Britney Spears

Mandy Moore: We Need to Talk About Britney Spears

A brand new podcast called We Need to Talk About Britney premiered Tuesday with guest Mandy Moore. The former teen pop sensation sat down for an hour-long interview about fellow artist Britney Spears.

Comparing herself to Britney Spears, Mandy Moore says she doesn’t even consider herself a celebrity.

“We’ve never met each other. I never met her,” Moore said of Britney. “I think she’s like the leader of the pack. She started it all. I feel like she was at the forefront of crushing the pop music scene, of opening the door for everybody, men and women alike. She really carried the torch.”

“[Britney] just sort of came out and started getting traction as I was making music,” Moore said. “Her influence would be felt, I think, on anybody that was making music because she was so popular. It was instant.”

Artwork for We Need to Talk About Britney Podcast
Artwork for We Need to Talk About Britney Podcast

Rumors have surfaced among fans over the years that Epic Records signed Moore in 1998 to manufacture a “clone” of Britney. The truth isn’t far off.

“I knew once I had been signed and once I was aware of Britney… I knew that I was my record label’s answer to that. When one thing hits, it’s like everybody wants to try and make their own carbon copy of it, their own version of it,” she said.

“I was aware that’s what my record label was doing, but I also knew that I couldn’t compete in that sense,” she added. “That was never going to be me.”

Even though the record label was hoping for their own version of Britney Spears, they never tried to mold Mandy Moore or force her to meet their expectations.

Anne Hathaway and Mandy Moore on the set of The Princess Diaries.
Anne Hathaway and Mandy Moore on the set of The Princess Diaries.

“Nobody ever dictated what I needed to wear or how I presented myself to the world,” she said. “Everybody allowed me to wear what I wanted to wear and answer questions the way I wanted to.”

The duo discuss Britney Spears and pop music in the late ’90s, as expected from a Britney Spears podcast, but Moore also spoke a lot about her own experiences as a teenage idol.

During her music career, it never really occurred to her that she was a pop star.

“I don’t think it ever really sunk in. I think because I was so focused on the trajectory of moving forward and just, everything was so unknown, that I just concentrated on putting one foot in front of the other,” Moore said. “I didn’t have the capacity or wherewithal to really digest what was happening.”

Another tidbit she shares is that she actually hated her first single, “Candy,” and that this is common for a lot of singers. She grew to like the song the more she promoted it.

“You work your way into liking it,” Moore explained. “It becomes so ingrained in the fabric of who you are as an artist. I was 15, and the rigmarole that goes on… or at least went on in the music industry back when I was that age… you go and shake every radio promoter’s hand at every radio station across the states.”

“I feel like a traveling salesman when I think back to it now, because I just was sort of lugging my suitcase with my wares and my one song.”

Upcoming guests on the podcast include TRL’s Damien Fahey, actor and comedian Tom Lenk, and actress Casey Wilson, among others.

Listen to the full premiere of We Need to Talk About Britney here or subscribe on Apple Podcasts.

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