The Untold Truth of This Is Us

This Is Us is one of TV’s most dramatic and well-told stories over multiple generations. Dan Fogelman wrote the storyline for this award-winning series, which follows the lives of Rebecca and Jack Pearson and their children over several time frames. A lot of famous actors are in this show, including Mandy Moore, Milo Ventimiglia, and Justin Hartley. Some of these actors were brought in because of their connections to the show and others just fit in perfectly. We’re here to find out the secrets behind the cameras.

Jack and Rebecca Pearson with all of the kids. / Alex Breckenridge and Justin Hartley. / Randall and Beth Pearson. / Kate and Toby in This Is Us.

Every good story comes with fun facts behind it. This Is Us is no exception. Fogelman made sure to connect the characters with the actors and then took those stories and connected them to the plotline. That doesn’t happen very often in Hollywood! It is amazing how much effort is put into the smaller connections and making sure that all of the details line up.

Keep reading to find out the secrets behind the camera on This Is Us…

This Story Was Originally Supposed to Be A Movie

This Is Us is a loved TV show, but it was originally a movie script that Fogelman kept in his desk drawer in 2015. The storyline wasn’t exactly the same, and it was originally about sextuplets. Fogelman said he “felt pretty confident about the characters he’d created,” he continued with, “What’s the f**king point?” After a while, Fogelman figured out what the point was and even made a new deal with 20th Century Fox.

Rebecca Pearson pregnant, blocking the view of her in Jack Pearson’s camera.
Photo by Ron Batzdorff / NBC / IMDB

At this point, they wanted to call the series ‘36,’ and they were excited to be able to have a whole TV series instead of squeezing the story into a few hours of a movie. Of course, the number of children that belonged to Mandy Moore and Milo Ventimiglia was cut down to triplets instead of sextuplets.

The Show Wasn’t Called This Is Us at First

As I mentioned, the title of the show was meant to be ‘36.’ It was meant to show the age of the three children at the beginning of the show. Not only were the three kids 36 years old, but Jack also turned 36 in the pilot. But “36” didn’t reveal enough about the show, and Fogelman knew that it was just a placeholder until something better came along.

Rebecca Pearson standing with the three twin babies in her hospital room.
Photo by Ron Batzdorff / NBC / IMDB

Fogelman said, “I didn’t like it. I had done a series of movies where I had never titled them, and no one can agree on the title. I threw ’36’ on it, and then I never liked it. Nobody ever liked it. I came up with ‘This Is Us,’ I think when I was in editorial. I decided I liked how it looked at the beginning, and I put it in there. But there was a lot of debate over what the title of the show was gonna be.”

Speaking of Fogelman’s Wife, She’s A Familiar Face for Fans

Whoever has seen this show probably recognizes Madison, Kate’s weight loss support group ‘frenemy’, since the beginning of the show. Madison is played by Caitlin Thompson, who happens to also be Fogelman’s wife. The couple got married back in 2015 and have an abundance of dogs. Yes, an abundance and they are all so cute! Caitlin Thompson is always taking to Instagram to show off these cute dogs.

Caitlin Thompson and Dan Fogelman at the Below the Line Talent event in 2019.
Photo by AFF-USA /

She also called out Fogelman on social media about their two-year wedding anniversary, saying, “Two years ago today, I got a whole day where Dan wasn’t allowed to say “no” to taking pictures and it was glorious.” He also brings the comedy into his Twitter posts about his wife saying, “Just FYI: Madison is my wife in real life. And if you thought I was letting her sleep with @justinhartley on national television, you’re nuts.” I guess we know where the plotline is not going.

Season Premieres Are Always Set on The Big Three’s Birthday

Every season premiere starts with the Big Three’s birthday: August 31st. The first episodes are based around their birthdays, which also happens to be Jack’s birthday. This is a pretty sad part of it, almost as sad of a tradition as her Super Bowl tradition. The second half of season 4 is about to return, but it seems that we were given a big hint this past season.

