Was shows were sellouts because of that, which was insane. Do you want to do more mainstream movies? Maybe that also kind of helped out with some of the religious aspects. for an hour or two, almost like we had the part. They could have just slapped it on the soundtrack as a song that no one heard. She changed her hair color, too. It also depends on personality. One of my favorite things was at the very end of the premiere. It’s a blessing to have No Running get into Tribeca — that was something that came my way. There should be outtakes. Whether anyone sees it or not doesn’t matter. And yeah, there was chemistry. I’m glad they liked it. This totally worked. I know, let’s be honest: They were so young, for God’s sake. I was also trying to act, which was also some of what Landon was feeling. You don’t really do that. I don’t think I was very picky at that time, but I had the luxury of being on a television show at the time called Once and Again. I’ve got two small films I’m supposed to do this summer. Then I would take the Discman off and go. It was very underground, and ER was very accommodating, even though they probably didn’t know half the time that I would run off and play a show. What drew you to the part of Landon? Would you do another romantic movie like A Walk to Remember, or is that totally outside your scope now? If I get married and have kids, I’ll let the world know. I stayed at Kerr Smith’s house [Jack from Dawson’s Creek], actually. Pretend you were ‘bad kids.’” Maybe that also softened the film and made it safer, so to speak. She comes out and does this amazing vocal performance, and that’s exactly when Landon knew, and he falls in love with Jamie. How have you managed that? They were going to try and make it a little bit grittier or tougher, but they decided at the last second, thanks to the success of a different film, that we don’t need to do that. They’d fly Daryl in for specific scenes and fly her back out. What we’ve thought about is potentially doing another movie down the line where it’s us, and maybe the surprise is I pass away. They had to send scuba divers into the water to try and clear it out before we filmed it. We certainly weren’t lying. [We] got it produced properly, and we got a gold record out of it, so that’s pretty neat. Just know that you guys all made a great movie. My little band at the time was called Average Joe, but we were just playing for fun. Personally, you’ve remained pretty private in the years since the movie. Daryl got it, and she should have. We didn’t play around. Maybe the right time period? We were just pulled over near the alleyway. Mandy and myself, the rest of the cast, we were just cracking jokes in the back of the theater. You need and want the fame, to a certain extent, to be able to get the jobs that you may want down the road, to further your career, and to do passion projects and special projects. One of the moments that stood out for me when filming was when we were doing the play. Is the song in the movie or just on the soundtrack? I wanted the work to speak for itself. But she was great. No, that was me. Most projects, I’ve always tried to find something to draw on, but with Once and Again and A Walk to Remember, it was just extensions of myself. That’s the song. To actually play a father in that, to play the sheriff in the town, was pretty cool. I still have the same aspirations and interests that I had when I started, which is, fortunately or unfortunately, however you look at it, pretty vague. Because I could just tell the way she was killing it in the performance, the way it was being filmed — all I had to do was sit there and react. It was just cool because that’s a bit rare. I painted it black with a red stripe, instead of orange with a white stripe, so I’m sure I destroyed the value. Because the scene went, for me, just knocking on the door and having to all of a sudden cry, which I had a hard time doing on film. We really had to change a lot in writing, and I kind of discovered more of the realism of playing with the Germs. It’s a strange world right now. What was it like having Daryl Hannah play your mom? Like I did with the Germs film. We never really paid attention to the sweater. So in the beginning, the reason why you don’t see us drinking beer or wine when we’re hazing, smoking cigarettes, or any of that kind of stuff was because they cut it out at the last second. That was really tough. It’s all about the right fit, what the project is. I had done two teen films prior to A Walk to Remember that, for studio films, just didn’t do as well, monetarily. But film is always there. So I think the combination of us joking around made the ultimate reveal more of a success. Later we changed [our name] to Jonny Was. It’s hard to not smile when you’re looking at Mandy’s cute, adorable face — to react to that. Adam said something immediately at the very end of the project, “Worst-case scenario, we brought the cast together. Did you take inspiration from any specific characters as you prepared to live in that mood? It was harder to go to Disneyland, the CityWalk in Universal