Mandy Moore is an award-winning actress and multi-platinum recording artist, known for her grace, charm, and good-natured wit. Her latest film is the blockbuster musical Tangled, a hip, sassy update on the classic story of Rapunzel. I sat down with Mandy to discuss music, modern animation, and her thoughts on portraying what may be Disney's last-ever princess. Then the conversation veered off topic a bit. My bad.
Steven Shehori: So Tangled had an amazing opening a few days ago. That was a good time to release a family film, being Thanksgiving and all.
Mandy Moore: True! Definitely a family time of the year. Some turkey, some stuffing, a wonderful movie.
SS: Well... All this turkey talk has me wondering. Have you ever tried a turducken before?
MM: I've been hearing that word lately. What exactly is a turducken?
SS: Basically, it's a de-boned chicken stuffed inside a de-boned duck stuffed inside a de-boned turkey.
MM: (laughs) Really?
SS: Think Russian nesting dolls, only with meat.
MM: You know, maybe it's a question of semantics, but I'm pretty sure my cats eat turducken! Their cat food is turkey, duck and chicken flavored.
SS: And they're clearly unfazed by the ethical implications of consuming this mutant dish.
MM: Well, that's just it. Although you're saying a turducken is three separate birds cooked together, it's kind of hard not to visualize it as a singular living creature of sorts.
SS: I think what you're describing is the turducken of the dystopian future. Where instead of cramming poultry into one other ad infinitum, science will simply cut out the middleman and make the turducken a single, genetically-modified animal.
MM: And until that day comes, my question is, how are they placing the chicken inside the duck inside the turkey everytime Thanksgiving rolls around? Whose job do you think that is?
SS: I'm guessing seasonal laborers. So if you decide to eat a turducken at some point, any fears about then becoming the outer layer of an ever larger turducken?
MM: That's the million dollar question! I'm sure we all have a deep-seated anxiety of that possibly coming true. (laughs) Just to be safe, it may be best to stick with the vegetarian option next Thanksgiving.
SS: I think the resistance some people have to turduckens stems from the fact that they, as an entrée, come across a bit Frankensteinish.
MM: That's understandable. So what's the solution? Organic free-range turducken?
SS: Intriguing... You're talking about a live turkey being farm raised with a de-boned chicken and duck already inside it, Mandy Moore?
MM: Sounds a bit questionable when you put it that way! But who knows, it might go over well with the conscientious Thanksgiving fan.
SS: Why do you think the turducken principle of cramming food into other food hasn't caught on with other types of meals?
MM: I see what you're saying. Like, why can't we buy Count Chocula cereal stuffed with Boo Berry-encrusted Frankenberry.
MM: Not sure. But I'd personally try that. Maybe as a sugary appetizer before the turducken's served?
SS: That sounds pretty sweet.
MM: Sweet is good. I'm not a fan of deep-fried things. This whole turducken talk has me thinking about how you can buy anything fried these days. From deep-fried Snickers bars to deep-fried butter. Do we really have to do that?
SS: Chocolate-covered bacon.
MM: (laughs) Ugh, really?
SS: Oh yeah. It's actually a thing.
MM: Although that being said, I've had a chocolate bar with little tiny bits of bacon inside. And that, I have to say, was surprisingly delicious. But I don't know if I could just go for a strip of bacon slathered in chocolate.
SS: It's all about the presentation.
MM: It is. Which I guess is why the turducken concept might intrigue some people. With all the layers, you're never one hundred percent sure what lies beneath the surface.
SS: It's like an edible Hardy Boys mystery.
MM: Apparently so.
SS: So what can turducken retailers do to stay ahead of the curve in this highly-competitive holiday dinner industry?
MM: Hmm... Maybe a turducken stuffed inside a goat, wedged inside a cow, crammed inside a buffalo.
SS: And all of that lovingly placed inside a T-Rex.
MM: There you go.
SS: Now that's a meal, America.
Tangled is now playing in theaters nationwide.