- “This Is Us” was almost a show about sextuplets.
- The character Kate was inspired by a real-life person.
- Mandy Moore is in hair and makeup for nearly three hours to transform into an older Rebecca.
“This Is Us” returns tonight but it seems like only yesterday the world was being introduced to Jack, Rebecca, and the rest of the Pearson family. Over the years, fans around the world have laughed, sobbed, and celebrated alongside the characters on “This Is Us” as though they’re a part of the family.
But, while the TV drama will rip your heart out repeatedly, there are a lot of wholesome moments on and off the show that won’t have you reaching for a box of tissues.
Fans may think they know everything about the Pearson family and the show itself, below are a few fun facts that might surprise even the biggest fan.
1. Mandy Moore is the youngest actor in the present-day Pearson family.
Despite playing a grandmother in the show, Mandy Moore is actually the youngest of the adult actors playing her family. Moore is 34-years-old. The oldest in the Pearson family? Sterling K. Brown, who is 42.
2. “This Is Us” was almost a show about sextuplets.
Originally titled “36”, Dan Fogelman told Deadline that he pitched a feature about sextuplets that didn’t know they were related. Eventually, the script turned into the series we know it today, sans three siblings.
3. “This Is Us” is a show of firsts.
Sterling K. Brown won a Golden Globe and a SAG for “Outstanding Male Actor in a Drama Series,” making him the first African American actor to achieve this milestone. The show itself was the first network drama series since 2006 to win a SAG for “Outstanding Performance by an Ensemble in a Drama Series.”
4. The Pearson’s OB-GYN is named after the showrunner’s wife’s family — and baseball.
Who said naming beloved characters was a thoughtless process? The show’s creator Dan Fogelman told Glamour that the beloved OB-GYN’s Dr. Nathan Katowski‘s name has special meaning.
“I’m a huge New York Mets fan, so [ballplayer] Dwight Gooden was Dr. K (because the symbol for a strikeout in baseball is a K), and I always thought, That would be a funny thing to nickname a doctor,” he told Glamour. “[Plus], my wife’s father’s side of the family are Katowskis – Polish – and I always liked the name. So, I put that name in there for [her] side of the family.”
5. The cause of Jack’s death required code words to prevent spoilers.
While on the set of “This Is Us,” The Hollywood Reporter reported that the cast and crew were under tight contracts to avoid spoilers. Shots were filmed out of order and everyone on set had to sign a nondisclosure agreement.
In an interview, Mandy Moore told “Today” that the cast knew about Jack’s death for a year and a half but had to keep it a secret. There was even a code word for it – “The Marble.”
6. Chrissy Metz might’ve helped Hannah Zeile land her “This Is Us” role.
“I actually used to represent [Zelle] when I was an agent,” Metz told The Hollywood Reporter. “I’ve been a huge fan of hers for as long as I’ve known her. I actually didn’t know she sang. It was just so perfect. She plays that angsty, sarcastic, funny teenager so well. “
The casting directors thought she was terrific and the rest was history.
7. The character Kate was inspired by a real-life person.
Showrunner Fogelman told Glamour that he loosely based Chrissy Metz character Kate on his sister. The reason Kate’s difficulties seem so painfully real is probably thanks to Fogelman’s sister, who is a consultant on the show.
8. The Big Three’s birthday is especially important to the show.
The first and second season premieres of “This Is Us” coincided with the birthday of the three Pearson siblings and Jack? That’s right. So far, each season premiere of the show has shown The Big Three ringing in a new year.
9. Mandy Moore is in hair and makeup for nearly three hours to transform into an older Rebecca.
Because Moore’s character is meant to be both a young mother and older grandmother in the show, Moore must undergo nearly three hours of prosthetic and makeup transformations to age. She’s not alone.
According to Variety, it took Sterling K. Brown four hours to transform into an older Randall for the show.
10. One of the most heartwrenching scenes took Moore by surprise.
Who can forget that harrowing scene when Rebecca learns Jack has died. Moore told “TV Guide” that Ventimiglia’s presence in that scene wasn’t expected.
“I thought Milo had left for the day … I walked in expecting to walk in and see an empty hospital bed … I was ready for that so to walk into that room and to see Milo lying there … I don’t think it would have been the same without him,” Moore told TV Guide. ” I think the very first take ended up in the episode.”
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