Studios, and those kinds of things. That was probably the most challenging: good old ugly-crying. They said, “Look, we loved the demo, but you need to spend the money to produce this for real, and I can’t promise you anything. We never really realized that we were doing something that was going to affect as many people as it did until we went to the premiere. I do know, at one point, they may have been talking to Jessica Simpson before Mandy, and I remember thinking that would be very difficult to make happen. That could be maybe the most challenging. When it comes to those things, I want to pick and choose right. We had a sit-down audition. But I don’t think it would continue as Landon and Jamie. We [Jonny Was] talked to Capitol Records at one point. I haven’t seen all of Sparks’s movies. What did you think of the film’s religious undertones when you saw the script? Mandy’s music is front and center in the movie, but it’s not super-well-known that your band had music featured on the soundtrack too, right? If they want me. There’s nothing wrong with that. It was probably for Kerr Smith’s role. Do you have any untold stories about filming that maybe people might not know? Even when you do spend the money, we still may not accept it.” We rolled the dice, went up to Oakland, and we recorded with Sandy Pearlman, who is famous from the Blue Öyster Cult days. And unlike his inaugural flick, 1999’s Message in a Bottle, this was the first aimed at a younger demographic. That’s a really good film, and I’m glad it’s getting respect. I’ve been fortunate in the love-story world to make fans happy with Ray and Neela in ER, and make fans happy with Michael and Nikita on Nikita. I hate you.” The after-party took this turn where we were all looking after each other and holding hands and going, “Are you okay?” We didn’t know that the film would resonate so much. Maybe crying on my dad’s shoulders. But you don’t have to be in the public eye all the time. My favorite is when I’ll hear about sequel possibilities, and, well, what is the sequel? Mandy, I don’t believe she did either. We all had chemistry offscreen, in the sense of bonding and in friendship, including [Mandy], which is the funniest thing because all the other characters had been bullying her. It’s when I pull up in the Mustang in the beginning of the movie, when we’re all meeting up to haze the poor kid for jumping into the lake. I brought up a song I had written and thought it would work for the film, depending on if they wanted that kind of style of music or not. We had a deal with Kung Fu Records, which was cool. I don’t want to mess with the world that they set up. We knew a lot of it had to do with the success in acting all of a sudden. They had built that for some scene in Dawson’s Creek, I believe. So until I’m asked to be the next Batman, I don’t know when that’s going to happen. That sounds incredibly corny but is true and rare. You can say that this is the love of his life, and having her near him in his heart keeps him going with his life and his career. We toured around, and it was pretty wild. Do you remember who else was up for the part of Landon? Starring alongside then–pop superstar Mandy Moore, Shane West was cast as resident brooding bad boy Landon Carter, a character that wasn’t too far-flung from his reality at the time. I bought the car from the movie. It’s just been a golden age of television. I got to play some crazy military lunatic last year in some film called Escape the Field that should be coming out pretty soon. So I believe she was feeling it, I was feeling it, and the audience will know if you’re lying or not. There’s certain things that you remember, and there’s certain things that you don’t. It’s certainly not like we don’t try. And it made it easy. But if it’s there, I’ll do it. She gives [the passes] to me, and she goes, “Here are the passes. I can’t imagine anyone reading the book would want to hear that. I did, with the worst scene ever. I still have mine. I would do it. Reality set in. It was more or less, Did the studio want me? I don’t. So I think the sweater thing was just kind of a couple jokes here and there, but I don’t know if we were truly paying attention to it on set. Because she had dramatically rolled the dice to completely change her image for this movie. And everyone was there to do their job and be supportive. It just all worked. We weren’t kids and teenagers; we weren’t old; we were pretty young adults. There’s no script; I’m just throwing it out there that we’ve always been like, “Yeah, that’d be cool if we did something one day.” But we’ll see if it ever happens. So there’s been that, with obviously Jamie and Landon at the top. TV was where you got started, and it has been the main crux of your career in recent years. I think they couldn’t have cast it any better. Theatre and the Roxy. I had a band that I was trying to get off the ground. It’s more [that] you’re reading the text and then you go and do it. I think he continued doing what he was going to do. Of all the Nicholas Sparks movies, A Walk to Remember and The Notebook are probably the