Jack, Rebecca, Randall, Kate, and Kevin holding a large sign for all of their birthdays.
Source: NBC / Twitter

There are rumors that the 5th season will start with their 40th birthday instead of their 39th. However, Fogelman says we should just stick around and see what happens during the premiere. I guess we shouldn’t get ahead of ourselves and should get excited for the drama and story of the second half of season 4.

Sterling K. Brown Made History

Sterling K. Brown made history alongside Oprah Winfrey at the Golden Globes in 2018. There were two big milestones at the 2018 Golden Globes, and the first one was by Oprah Winfrey. She became the first black woman awarded the Cecil B. DeMille award. Aziz Ansari also made the list of firsts that show becoming the first Asian-American to win the Golden Globe for best actor in a TV show.

Sterling K. Brown holding up his Golden Globe at the Golden Globe Awards in 2018.
Photo by Rob Latour /

With his portrayal of Randall, Sterling K. Brown became the first African American actor to win both the Golden Globe and SAG Award for Outstanding Male Actor in a Drama Series. When he was accepting the award, he mentioned, “But Dan Fogelman, you wrote a role for a black man. That could only be played by a black man. And so what I appreciate so much about this thing is that I am being seen for who I am and being appreciated for who I am.”

Jack Pearson Was Not Originally Meant to Be Hot

Can you believe that Jack Pearson’s character was never really meant to be hot? The shot of his butt was written into the pilot and meant to be more humorous than anything. However, this shot ended up being recognized as very sexy by viewers all over the world. Fogelman spoke a bit about this to THR in an interview.

Milo Ventimiglia as Jack Pearson in This Is Us.
Photo by Ron Batzdorff / NBC

“In the way, a shot of my butt would be funny; I didn’t imagine that that was going to be a thing that would blow up the internet.” He continued, “I joke about it a lot, but really, my initial conception of that character was that different.” Fogelman almost cast a larger man for the part, but Milo Ventimiglia came along, and Jack’s part changed.

Some of The Actors Have Similarities with Their Characters

Like some of the other interesting shows that I watch, This Is Us has a lot of similarities between the characters and the actors that play them. There were times when actors’ talents were noticed and then even written onto the show. Chris Sullivan, the actor who plays Toby, told Glamour magazine that “when the producers found out Chrissy Metz could sing, they immediately had to put that in. She sang live on-set twice, they recorded it, and that’s what you saw on television.”

Chrissy Metz as Kate Pearson singing in This Is Us.
Source: NBC

Justin Harley was also interviewed by Glamor magazine and mentioned that he couldn’t believe how many similarities there were and even asked jokingly if Dan was following him around. “I think Kevin is afraid of heights, and I’m afraid of heights. He gets seasick; I get seasick. He’s annoying to be around; I’m annoying to be around,” he mentioned jokingly.

Kate’s Character Was Inspired by The Fogelman’s Sister

Dan Fogelman based the character Kate Pearson off of his sister, Deborah. Deborah even consults for the show, reading the script and making sure that it actually reads true depicting a woman’s struggle with weight. Fogelman spoke about how he enjoys having his sister’s help and mentioned, “Let me tell you, there’s nothing better than telling a roomful of professional writers, ‘My sister had a note on page five.'”

Chrissy Metz at the ACLU Bill of Rights Dinner. / Deborah Fogelman taking a selfie.
Source: Variety, / @fogelmandeborah, Twitter

Chrissy Metz, who plays Kate Pearson, also mentioned that Deborah had impacted her throughout this process. Metz told a reporter about a time where she had to give an emotional monologue in character about her weight and said, “I remember reading those lines like, ’I’m always going to be afraid of a chair breaking underneath me‘ or ‘whether people will be able to recognize if I’m actually pregnant,’… and going to Dan, in tears, like, ‘These are my fears.’”

Milo is the On and Off Dad for The Cast and Crew

Not only is Jack Pearson the father in the show, but the man who plays him takes on this role on the set of the show also. Milo Ventimiglia told the Hollywood Reporter, “I study the call sheets so that I know everyone’s name.” Well, that’s pretty common. But he did take it a step further. Ventimiglia makes sure to go to set on days that he isn’t filming just to be there as a support system for his co-stars.

