Mandy Moore: You couldn’t pay me money to go back to my 20s

Parade Cover

In March, Mandy Moore released a new album for the first time in over 10 years. The album, Silver Linings, was Mandy’s autobiographical journey from overcoming the abuse she suffered from her first husband, Ryan Adams, to rediscovering herself, her voice and new love with husband, Taylor Goldsmith. Clearly Mandy had to do quite a bit of reflecting to make Silver Linings and when she was interviewed by Parade about her journey, she admitted she’s much happier now. In fact, she is so much happier, you couldn’t pay her to go back to her 20s.

Mandy Moore looks forward to aging. Not to those hours in the makeup chair getting wrinkled and gray for her character on NBC’s hit, This Is Us. Over 72 episodes, she’s played family matriarch Rebecca Pearson at nearly a dozen different ages, from her mid-20s to her mid-80s.

No, Moore, 36, is looking forward to the real thing.

“I’m excited about all the collective wisdom and clarity and giving less of a you-know-what as you get older,” she says. “Already, the older I am, the more comfortable I get in my skin. You couldn’t pay me money to go back to the last decade of my life. The 20s were the worst!”

The autobiographical Silver Landings, meanwhile, reflects on being 15, social media, relationships and regaining one’s confidence and voice. (Moore’s favorite lyric? “‘Save a little for yourself’—that’s a lesson I’ve had to learn over and over.”)

That’s a lot of looking back, as is the memory-focused This Is Us. What about the future?

“I’m hopeful!” Moore says—and not just about eventual real-life wrinkles. “I feel like a lot of people look at 2020 and are ready to skip on over to 2021, and I totally understand that. But I think this period of recalibration was long needed and maybe couldn’t have happened unless we found ourselves in the midst of a global pandemic and fight for racial justice and all these other pieces of the puzzle that are starting to coalesce,” she says.

“There’s been this awakening in so many senses. I don’t see things returning to the status quo, and that’s good. We need change.”

[From Parade]

I mean, yeah. Mandy got married to a controlling jerk at 24. She was already under the Hollywood microscope given her pop-princess status and she was trying to maintain a successful acting and singing career that her husband felt threatened by – all in her 20s. I wouldn’t return to those years either. But in general, 20s can be rough. I had a lot of fun in my 20s and loved them at that time. Some of the people I value most in my life I met in those years. I became a person I never wanted to be in the first half of my 20s, but I also pulled myself up and out of that person before I left my 20s. It’s a very transformative time but yes, it is very confusing. I understand Mandy’s emphasis, though, and I think it goes beyond her personal struggle. Society places such a priority on youth, especially for women. We’re taught to view aging as our enemy. Like Mandy, I far prefer the person I am now to the point that I also welcome aging. Sure, I wish I had my 20-year-old @ss, but I didn’t appreciate it then, so why bother with it now?

There is a lot of stuff about This Is Us in the interview, if you are a fan of that show. The filming has been pushed back due to quarantine, but they promise it will be back and that they will make us cry until it hurts (my words). I like Mandy’s viewpoint of what is happening in 2020. I am a little more skeptical about people, but ideally we’ll move forward as a society. I’ve been unable to “skip ahead” mentally because I am so f*cking scared of what will happen in November. To Mandy’s point, that’s good, because even though it’s giving me an ulcer, it’s keeping me diligent. And that makes me fully prepared to debate anyone that is even remotely suggesting they might sit the election out.



Photo credit: Instagram and WENN/Avalon

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17 Responses to “Mandy Moore: You couldn’t pay me money to go back to my 20s”

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  1. Flamingo says:

    Looking back on my 20s, it was a complete mess. I spent my time studying my ass off to be top ten in my class and then working 70 hour weeks to prove myself. Not really sure to whom I was proving myself, but I was sure trying. After my crazy, long work days, I would come home to my lying, cheating, alcoholic fiancé whom I spent three years of my life trying to “fix”. I’ve found a lot of people in their 20s waste big chunks of their lives trying to “fix” people.
    My 30th birthday was a real eye opener. My life was nothing like I wanted it to be, so I finally dumped the loser, quit my job, and spent the next six months traveling through Europe and blowing through my savings, and then moved to a new, much more chill city. I said screw it to finding love and accepted that I’d probably be the cool spinster aunt. Six months later, I met my husband on a random Saturday morning while I was stuffing my face with pistachio cake after a lackluster jog. I’m with Mandy on this one, you couldn’t pay me to go back.

