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shane west (interview from 2002)

With a string of hit movies and a couple seasons of Once & Again under his belt, look out for 2002's next big thing in A Walk to Remember with Mandy Moore.

Lindzi.com: What attracted you to A Walk to Remember?

Shane West: I think... the character of Landon Carter was definitely one of the things. It was like playing two different characters in the film. That attracted me to the script. Also, it was the story... Although, it had teenagers in it, it was definitely "a film." It wasn't like a teen film like Ten Things I Hate About You. It was told very well. It wasn't rated R. We didn't use the typical things like drugs or alcohol to tell the story. Mandy's character Jamie also didn't have a dramatic physical transformation to... you know... suddenly I thought she was more beautiful. It was a great script.

Lindzi.com: How did you relate with your character?

Shane West: I can relate to him in some ways. I am from a small town in the South -- Baton Rouge, Louisiana. I can relate to him with his southern morays and attitude... and lazy attitude. {laughs} I can relate in the sense that we're both from divorced families. We were both raised by our mom. I can understand where his emotions get a little hectic sometimes. I was never like him in the beginning of the film. I was never that intense. I was never that popular or that much of a trouble maker.

Lindzi.com: Your character has been described as having "no faith in himself." When was the last time you doubted yourself?

That I doubted myself? I think it happens all the time sometimes. I know who I am. I could doubt my decisions and things like that, but I wouldn't doubt myself as a human being.

Lindzi.com: What was your first thought when you found out you were working with pop singer Mandy Moore?

Shane West: I was hoping it was going to go well. I was hoping she could act. I was hoping she'd be a cool person and that we'd be able to get along. I thought she might have a diva type of attitude and she didn't. She was totally the opposite of that. She was very genuine.

Lindzi.com: Were you worried that she couldn't act?

Shane West: {laughs} I didn't think about that too much. I did have to test with her before we got the roles. After the testing, I could tell that there was something there.

Lindzi.com: What advice did you give her before filming?

Shane West: I don't know... not too much. I let her do her own thing. I'd stand back to see if she wanted to ask questions. With the acting, she got that very naturally. It was fun to move her mark a couple times, little blocking things -- more of the physical transformation.

Lindzi.com: Tell me a little about Average Jo.

Shane West: We've been together for about a year and a half. It's a punk/rock band that I have with a good friend. Our first proactive move to get us out there is that we have a song on the soundtrack to this movie. We don't go by Average Joe because we're going to have to start changing our name. We ran into some legal problems because it's taken by so many other things. {chuckles} On the soundtrack, we go by our last names. I believe it's track 11. We're looking for a career... We're looking for a label and manager.

Lindzi.com: What were your childhood years like?

Shane West: I was surrounded by a lot of love. I come from a big family. I have six aunts and they all have kids now. It's one big caring family in Louisiana. I was raised by a single parent for most of my life. Whether we were not wealthy or not, we always did okay.

Lindzi.com: How'd you go from Louisiana to Los Angeles?

Shane West: I came to California when I was about ten. It was really because my mom was looking for better job opportunities. It had nothing to do with acting. It was more or less for her. We, of course, went with her. I decided on acting when I was about 15 or 16 years old. In high school, I didn't know what I wanted to do. There were a bunch of kids in my school in commercials and things like that so I got the bug. It started working for me so I kept going.

Lindzi.com: Okay, the most important question... who are you taking to the premiere? {laughs}

Shane West: {laughs} I don't know yet.

Lindzi.com: Are you dating anyone right now?

Shane West: I am, but I can't say.

That's why we love him. A little bit of mystery and a whole lot of talent.

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