Milo and Mackenzie Hancsicsak behind the scenes on This Is Us.
Source: NBC / IMDB

The article describes the actor: he “can’t seem to walk 10 feet on the lot without doling out a handshake or a hug.” He is said to be part of a group chat with members of the Pearson family, and even a group chat with Dan Fogelman and the rest of the cast. Ventimiglia also had trucker hats made for the cast and crew that has the Jack’s Big Three Homes logo on them. What a great dad!

It Takes A Lot to Turn Mandy Moore Into A Grandma

Mandy Moore is very dedicated to her character, Rebecca Pearson. Dedication to the character also means that she dedicates a lot of time making sure that everything is right so she can really portray her the way she needs to. So far, we got to see Moore at a lot of different ages, ranging from in her 30s to her 60s. But transforming someone into an older woman takes some time, 3 and a half hours to be exact.

Mandy Moore as an older Rebecca Pearson in This Is Us.
Photo by Paul Drinkwater / NBC / IMDB

It isn’t the best, but it is better than the five hours it used to take. Zoe Hay does make up for Rebecca Pearson and says, “It’s also very important that the actor can act through that, and it’s a fine line with putting too many prosthetics on the face that doesn’t allow for that emotion of the actor to come through and having enough to transform them and make them look older.” Soon we’re going to be seeing Moore at an even older age. Get ready!

Sylvester Stallone Has A Real-Life Connection with Milo Ventimiglia.

Throughout the show, you will hear references to the movie Rocky, mentioning how it was Jack’s favorite movie or how Sylvester Stallone was Jack’s favorite actor. Well, it wasn’t a coincidence that Stallone arrived in season 2 guest-starring as himself. He comes on to help Kevin through some personal stuff while filming a WWII film together. Funny enough, Milo Ventimiglia and Stallone go way back.

Sylvester Stallone and Milo Ventimiglia on the set of This Is Us.
Source: Twitter

Ventimiglia happens to have played his son in Rocky Balboa. I love this because Ventimiglia’s character actually plays the movies for his on-screen children. Stallone takes on a bit of a father figure in his episode, helping Kevin bring up his issues. He tries to suppress his feelings without succeeding and his character ends up becoming more open after it.

Celebrities Play Themselves on The Show

Just like Sylvester Stallone, a lot of celebrities played themselves on the show, especially in season one. We had Mario Lopez, Alan Thicke, and even Seth Meyers, who showed up in Times Square to see Kevin and Randall fighting. Don’t forget about Katie Couric showing up in Kevin’s nightmare before opening night of his play.

Alan Thicke talking to Kevin Pearson in The Manny scene from This Is Us.
Source: Twitter

There have been a lot of great guest stars on the show who have played themselves, but there is a rumor about the second half of the fourth season and who will be guest starring. While we don’t know if he will be playing himself or someone else, we can always make our assumptions. During the Golden Globes, a promo for the second half of the season aired, showing Legend behind the piano. So, I’m just going to take a guess that he is playing himself.

Chrissy Metz Found Romance on The Set

Chrissy Metz found her romantic connection on the set of This is Us. She is currently dating cameraman Josh Stancil after they met on set. She was very excited when she had the chance to share her story. She mentioned to ET online, “We see each other whenever I’m working… He’s still texting me like, ‘I hope you have a great day. I’ll see you soon.’ He’s a little gem…. It’s pretty wonderful.”

Chrissy Metz and Josh Stancil at EW’s screen actor’s guild award nominations celebration in 2017.
Photo by Brian To /

Although she met her romantic connection on the show, she doesn’t want to rush anything. She mentioned that she still wants to live on her own and enjoy the time that they can actually spend together. She spoke with People magazine about her relationship, saying, “You know, we work more than we don’t work so when we do get some time with each other, we enjoy it.”

