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Shane West says he and Mandy Moore 'both had a little bit of a crush' on each other

He found it easy to act romantic opposite her "adorable" face.
/ Source: TODAY

The coming-of-age romantic film "A Walk to Remember" may have shown us a tragic romance on camera, but its two stars, Shane West and Mandy Moore, definitely felt the vibes off-camera, too.

"I think we both had a little bit of a crush," West, 43, told New York magazine's Vulture recently about the "This Is Us" star. "But then we were just there for each other in the most honest and purest of ways.... That sounds incredibly corny, but it's true and rare."

Mandy Moore And Shane West In 'A Walk To Remember'
Mandy Moore and Shane West got quite close in "A Walk To Remember."Alamy

He recalled what it was like to shoot scenes with her for the 2002 film, including one where his character gives hers a temporary tattoo of a butterfly.

"We were just pulled over near the alleyway. Then (Adam Shankman, director) put a camera inside of the car," he recalled. "It was fun to do. It's hard to not smile when you're looking at Mandy's cute, adorable face — to react to that. And it made it easy."

West has been stanning for Moore, 37, for years, though, so these comments aren't precisely a shock. He spoke at her Hollywood Walk of Fame star ceremony in 2019, telling the crowd and Moore, "Your energy is irresistible and your heart is second to none. I always knew you were incredibly talented and I always knew you were going to go on to do big things and amazing things, and you have … I couldn't be more proud of you. I couldn't be more happy for you."

That same year, when she spoke out on Instagram about her ex's alleged abuse, he commented that she was "the strongest woman I know."

"A Walk to Remember" was based on the Nicholas Sparks novel by the same name, and focused on two high schoolers from different walks of life, one of whom falls ill with a deadly disease just as they start to find love.

So where would his character Landon be right now? West joked that he'd be "remarried with six kids," then got more serious. "I think he continued doing what he was going to do. She was his inspiration. I think he lived his life to the fullest... You can say that this is the love of his life, and having her near him in his heart keeps him going with his life and his career."

West giving his speech at Moore's Hollywood Walk of Fame star ceremony in 2019 in Hollywood. VALERIE MACON / AFP/Getty Images

And while West says now that he found Moore delightful to work with, it was true all around the set that everyone got along. "Everyone liked each other. It was the opposite of the movie. Everyone got along and had a great time."

But there was something special between him and Moore, as he noted to TODAY in 2017. "We immediately liked each other as people, and I think that's what actually helped (the film work)," he said at the time, then added that director Shankman actually wanted them to stay a little farther apart. "(He) didn't want us to hang out all the time because he kind of liked how different we were. It was perfect for the actual film."

And the results are on the screen!