  2. grabbyhands says:

    You could definitely pay me to go back to my late 20’s – if I knew then what I know now, or even a shred of it. Or maybe as a short time traveling vacation. It was just a happy time in my life, so I can’t dismiss it completely – life seemed a lot less complicated.

    I will say this, I have far fewer f*cks to give about what anyone thinks about me, so that has been a benefit to getting older.

    • Mel M says:

      I’m with you on all of it. Going back to my twenties sounds like a freakin dream right now.

      Also, who’s that person on the cover? That photo does not do her justice.

    • FHMom says:

      I’d go back in a heartbeat. I miss being young. I miss having the desire to do fun things. I miss pampering myself. I miss nothing to slow me down. It wasn’t perfect from a self-esteem point of view, but it did me no harm. I liked my 30’s better, but I’d take 20’s over 50’s in a heartbeat. Can I please actually do this?

  3. Liv says:

    I often obsess over how my twenties should’ve been better and wish I could get another shot at them. But I actually think I did the best I could with my circumstances

  4. Darla says:

    My 20’s were amazing, the best decade really. No negatives. I cannot think of one negative. God, I had the time of my life, and I traveled more than I have since too. I fell madly in love 3 months after my 30th birthday. (insert loud record scratch here)

    But each decade had its high points, and other than my 20’s, low points. I would go back and do it all again though. Oh absolutely. I think it really depends on the person and what that decade was like for them.

    • EMc says:


      My 20s were way more fun and carefree than my 30s have been, although I expect thats a normal transition into adulthood- children, owning a home, etc. I love my kids more than anything, but I had so much fun in my 20s. I didn’t hate my career because it wasn’t miserable then, I traveled all over the place, I felt pretty invincible.

      When I turned 35 I developed heart burn and an intolerance to alcohol. Now if I want a glass of wine I have to be careful and take an antacid first. I hear when I turn 40 I get assigned an illness…

  5. Also Ali says:

    My 40s have not come with centering enlightenment and the no f’cks to give attitude I was hoping for. Maybe 50?

    My life was so much simpler in my 20s. No one was depending on me but me.

    • FHMom says:

      Sorry to tell you this, but 50’s are not good. Your body starts needing tune ups. Your memory disappoints you. The future seems uncertain. You will look back fondly on your 40’s, so try and appreciate what’s left of them. Going from middle age to old age is kind of terrifying.

  6. osito says:

    I feel like I wasted my 20s and half of my 30s, and now I’m mid-to-late-30s and some areas are ok and some not so ok. Physically and emotionally, I’m doing great — almost the best I ever have done. But I spent so long not doing great that I feel *so* far behind. I’ve spent my fair share of time wishing for a do-over (I totally know that’s not a thing, but still…). It is what it is. I think I’m just one of those people who has to work really hard at being present and *joyful* at the same time. 2020 aside, I’ve never been good at that.

  7. Lunasf17 says:

    I’m so glad she got out of that toxic Ryan Adams situation (and no kids were involved) and found a better dude! She seems so happy now. I saw her current husband’s band open for ELO a few years ago. I don’t really remember them too well but remember her husband was cute.

  8. Case says:

    I’m 27. I have mixed feelings on this decade — I loved and got so much out of college. I studied abroad and have since traveled a lot for work and for fun. Early 20s were quite rough because some friendships disintegrated as we settled into our adult lives and realized we were very different people. But I bought a home two years ago, have pets, a good job, and a life I’m generally quite proud of, which at the moment is all we can really ask for. I genuinely love the life I’ve made for myself. Unclear what the rest of my 20s will be like given COVID and the length of time we could be thrown off by it, but I’ve really made the most of my 20s thus far.

    I do see these people my age on Instagram who have taken up art or music or another hobby during quarantine, and in that way I do feel like I waste too much time just watching TV and should find a real creative outlet to be proud of. But I don’t know, that might just be comparison being the thief of joy.

  9. dlc says:

    I’m with mandy on this one. teens were hell, 20s marginally better, 30s better yet. in my 40s I’m much more financially secure and settled in happily with my partner. I hurt all the damn time tho. better physical pain then emotional.

  10. Bobbie says:

    She’ll feel differently when she’s pushing 50. Middle age is so boring. You look back on your 20s and long for that time of discovery and inappropriate behavior.

  11. nicegirl says:

    Girl, same.

  12. emu says:

    I agree with the sentiment of thinking this is a good period. I am a little uncomfortable when people are like can’t wait for 2020 to be over etc, while yes the election is scary as sheisse, I do think it has been such an important year for black and brown voices.