Sterling K. Brown Loves to Hang Out in The Writers Room

Sterling K. Brown is always finding his way down to the writer’s room on set. The whole cast seems to really get along, and even everyone else on the set. So, it doesn’t come as any surprise to hear that Brown loves to hang out with the writers. He said in an interview with Vulture, “I’m fascinated by the level of conversation that goes into each story arc…

The cast of This Is Us sitting with the writers being interviewed.
Photo by Imeh Bryant for the Paley Center / IMDB

…and the combating perspectives that we have in our writers’ room and how they ultimately come to a consensus.” The writers have a huge role in the show’s story, and Brown kept going, “It takes real-time and real conversation, but they always come up with something that is just so rich and so full. I’m so proud to help bring their words to life because they’re already so vivacious to begin with.”

Sterling K. Brown: Writer Room Part 2

This should be the way that everything is run nowadays, but unfortunately, this isn’t always the case in television. They claim that the writing staff consists of four white women, three white men, two black women, and one black man with everyone always sharing their stories.

Dan Fogelman, Lyric Ross, Kay Oyegun, Derrick Johnson, and Niles Fitch at the NAACP Image Awards Nominees’ Luncheon in 2019.
Photo by Michael Buckner, Variety,

“We’ve really, really tried to make the writers room a place where we can have those kinds of conversations – the kinds you don’t have permission to have in your daily life,” says co-showrunner Isaac Aptaker. You can tell that they are putting this much effort into the show because the plotline just always keeps you interested, and it always keeps things real. I find myself connecting to so many storylines throughout the show and am usually tearing up as I watch.

The Actors Have Known Plot Spoilers for A While

Usually, you hear about shows where the actors aren’t sure how things are going to progress, and sometimes, they don’t even read the script until they are ready to film. However, the cast of This Is Us does things differently. We celebrate joyful moments with this family and even cry when they are going through things. While this usually puts pressure on actors, This Is Us actors know what is going to happen before it does.

The cast of This Is Us watching the show with Dan Fogelman.
Photos by @Dan_Fogelman / Twitter

Since the actors have time to prepare, they can really mentally prepare for it. Ventimiglia knew about the ending of season 1 before it happened and shared, “I knew in the beginning that Jack was dead in the present day, and then once the events of his death were sorted out and kind of agreed on by Fogelman and the producers and the writers, Dan’s always been very kind with giving us as much information as we need to inform our performances.”

Jack Pearson Drives Milo Ventimiglia’s Real Car

Who remembers Jack Pearson’s Chevelle? Well, this is another time that the actors are connected to their characters on another level. The car actually belongs to Milo Ventimiglia in real life. They were looking for a Camaro at first, but Ventimiglia had different plans. “They were looking for a Camaro and I was like ‘you can’t put Jack Pearson in a Camaro!” Ventimiglia told Access.

Milo Ventimiglia as Jack Pearson in a car.
Photo by Ron Batzdorff / NBC / IMDB

They realized that this car was actually the period-appropriate car which they were searching for, and he agreed to let them use it. However, there was one condition. Ventimiglia made them agree, “but whatever you’re gonna pay me for it, that goes back towards coffee trucks and burger trucks for the crew.” He really is just an all-around nice guy.

You Really Did Hear Jack Say Rebecca’s Name in The Moment He Died

I was definitely crying too loudly to hear this next one, but some of you probably noticed it sounded like Jack was saying “Bec” while he was dying, and Rebecca was standing at the vending machine. Yes, that really did happen. You even see Rebecca turning to the side as if she heard him say her name but went back to what she was doing.

Jack and Rebecca sitting on the hospital bed after the fire before Jack dies.
Source: NBC

I had to watch this episode again just to see what I heard, and it did happen. Ventimiglia told Esquire magazine, “I had recorded a lot of different versions of that, some that were a little more ethereal like I was whispering. You’ll have to ask Dan, but my belief is that it’s a presence. That was Jack saying, “Bec?” She turns her head and everything.”

The Creator Already Knows How He Wants the Show to End

At this point in time, This Is Us has been renewed for a sixth season, and we are only halfway through the fourth. It feels a bit like a puzzle and things connect from other episodes that you would never expect. While it isn’t complete yet, Fogelman knows exactly what everything will look like in the end.

