For Mandy Moore, 'How To Deal' Involves A Haircut

Singer/actress trims locks for romantic comedy.

She surprised fans when she switched from blonde to brunette for "A Walk to

Remember," and now Mandy Moore has gone short, trimming her locks to get a

fresh look for yet another new movie.

"I'm about to start another film called 'How to Deal' next month," Moore

said recently, explaining the hair switch. "This is for the character, for

the film itself."

"How to Deal" is a romantic comedy based on a pair of teen novels by Sarah Dessen, a creative writing teacher from North Carolina. The ever-active Moore, fresh off a 2002 MTV Movie Awards win for Breakthrough Performance, Female (see " 'Lord Of The Rings,' Nicole

Kidman On Top At MTV Movie Awards"), began preparations for "How to

Deal" shortly after wrapping up another romantic comedy, "Try Seventeen."

"I get to play a really cool, confident, strong teenage girl," Moore said of

her "How to Deal" role. "She doesn't believe in love, [she's] kind of

cynical. She doesn't believe in love basically because there are all these

examples of love gone wrong going on around her, with her parents getting

divorced, her best friend falling in love, and they made this pact that they

would never fall in love.

"It's actually a really quirky comedy," she said. "[I'm] very excited."

Though she only recently turned 18, Moore is no stranger to quirky comedies

(she made a small appearance in 2001's "The Princess Diaries" and provided a

voice for "Dr. Dolittle 2") or novel-turned-movie vehicles. "A Walk to

Remember," a tearjerker in which the actress offered up an earnest,

relatively subdued performance as a morally centered young woman stricken

with a terminal illness, was based on a book by Nicholas Sparks.

Moore followed "Walk" with "Try Seventeen," in which she stars opposite

Elijah Wood ("The Lord of the Rings") and Franka Potente ("The Bourne

Identity") as one third of a complicated love triangle. Wood plays a

17-year-old college student masquerading as an older guy who wins the

affections of both girls. "Try Seventeen," now in post-production, is slated

for release in 2003.