Mandy Moore: "I mean come on, who doesn't want to be a Disney princess? I think like all young girls sort of fantasized about that - me included - so when you get the call that Disney's making a film, another animated film and it's the story of Rapunzel I was like, 'Do I throw my name in the hat and risk rejection or do I just go for it?' And I went for it. So it's still crazy that I'm able to stand here saying that I'm a part of the film."
Are you at all like Rapunzel?
Mandy Moore: "Well, I am not rebellious, but I think she's rebellious in a good sense. She's not fighting that instinct that she has that she's sort of meant for more, and she's really curious about the world outside of what she's known for her whole life. And I don't think that's any different from any young person, sort of wanting to flex their freedom for the first time. So I could definitely relate to that on more than one level. But I also think she's a really admirable character. She's fearless in the face of the unknown. She doesn't know what she's going to encounter in the real world and that doesn't deter her from ultimately going out and realizing this dream."
If you were stuck in a tower for 18 years what would you do?
Mandy Moore: "Hopefully it would have wifi. I don't know. Try and sort of myself...like put my time into doing things that I had been holding off on. I don't know. I mean, she really makes good use of her time in the film and I don't think I can really compete with that."
What was it like working with Zachary Levi?
Mandy Moore: "He's awesome. I didn't really get to work with him. We met each other once and got to record the duet together. But I've had so much fun getting to know him and doing the press for the film. I think he's fabulously talented and I think people are going to be really surprised at how great a singer he is to."
Dan Fogelman: "You know, I want what everybody likes best."
So politically correct.
Dan Fogelman: "No, I like the name change. You know, honestly, the reality is the movie is really as it turned out to play, it's a really a two-hander of a movie. It's really more than anything it's about this love story at the center of the movie between the girl, Rapunzel, and the guy, Flynn. And so it really makes sense. It's about these two characters who become interconnected. Even the way the story is told - it goes back and forth at the opening now. In the beginning of the movie it was very much more streamlined one way. So it really does fit and make sense."
Were you the one that came up with the horse and the chameleon?
Dan Fogelman: "Sure."
Or did Disney say to throw in some cute little sidekicks?
Dan Fogelman: "No, it was all me."
How did you come up with a horse behaving like a dog?
Dan Fogelman: "The horse like a dog...a lot of it is, honestly, the animators at this company are the best in the world. And honestly it's like there was a horse and it was really going to be a cool kind of thing - a horse who's trying to track down a thief all the time. But all the stuff about the horse behaving like a [dog], that comes from Nathan [Greno] and Byron [Howard] working with the best animators in the world. A lot of it was not on the page. A lot of it was just kind of found in the animation, and great storyboard artists who kind of have things like a dog's tail wagging on the horse. And then it goes into animation."
How close was your script to what ended up on screen?
Dan Fogelman: "It's very close. It's very verbatim. But the touches that make it really special are stuff that the animators find and the directors find."
Did you have to go back and make any changes once it was Mandy Moore and once it was Zachary Levi?
Dan Fogelman: "No, they came on pretty early in the process so I was kind of writing towards them. Zach and Mandy, they both brought their own things to it in the recording booth. Zach particularly does a lot of improvising and a lot of stuff that will come off as the funniest lines in the movie and were really just kind of Zach doing it."
You're the writer. You'll get credit for it.
Dan Fogelman: "I'll take it. But it was very true to the script and Zach and Mandy brought their thing to it. But they came on really, really early in the process."
Which is more difficult to write - animation or live action?
Dan Fogelman: "It's different. Animated is more of going to school. I had the pleasure of working for John Lasseter for a really long time, and it's really you're constantly putting the work up. I always say if it was live-action, if you get to imagine in live-action shooting your movie and then putting it up in front of audiences and going, 'Okay, here are all the things that work. Here are all the things that don't work. And now we're going to wipe it out and start all over.' And that's kind of what you get a chance to do in animation, and that's why it kind of is...the movies are often better and the movies are, really for a writer, a kind of training ground for figuring out how to break a story and how to write a movie."
"We do all these screenings once every four to six months where we put it up in reels before it goes to animation, before you spend all the money on the animation, where you get to see how the story is working."
And you're also going to direct?
Dan Fogelman: "I am, coming up next year. That's pretty scary. It's live-action stuff. I don't have the brain for the...I'm not smart enough for the animation stuff because then you have to direct a movie and know animation. But yeah, I'm doing a movie with Steve Carell."
Now he's going to play the older guy and you still have a younger guy you need to cast who is the rock star?
Dan Fogelman: "Actually Steve Carell's playing the younger guy. Steve Carell's playing the kind of grown son of an aging rocker who tracks down his grown son he's never known. That's going to be somebody in their 60s or 70s that's playing that role."
How did you come up with the story?
Dan Fogelman: "I just came up with it. It's basically about the idea of a guy who receives a letter from his hero, John Lennon, 45 years after it was meant to be delivered. And that tells him, 'Go live your life to the fullest,' and he had gone the opposite way and so it sets him on a course correction to fix his life."
So are you a John Lennon fan?
Dan Fogelman: "I am."
How cool then to do Imagine - you get that title?
Dan Fogelman: "I know, we'll see if we get that title. But yeah it is cool. I'm really looking forward to it. Carell is the absolute best. I just finished a movie with him and he's really kind of a genius guy so it's really exciting."
So on this next movie, it was Crazy, Stupid, Love...
Dan Fogelman: "Yeah."
That one did he change your lines a lot?
Dan Fogelman: "Only in the best possible way. Again, like this movie, when they change the lines and it works I'll take all the credit for writing it."
More on Tangled: