Though Moore started recording at 14 and grew up in the public eye, she never went in for car-bashing, crotch-baring, drinking-and-drugging antics. When she's been tabloid fodder it's always been for a high-profile romance: with Wilmer Valderrama (who famously dished to Howard Stern about their sex life), tennis star Andy Roddick, Zach Braff. Moore spoofed her man-eater side on Entourage, playing the sweet-faced breaker of Vince's usually tepid heart. She laughs at the mention of the role; she doesn't quite understand all the fuss about it. The thing is, it got to the essence of Moore's appeal: She may be sweet, but she's no pushover.

As of late, Moore has willfully crafted her career. Even the freewheeling Amanda Leigh (her proper name) is the product of much planning—a conscious attempt to replicate the college-band experience. The album was recorded in a mere 23 days, in the basement studio of a drafty two-bedroom house in Medford, Massachusetts. "It was like summer camp," Moore says of the marathon sessions, in which she, Viola, and sound engineer Ducky Carlisle (who also played drums) were "eating, sleeping, breathing this record, all in one house together." She refused to play the diva. "We'd wake up at like noon and record to three or four in the morning," Viola says. "Mandy was in it the whole time."

Now Moore has entered into a musical collaboration of a different stripe. A week after we meet, she marries Adams in a quiet ceremony in Savannah. It seems likely that Adams will improve Moore's standing with the Pabst Blue Ribbon crowd, and perhaps her innate sweetness—badass boots notwithstanding—will rub off on him. Moore hints at what their yin-yang pairing might bring about. For starters, she's learning to play—really play—guitar and piano from Adams, whom she coyly calls her "in-home teacher." The more she talks about him the more effusive she gets. Soon she sounds as if she's never dropped an F-bomb in her life: "When it comes to the possibility and potential to collaborate, or to be able to run decisions or ideas by someone . . . it's nice to have that. I feel very lucky, you know?"