Alexandra Breckenridge and Justin Hartley backstage of This Is Us.
Source: NBC / IMDB

Fogelman was interviewed by Glamour magazine and said, “I’ll be dead if I do this show 10 years from now ’cause it’s really hard! But I think I kind of know what the next four or five or six seasons look like of this show. I don’t have every single moment planned out, but I know where the big moves are for the show every season. Because this show plays [with] time so much, you need to have a plan.”

Sterling K Brown’s Real-Life Wife Appeared in Season One

Dan Fogelman wasn’t the only one whose real-life wife appears in This Is Us. Sterling K Brown is married to Ryan Michelle Bathe. You probably recognize her from earlier things like ER, Girlfriends, How I Met Your Mother and Boston Legal. However, she also had a nice role in this show. Bathe was cast as the mother by the pool, who ends up coming around again.

Ryan Michelle Bathe as Yvette in This Is Us.
Source: NBC

In season 1, Randall wanders away from everyone and sits with another family. This episode is where you really see how uncomfortable Randall is with the Pearsons. Rebecca got into an argument with the boy’s mother, who happens to be played by Brown’s wife. She also appears in a few other episodes throughout the show.

Jack Looks Familiar Because He Was in Gilmore Girls and More

A lot of actors in shows that we watch look very familiar, but we just can’t place exactly where we know them from. Well, I’m here to help you with that feeling. He is well-liked and genuinely good looking. Milo Ventimiglia falls into the category of “that guy,” which you just can’t place. Where have you seen his sweet and crooked smile? Well, the show that was on my mind when this question popped into my head was Gilmore Girls.

Alexis Bledel and Milo Ventimiglia in Gilmore Girls.
Source: Warner Bros. / IMDB

Of course, he also came back for the reboot of Gilmore Girls. But who doesn’t remember him playing Jess Mariano and falling for Rory? He was also in American Dreams, The Bedford Diaries, Heroes, an Apple Commercial in 2007, Gotham, The League, and Wolverine. Get this, he is like every other actor out there and appeared in an episode of Law & Order earlier in his career.

The Episode “Super Bowl Sunday” Used Real Footage from the 2018 Super Bowl

The episode “Super Bowl Sunday” was aired right after the actual 2018 Super Bowl on February 4th, 2018. However, the writers and Fogelman are really into making sure that everything really adds up in this show. So, they went ahead and added the Super Bowl footage into their Super Bowl episode. This is just one of the many reasons that I fell in love with This Is Us.

Jack and Rebecca Pearson watching the Super Bowl.
Source: NBC

This is the episode where Kate and Toby are shown watching the game, and Kate ends up getting upset at him because it wasn’t like the tradition she has with Jack. There was only a half-hour in between the Super Bowl and the episode airing, so it took some serious skill to pull this off. But true to the essence of the show, Fogelman kept everything as real as he could.

Chrissy Metz Only Had 81 Cents in Her Bank Account When She Auditioned

Like a lot of actors and actresses in L.A., Chrissy Metz was auditioning with next to nothing in her bank account and hoping for the best. After how popular she has become, I’m sure that this is something that she won’t ever have to deal with again, but she was interviewed by Glamour and spoke about what she went through.

Chrissy Metz as Kate Pearson in This Is Us.
Photo by Ron Batzdorff / NBC / IMDB

“I kept auditioning, with no savings and no money, credit card debt gaining interest,” she said in her interview with Glamour. “I went on unemployment. I bought ramen noodles at dollar stores. I never had to — God forbid — live on the streets; I moved in with a roommate who told me, ‘Stay with me until you can afford rent. Don’t give up.’

Parker Bates Feels Like Zack Morris From Saved by The Bell

Even though he wasn’t born in the ‘80s, he does a great job at acting like he was. Parker Bates was born in 2007 and played a young Kevin Pearson. You always hear the three siblings being referred to as “The Big Three.” Bates has the rough task of playing a young version of Kevin who is going through all of these things which effected his life around the age of 36.

