Watch Darren Criss Fan Out Over Mandy Moore’s Music

Before anything really cracking into the discussion on Variety’s Actors on Actors,” Darren Criss had to first reveal his early days obsession with Mandy Moore’s early singing career.

“The Assassination of Gianni Versace: American Crime Story” actor praised “1999’s seminal ‘So Real’ album.” Mandy Moore’s debut album. “Not sure if you’re familiar with it,” he joked.

The “This Is Us” actress immediately responded: “I would love to give everyone their money back that bought this record!”

Despite Moore’s delightful protests Criss leaned revealing he was a true Monday stan from way back in the day, and proclaimed that his favorite track off the record was actually was only 15 seconds. “It’s the telephone interlude where you get to hear, I don’t know, maybe a 15 or 16-year-old Mandy Moore!”

Without missing a beat Criss recites the album’s special recording from a young Moore and an unknown friend.

“‘Hi guys. It’s Mandy. You know what to do after the beep.’ And then this mysterious character leaves a message who I kind of wanted, as a lover of narrative, to hear more about–this chick Bonnie. But it goes: ‘Beep. Hey Mandy, it’s Bonnie. I heard what happened. Call me back.’ Click. And then I think the ‘Walk Me Home’ song starts.”

Turning pink laughing, Moore said: “I haven’t thought about this in probably 15 years.”

The “Versace” star explained how he would see the “This Is Us” matriarch on MTV, and thought “hearing her talk, hearing her voice as a human being was so sexy and interesting,” he said. “I was like: ‘Whoa, she’s just a kid. I’m a kid. Cool.'”

Criss also disclosed how he first heard the song on a mini disc player while on a roadtrip, rewinding and “being like: ‘It’s only 15 seconds? What happens? What happens here?”

Moore cooly avoided spilling the beans: “What was she referring to? We’ll never know.”

The Emmy Award-winning “Actors on Actors” series will air in two episodes on PBS SoCal KOCE, the first on Tuesday, June 19 at 7 p.m. and the second on Thursday, June 21 at 7 p.m. Both episodes will stream on pbssocal.org following their premieres.

Watch the Full Interview Here: 

More TV

  • 'Parasite,' 'Jojo Rabbit' Win ACE Eddie

    'Parasite,' 'Jojo Rabbit' Win ACE Eddie Awards for Top Feature Films

    “Parasite” and “Jojo Rabbit” have won the top feature film trophies at the 70th Annual ACE Eddie Awards at the Beverly Hilton Hotel. Jinmo Yang won the dramatic feature category for “Parasite” over “Ford v Ferrari,” “Joker,” “The Irishman,” and “Marriage Story.” The victory marks the first time in ACE Eddie Awards history that a [...]

  • Gregg Smith, Dancer and Choreographer Assistant,

    Gregg Smith, Dancer and Choreographer Assistant, Dies at 73

    Gregg Smith, a dancer, casting director and assistant choreographer who had a long association with director Kenny Ortega, has died. He was 73. Smith died on Jan. 1. The industry veteran worked as a performer in the national touring company of the musical “Hair” and in a Los Angeles production of “Jesus Christ Superstar.” He [...]

  • Cynthia Erivo25th Annual Critics' Choice Awards,

    Cynthia Erivo Talks Singing Live on Set for 'Genius: Aretha'

    Cynthia Erivo confirmed the rumor that she is indeed singing live on set for “Genius: Aretha.” During the Nat Geo series’ Television Critics’ Association press tour pane, Erivo discussed how singing live allowed her to capture the voice and essence of the Queen of Soul Aretha Franklin. “Singing is my second language, the rumor is [...]

  • Ramy Youssef, star of the upcoming

    TV News Roundup: Hulu Reveals 'Ramy' Season 2 Premiere Date

    In today’s TV news roundup, Hulu released premiere dates for “Ramy,” “The Great” and “Solar Opposites,” and Variety obtained an exclusive clip from “Duncanville.” DATES Showtime announced Mo’nique‘s new standup comedy special, “Mo’nique & Friends: Live From Atlanta,“ will air Feb. 7 at 10 p.m. The hour-long special features a variety of talented newcomers including Prince T-Dub, [...]

  • Armando Iannucci on Leaving 'Insult Heavy

    'Avenue 5': Armando Iannucci on Leaving 'Insult Heavy Political Dramas' Behind

    In a sketch from “The Armando Iannucci Shows,” a Channel 4 series from the “Veep” creator’s early catalogue, a couple tours a house with an eye to buying it. However, they discover that the property is, in fact, a paper drawing made by a bunch of youths with massive, life-sized crayons. Such commentary on the [...]

More From Our Brands

Access exclusive content