‘A Walk to Remember’: Mandy Moore Said This Scene With Shane West Was the Hardest to Film

The first Nicholas Sparks movie came out 19 years ago. Yup, A Walk To Remember celebrated its 19th anniversary on Jan. 25, making now the perfect time to take a look back at Mandy Moore and Shane West’s memories from the set.

And while Moore once described the experience like going to summer camp, there was one scene, in particular, that was difficult for her to film.

A Walk To Remember
Mandy Moore is comforted by Shane West in a scene from the film ‘A Walk To Remember,’ 2002 | Warner Brothers/Getty Images

‘A Walk To Remember’ was Mandy Moore’s first lead role

Moore was the newbie on set. Before landing the coveted role of Jamie Sullivan (for which Jessica Simpson was originally considered), the 16-year-old had only acted in a supporting role in The Princess Diaries.

When they started filming when she was 17, she quickly learned the emotional energy making a movie like that takes, no doubt preparing her for her future role as the Pearson family matriarch on This Is Us.

West recalled what it was like watching Moore learn the ropes in a 2017 interview with Entertainment Weekly. He said:

“Mandy was really nervous, I remember, in the beginning, but once she committed to it she slipped right into the role effortlessly and it just really fit her. She really grew up on that movie. We all did, but we were all in our 20s apart from her. I might have had a baby face and that’s great, but I believe I was 24.”

While most of the movie featured scenes between Moore and West, there was one in particular that the up-and-coming actress struggled with.

Shane West and Mandy Moore
Shane West and Mandy Moore | Vince Bucci/Getty Images

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Mandy Moore said this scene in ‘A Walk To Remember’ was ‘a bizarre experience’

In the same interview, Moore said the scene where Jamie confesses her illness to Landon was the hardest to do. She said:

“The scene where I tell Landon that I’m sick was very memorable scene because they weren’t sure if I was going to say that I was just sick, or that I had leukemia. They were still trying to figure it out so we had to do several different versions. It was a very hard place to get to emotionally, to be able to tell him that and then to have to say, ‘I have cancer,’ ‘I have leukemia,’ ‘I’m sick.’ We were just trying out all these different options so that once they got in the editing room and had tested the movie, they would have their pick of what would eventually make it into the film. That was a sort of bizarre experience.”

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Mandy Moore and Shane West call ‘A Walk To Remember’ a career highlight

One thing both of the stars agree on is how great of an experience working on the movie was. They both credited director Adam Shankman for creating a great work environment that they still remember fondly.

“There are very few times in your career when the memories and the relationship you have to a project match the relationship that an audience has to the project,” Moore said. “But this movie is as special to me as it seems to be to people out there in the world.”

As West said, “It genuinely was a phenomenal experience. From start to finish, it really was a wonderful experience and that was because of Adam Shankman, the director. He kept everyone invested, together, kept the mood right, especially for some of the dramatic things we had to do, and everyone genuinely loved each other — or liked each other at least.”

“Those types of things can happen often, but then maybe the movie or TV show isn’t very successful and people don’t really get to know about it,” he continued. “In our case, it was a great experience, it was a lot of fun, everyone bonded on set and off, and it happened to turn out to be a success. You couldn’t ask for anything more.”