Parker Bates as Kevin Pearson in This Is Us. / Zack Morris from Saved by The Bell.
Photo by Ron Batzdorff, NBC, IMDB / Pinterest

Not only does he have to act like he’s in the ‘80s, he gets to dress the part also. The New York Post asked him about his character’s outfits in an interview and he said, “The ‘80s were full of short shorts, vests, jam pants and crazy patterns! I love it because I kind of feel like Zack Morris from ‘Saved by the Bell.’ He is awesome, so I’m totally OK with it!”

Logan Shroyer Doesn’t Actually Have Brown Eyes

The teenage version of Kevin is played by Logan Shroyer. He seamlessly connects everyone who plays Kevin on this show, and a lot of effort was put into making sure that all of the details were correct. Justin Hartley has brown eyes so both of the actors playing him at a younger age had to make some changes. Shroyer has brown eyes. So does Bates, but his were changed using special effects.

Logan Shroyer as Kevin Pearson in This Is Us.
Photo by Ron Batzdorff / NBC / IMDB

Shroyer needed to have brown eyes and they were able to change his more easily. They got contacts fitted for him, which were brown. The producers are very particular about his hair. They love it but they did add some highlights. Except for the highlights, they want him to keep his hair like this for the next few years for the part.

Mackenzie Hancsicsak (Kate, age 8-10) Rescheduled Her Hollywood Audition to Star in Her School Play

Mackenzie Hancsicsak plays the young Kate Pearson who is struggling in a battle with her weight. Pearson is teased by her classmates and is growing up with a mother who is very thin and happens to be very attractive. The things that she goes through on this show bring me to tears every time. Hancsicsak does a great job of showing these emotions, but in real life has different problems.

Mackenzie Hancsicsak as Kate Pearson in This Is Us.
Photo by Ron Batzdorff / NBC / IMDB

Before she was brought on to This Is Us, she was acting in a spinoff of The Wizard of Oz called Munchkin Mediation in school. Her mom got the call from two award-winning producers and rescheduled the audition because Hancsicsak was about to get on stage. Thankfully, the producers actually agreed to reschedule, and she got the part.

Hannah Zeile (Kate, age 15-17) Knew Chrissy Metz Well Before This Is Us

Hannah Zeile does a great job of portraying the angsty, sarcastic, and funny teenage version of Kate Pearson and showing the struggles she went through with her mother (Mandy Moore). She started out as a recurring guest star in season one but was picked up as a regular since then. Prior to This Is Us, she knew Chrissy Metz and has mentioned that she has some big shoes to fill for this role.

Hanna Zeile as Kate Pearson in This Is Us.
Photo by Ron Batzdorff / NBC / IMDB

She was recently interviewed by Us Weekly and said, “[Metz] used to work at the agency that I’m represented by, so we already knew who each other were.” Zeile continued, “Knowing her personally, that kind of enabled me to pick up some of her mannerisms. I’m also a fan of the show; I studied her that way as well. It’s just wonderful that she trusts me enough to let the teenage version of Kate be my own thing and be my own character.”

Lonnie Chavis (Randall, age 8-10) Was Nearly Kidnapped

Lonnie Chavis portrayed the younger Randall Pearson and got to take part in some pretty iconic scenes throughout the show. This is just another young actor who knows how to tap into his feelings and give the perfect performance. Just like Mackenzie Hancsicsak, he lets out his emotion for these parts from real-life experience.

Lonnie Chavis as Randall Pearson in This Is Us.
Source: NBC / IMDB

Only five months before he was supposed to start as Randall, he was almost kidnapped by two masked men when he was taking out the garbage. He was interviewed by ABC News after and said, “They pushed me on the ground, and the one that pushed me on the ground said, ‘Stay down,.’” He was able to run away from them and he ran into a woman about half a mile down the road, which was gardening and took him home safely.

Niles Fitch (Randall, age 15-17) Performed on Broadway

The teenage version of Randall is played by Niles Fitch. He is already a recognized actor and was very open about how he got his start in this world. “I started print modeling in Atlanta at 4 years old. My first job was a Back to School ad for Parisian dept. store.” After that, he went on to more impressive things like Broadway. That’s right, Fitch starred in a Broadway show, the Lion King.