most popular. They just found one on the spot and said, ‘Let’s shoot. Then she starts laughing and then it’s all worthless. I’m thankful that they loved the film, but it wasn’t set to do that. They got back together, and I started singing for them for probably like five or six years. I technically ruined the car, so I’m already worried about selling it because it’s not the same color that everyone loved. Even Salem, in all of its twisted witchcraft ways, was a love story. Dawson’s Creek had put Wilmington on the map in the film world, and when we started, I think there were four or five seasons. What happened to your rock band? The big joke is I’ve always wanted to do a Western because my last name’s West. We’d get photos sent to us, like the line “standing in two places at once” and the alleyway. So it’s possible he found someone else. That was supercool because I had been a fan of hers growing up. I knew [Jonny Was] had come to its end. What was the most challenging scene you filmed in A Walk to Remember? There’s a movie called Save the Last Dance that came out with Julia Stiles. They never told us that they had cleared it out, and the poor guy I was rescuing, we were pretty much terrified the whole time until we wrapped that up. She was blonde, and now all of a sudden, she was brunette, and that was something that we were always talking about and staring at. I remember during that long, long day of shooting, sweating under those lights, that we had something special. We just didn’t know that everyone was going to be crying. Most people want to be on television now, so that’s what I’m continually looking to do. It would be cool in the final year of This Is Us to pop in as a surprise. Nikita was a love story. Your lives will never be the same.” And that was a pretty cool moment. A Walk to Remember not only jump-started both West and Moore’s acting careers, but it has also lived on as one of the most beloved romantic dramas of a generation. But as far as having to draw on anything, I kind of had free rein. It’s a fun thing. [They said], “Just pretend you had been drinking. I remember talking to Mandy about this last year. Right before we started shooting, it made a lot of money, and there was no cussing and there was no alcohol. The joke at the time was, Well, people don’t really know who I am, so I guess if a movie doesn’t do well, I think I’ll be okay. We were just selling out the L.A. No, I’m just kidding. I couldn’t get that tattoo right. We continue to look for the right projects and the right series, and thankfully I’ve been able to stay true to myself and do the projects that I want to do and have success with both. She could tell me to do whatever; I was going to listen to her. I believe Andie MacDowell was up for [the role], who I was also a fan of. I would hope that he would have another wonderful relationship later in life. Photo-Illustration: Vulture; Photo by Warner Bros. I think having Mandy really helped, because she knocked it out of the park but also came from this music background, so she was able to do that and perform. Did Adam want me? Was Jamie’s sweater always supposed to be such a central through-line and butt of the joke in the movie? Let’s go.’”

Which locations were more planned out? I do remember when we started doing press, when TRL was a thing out in New York, with Carson Daly, we started getting hit with some specific religious groups being very supportive of the movie. That was the true, behind-the-scenes reality of, Wow, she looks great. The film has a very finite ending, but was there ever talk of a sequel of sorts for Landon’s character? A lot of my friends and I have been talking about that recently. Look, we were all a lot younger, and we were looking to start our careers. I don’t think we ever set out to do that. So if you basically look at the soundtrack, I think it says West, Gould, Fitzgerald, or something like that, which are just our last names. The butterfly-tattoo scene is one of the sexiest moments in the movie and yet it’s so innocent. But whatever. We’re a part of that generation now: the late 30s, early 40s, where we were adults when social media started. I’ve been on a lot of different sets, and they’re all different. But the cool thing about that was I knew Mandy was getting music on the soundtrack. I don’t think anybody really needs to know about that. And she’s very easy, very accommodating. I would love to do a love story, but now if I do, [it has to be] better than A Walk to Remember, since we happened to have success with that. Doubtfire

Tags: There’s one thing that did stand out that scared the hell out of us. Nothing was copyrighted. He said, “Prepare for everything to change. There was obviously so much chemistry onscreen; was there chemistry offscreen between you or any of the other actors? Obviously, I focused more on acting. I want it to be the right person. What we really paid attention to all the time was Mandy’s hair. I want it to be the right love story. What do you want for your career at this point? I think it would continue as Shane and Mandy if a different project happened.