Surrounded by loved ones — including husband Taylor Goldsmith, "A Walk to Remember" co-star Shane West and cast members from "This Is Us," including Milo Ventimiglia, Chrissy Metz and Sterling K. Brown — Moore noted that at 34, she's only now starting to feel like her authentic self.
"At this chapter in my life things are starting to feel like they're coalescing," she said. "... Those of you who know me well know that I am inherently uncomfortable in this position. But recently I have found myself stepping into my power in a new way. I have. I am finally starting to understand and own who I am."
Moore broke into prominence when she was just a blond-haired 15-year-old with a big hit: "Candy," which went gold in 1999. She made a big splash in 2002 in "A Walk to Remember," based on Nicholas Sparks' emotional novel of the same name. And ever since 2016, she's dazzled TV fans as Rebecca Pearson on "This Is Us."
"It may have taken a long time to get here, and a long time to feel comfortable in my skin, but hard work is what grounds us," she continued. "It's what makes us reach further than the day before and trust in our lead."
"This Is Us" creator Dan Fogelman, who joked about her being "the worst person I have ever met" at the ceremony, lauded her in his speech. Before the ceremony, he told TODAY, "I think this next chapter for Mandy personally and professionally is so exciting. It's ironic that she's getting this star right now, because she's only scratched the surface of what she can do as an actress."
And that's something Moore seems to be understanding these days.
"If I've learned anything, it's that you must be grateful for where you've been in order to keep moving forward," she said. "... I have such an appreciation and fondness and respect for my young self. Because she is what brought me here to this moment today, 20 years later with her own star on the Walk of Fame. I did not know it was possible to dream dreams this big."