Mandy Moore: Rapunzel the Disney Non-Princess 

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Actress/singer Mandy Moore voices the role of Rapunzel in Disney’s new animated feature Tangled. Moore recently visited Salt Lake City for a promotional tour to discuss the film. Listen to the podcast of the full interview here.

What’s the balance between the excitement of stepping into Disney’s animated legacy vs. the “I hope I don’t screw this up” part?
Big shoes to fill … especially because I grew up idolizing these movies. You just have to trust that the powers-that-be know what they’re doing. Initially, I remember, about halfway through [the dialogue sessions], them playing a tiny clip of a scene … and I was like, “My voice is so shrill.” It’s like hearing yourself on the answering machine and going, “Wow, do I really sound like that?” That’s how I felt when I heard myself initially: I completely ruined this entire movie.

As a recording artist, you’ve spent a lot of time in a studio in front of a microphone. In what ways did that experience help, and what did you have to un-learn?
I’ve always been really good at ADR, where you have to go into a film and replace dialogue, just watching my lips and being able to synch the dialogue. … What I found more difficult, that I didn’t really realize, was recording [the songs for Tangled]. I was thinking, “This is going to be easy.” But you get on a soundstage, with a 70-piece orchestra and [composer] Alan Menken … and you’re like “OK, this is a challenging song, there’s so many words … that I have to fit into a finite amount of melody. I don’t know if I have the lung capacity.” It required a lot more thought [while] singing than I’ve really ever had to employ.

When you saw the character design for Rapunzel, how did that inform the way you decided to play the part?
It didn’t, really. It all sort of made sense; this is already what I had conjured up in my mind. She’s so cute, she’s got those big eyes, and little freckles, and she’s barefoot. It’s how I would have designed a Disney heroine or princess, anyway.

We’re not supposed use the word “princess” …
I know, I know … but come on, she really is a princess. She just doesn’t know until the end.

What’s the longest you’ve ever worn your hair?
I usually wear it short, so maybe this is the longest that it’s been au naturel … appropriately enough.

Scott Renshaw

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