Niles Fitch as Randall Pearson in This Is Us.
Source: NBC / IMDB

He loved the way it felt being on stage and acting, and he didn’t stop his career there. Since then, he’s been in shows like House of Payne and Army Wives. He happened to work with Sterling K. Brown on Army Wives and then ended up coming to audition for This Is Us. This isn’t the last time we’ll be seeing Fitch as he is rumored to be in an upcoming major motion picture.

Eris Baker (Tess) Wanted to Act Since She Was 3 Or 4 Years Old

Eris Baker plays one of the cute daughters of Randall Pearson, Tess. She’s the older daughter with a huge personality. From a young age, Baker has wanted to be an actress. She says that it is always who she wanted to be and who she is. In an interview, she even mentioned that it’s just a bonus that she gets paid for it.

Eris Baker as Tess Pearson in This Is Us.
Source: NBC / IMDB

Her mom wanted to make sure that it was really something that she wanted to do. But when she asked to be on TV for Christmas, her parents finally decided it was the right thing for her. Her mom always tells her, “let your little light shine.” She elaborated on it in an interview and said, “That little light inside of me is who I am.”

Faithe Herman (Annie) Watches Every Episode of This Is Us

How sweet is Randall’s other daughter, Annie? She is portrayed by Faithe Herman who believes that she is a lot like her character. Herman is the youngest regular cast member but is still just as into her part as everyone else. In an interview with Black Hollywood Live, she explained, “My favorite part is that I wear headbands and bows and flowers because I actually dress like that and they really know me.

Faithe Herman as Annie Pearson with Tess behind her.
Photo by Ron Batzdorff / NBC / IMDB

I’m a girly girl and I really like how her name is Annie.” She added, “I really like my character.” Herman watches every episode of the show claiming that when something inappropriate is happening her mother covers her eyes. But she just wants to know what is going on so she watches everything.

Lyric Ross (Deja) Really Cut Off Her Own Hair

Deja came along more recently but had a huge role here. She is portrayed by Lyric Ross and comes onto the show with a lot of baggage. After being in and out of foster homes and all of the drama with her mother, she struggles to fit in with Randall and Beth. This is actually where Ross differs from her character, she is a trustworthy person and Deja has a hard time trusting anyone around her.

Lyric Ross as Deja in This Is Us.
Source: NBC / IMDB

She is one of the most authentic actors, though and cut her actual hair on camera for the part. She went back and forth but ultimately made the decision to cut her hair off. Susan Kelechi Watson, who plays Beth, said, “This is a teenage girl being asked to cut her hair off in a matter of, like, 15 minutes. That is a huge deal, especially as a young person (and) as a black woman.”

Amanda Leighton Lives with Her Best Furry Friend

Now we’re moving on to friends of the family. Amanda Leighton plays Kevin’s on-again-off-again love interest throughout his life, Sophie. However, she plays her during their teenage years. Leighton has been acting since 2005 and it shows in her portrayal of Sophie. Growing up she wanted to act or be a vet, either way working with animals. At this point, she has the acting part down and also got herself a cute furry friend.

Amanda Leighton with teenage and present Kevin Pearson.
Source: NBC / IMDB

She sat with her little French Bulldog, Watson, during an interview with The Hallmark Channel. In the interview she mentioned, “I used to drive back and forth from Fresno to L.A. to pursue acting and when I turned 18, I moved out here [Los Angeles] all on my own and I just always grew up with animals so, I felt like it was, you know, normal to always have a pet around. So, on my way up here, I went, got him, and he’s been with me ever since.”

This Is Us Isn’t the Only Major Show for Sophia Coto

Sophie is also played by an actress named Sophia Coto. She portrays Sophie between the ages of eight and ten. While the older versions of Sophie and Kevin are fighting, fighting to stay together, and breaking up, Sophie is reminiscing about the good old days with Kevin. This is where Sophia Coto comes into play.

Sophia Coto and Parker Bates in a scene from This Is Us.
Source: NBC / IMDB

Coto is already making simultaneous TV appearances in American Housewife and she even does a voice in the video game Call of Duty: Modern Warfare. It also seems that acting runs in her family. She posted a World Market commercial with Roman Coto, her younger brother. It seems that being cute, and an actor runs in the family. Maybe we’ll get to see him brought onto a great show like this soon.

