Mandy Moore Talks Playing Dynamic Characters at Create & Cultivate

Courtesy of Parker|Phoenix

Actresses and activists Moore, Yvonne Orji, Jennifer Meyer, Busy Phillips, Katherine Schwarzenegger and Sophia Bush were among the women on the 2018 Create & Cultivate 100 List.

On Thursday evening, Create & Cultivate partnered with Chevrolet for the second annual 100 List to celebrate 100 progressive women finding new roads within their respective careers and maintaining a steadfast commitment to building women up as well as breaking boundaries across 10 categories: entertainment, beauty, fashion, STEM, philanthropy, wellness, content creation, food, entrepreneurship and music. 

Jaclyn Johnson, CEO of Create & Cultivate, started her community of women to inspire budding entrepreneurs to come together and discuss the struggles in their industries and the resources they needed.

The blogger turned entrepreneur’s company launched six years ago and has grown rapidly to encompass hundreds of thousands of women, who attend conferences and workshops spearheaded by successful women. Past speakers have included Chelsea Handler, Gloria Steinem, Meghan Markle and Mandy Moore.

“The momentum built on its own and has become this entire movement. I’m so honored for this to be my job, let alone something I am able to be a part of,” Johnson said, recalling the company's first event at the Ace in Palm Springs for just 50 people. This year, the all-day L.A. conference was held at the City Market Social House. 

Mandy Moore, who served as Create & Cultivate’s keynote speaker in Seattle and appeared on the 2017 100 list, credits the company with serving as an outlet for women to champion other women across industries.

“I’m just psyched to be here tonight to support the women on the list this year from all different walks of life and aspects of business and beauty and technology — it covers such a diverse group of women, we’re not just talking about the entertainment industry," said Moore. "There is something so symbiotic about this community that I really felt was so palpable up in Seattle, and I feel now more than ever."

Since starring in This Is Us, Moore said, “I feel spoiled now, by this particular role — it’s hard to go and just want to play sort of like a girlfriend or wife role moving forward, because I play such a fully realized, fleshed-out woman who is fallible and makes mistakes, and she is far from perfect, so the idea of playing a character who is essentially wallpaper..." Moore also revealed her post-This Is Us plans: "I don’t look forward to that, so unless something is crazy, mind-blowing, at this point in my life, I’m happy to stick to my day job.”

Yvonne Orji of HBO's Insecure also attended the conference in Seattle as well as the L.A. one. Orji spoke on a panel about diversity in the workplace and was thrilled to receive the call that she was selected to be on the 100 List.

“It feels so good, it’s such a now moment. Not just in Hollywood, but all over — with the Women’s March — women are like, ‘We’re now going to be heard, and we will not be denied and will not be silent,' " said Orji. "It is such a powerful moment, so to be here with all these other amazing women just feels right.” 

Since the debut of Insecure, the actress said, she has loved speaking with fans, who feel a camaraderie with her character's career trajectory. “When someone comes up to me at the Container Store and is like, ‘I’m a lawyer too,’ or tweets me, it is so refreshing — because you’re in this bubble doing your lines, becoming a character, and it is someone’s real life and experiences.”    

Other speakers at the Los Angeles conference included Kelly Wearstler, Tia Mowry, Anine Bing and Louise Roe.