The ''Princess Diaries'' costar tells why her early hits make her cringe

By Liane Bonin
Updated August 14, 2001 at 04:00 AM EDT
Credit: Mandy Moore: Fashion Wire Daily/Retna

With two movies, an MTV show and a new self titled album, Mandy Moore, 17, may be the hardest working underage laborer in entertainment. caught up with the whirling diva to ask her about why she’s changing her musical style, hustling Hollywood ”like a pit bull” — and why she hates the sound of her own voice.

”In My Pocket”’s got a Eurodisco style that’s a lot edgier than your previous hits. What the heck happened to our pop princess?
Emilio Estefan [producer/writer] played us what he called this new breed of music — pop fused with rock that had this Middle Eastern twang thrown in there, too. And as soon as I heard ”In My Pocket” I said, you know what? I have to record that song! Who would expect this kind of music from me? I know people had written me off as being predictable and a stereotypical pop artist, and in a way I don’t blame them. I’ve been so ready to prove I wasn’t all about ”Candy.”

What’s so wrong with the songs on ”So Real” and ”I Wanna Be With You”?
”Candy” was a great place to start from, but I listen back to a couple of the other songs on the past two records and I cringe. I cringed when I had to record them in the first place, but listening back and knowing the creative control I have now, it’s like, EWWWW! Goodness, I can’t believe that my name was on them and people think that’s what I’m all about. But I’m 150 percent proud of and satisfied with the new record. Obviously not with my voice, but with the quality of the songs and the production value.

Wait, what’s wrong with your voice?
I can’t stand the sound of my voice. It’s like listening to yourself on the answering machine. It’s like, I do NOT sound like that. I do not! You sound completely different to yourself than you do to other people. Sometimes I’ll be warming up before a show and I’ll put on a couple songs off the record and be singing along, and I’ll be like, aaaaaahhhh!

At the risk of making you scream again, do you have any other self-criticism?
I’m the worst dancer in the world. I hate dancing on stage and doing choreography. I look like an awkward dancing monkey. Honestly, it’s not good.