Darren Barnet Was Once A Billboard Model

This Is Us got really lucky when they found an actor with a style so similar to Milo Ventimiglia. In order for someone to be able to portray Jack, they would have to take on the acting style of the Ventimiglia and Darren Barnet does just this. Barnet hasn’t had a lot of experience in acting but he did star in a few random episodes of TV shows since 2011.

Darren Barnet wearing a vest on a white background.
Source: IMDB

Before he got his start on the big screen, he was a low-key model. He shared a billboard of himself for a Barry College ad and said, “Throwback to my career as an extremely famous male billboard model in Atlanta.” While his days of billboard modeling are over, he seems to have a great career path mapped out for himself.

Mandy Moore Is the Youngest Actor in The Main Cast

Now she might portray one of the oldest characters in the show, but she is the youngest actor in the main case of This Is Us. Mandy Moore plays Rebecca Pearson, the loving mother of Randall, Kevin, and Kate. Can you believe that she is younger than her three on-screen children? Moore is 35 years old and Chrissy Metz is 39.

Mandy Moore and Milo Ventimiglia sitting on the porch swing in This Is Us.
Photo by Ron Batzdorff / NBC / IMDB

Justin Hartley and Sterling K. Brown are both 43. It is amazing the amount of effort put into the makeup and making Mandy Moore look like she is a 60-year-old woman. Sometimes the makeup changes can make things seem fake, but I still think Moore does well acting as an older woman. However, it’s very distracting when you’re watching once you know this about her, but she is still one of my favorite characters.

Kevin’s Rehab Was Filmed at Justin Hartley’s Real-Life Wedding Venue

The producers and creators of this show really go all out to make sure that everything adds up and that everything is connected. This includes a lot of things from the actors lives that are brought in to be part of the show. In this case, they took Justin Hartley’s wedding venue from real life and used it as the rehab center where Kevin stayed. Their executive producer Issac Aptaker interviewed with EW and mentioned,

Kevin, Kate, and Randall sitting on a bench in the lawn at the rehab center in the show.
Source: NBC

“Weirdly enough, that’s where Justin Hartley was getting married. He had to do this brutally intense scene from the show where his character is lashing out and is torn into, and then have this really beautiful wedding in the exact same place. I think he actually spent his first night as a married man either in the room that Kevin was supposed to be staying in, or the adjacent room. It was just a weird coincidence.”

There’s A “Tangled” Reference Hidden in The Show

Who doesn’t love the movie Tangled, whether you watched it with your children or just watched it on your own? Well, Dan Fogelman happened to write the screenplay for Tangled which Mandy Moore starred in. So these two go way back. Not only did he connect the movie to this show by bringing in Mandy Moore, but he also brought in some lines from the movie.

Singing Mother Knows Best from the movie Tangled.
Source: Walt Disney Pictures / IMDB

In season 1, there is a scene where Randall tells his mom, “I love you.” She responds with, “I love you more,” and then Randall comes back with, “I love you most.” This is anyways a very cute and sweet scene from This Is Us, but if you think it’s familiar then you are correct. This was taken directly from the Tangled song “Mother Knows Best”.

The Mystery of Jack’s Death Called for Intense Security Measures

The mystery of Jack’s death was something that I waited to be answered. What was it going to be after building up some big expectations? Well, the actors knew in advance what was going to happen, but what about everyone else? They say that the big reveal in the season 2 premiere was very secretive and no one could let any of the information get out.

Jack Pearson standing outside of the kids window while the fire is going on in This Is Us.
Source: NBC

In an interview with Esquire, Ventimiglia said that it became “Fort Knox secrecy. Photocopy-proof scripts, code words, secret locations, and we really couldn’t talk about it outside the company.” Mandy Moore said, “It’s like suddenly we’re on Lost.” Although Lost wasn’t as interesting of a show as this was. Also, This Is Us built up to a crazy moment which has a lot more meaning to it than what happened during the plane crash in Lost.