This Is Us is wrapping up it’s debut season on NBC, and we are already completely obsessed. A super-emo family drama, This Is Us takes us on a rollercoaster ride of feelings, realizations and endearing moments every Tuesday night. Mandy Moore plays matriarch Rebecca, with super-hubby Jack played by the extremely handsome Milo Ventimiglia. Throw in additional powerhouse performances by Sterling K. Brown and Chrissy Metz, and you’ve got you a major hit on your hands. In fact, the show has been so well-received in its debut season that it has already been renewed for an additional second and third season. Yeah!
We have absolutely fallen in love with the cast of This Is Us. They are real, relatable characters that make us want to cuddle up to our nearest and dearest…and cry. Lots of crying. Lovers of the long-running (and now cancelled) series Parenthood (me, me!!!) have finally found a show that hits us right in the heart, just the way we like!
The stellar cast are solely responsible for our happiness, and we want to give them a special tribute. Yes, we all know and love Mandy Moore, but a big chunk of the actors are less known, and we want to change that! Let’s find out all the dirt about our favorites. Who are the real people behind the loveable Pearson family? What are they like off-set? Here are the 15 Cool Facts About The Cast of “This is Us”.
15. Toby Wears A Fat Suit
Chris Sullivan, the actor who plays our beloved Toby, is actually not overweight in real life. He certainly fooled us! A much trimmer Chris Sullivan has been spotted on the red carpet during awards season, sparking an Internet explosion amongst fans. His fat suit is really, really convincing, and fans were absolutely blown away when they found out. Well played, producers, well played! It’s no secret that weight and body image issues are at the forefront of the Toby and Kate storyline, so it’s very possible that they will both go through some physical transformations in future seasons. We love these two for bringing the reality of weight struggles to light in This is Us.
14. Sterling K. Brown is Super Smart
What can’t this man do?! He’s super handsome, super smart, an incredible actor and a real-life star husband and father. That’s right, I’m talking about Sterling K. Brown, the man behind our favorite “3”, Randall. Before finding success in Hollywood as an esteemed actor, Sterling was focusing on his education. He received an acting degree from Stanford in 2008, and then went on to pursue a Master of Fine Arts from New York University’s Tisch School of The Arts. Mirroring his character, Sterling had a natural passion for business. His original career goals were not related to acting, but in college, he fell in love with the arts and the rest is history. Clearly, he made the right choice. Sterling received an Emmy and several other awards for his role as Christopher Darden in American Crime Story in 2016.
13. Milo Ventimiglia is a Sober Vegetarian
As if we needed additional reasons to love Milo Ventimiglia. As the hottest and kindest husband/dad on TV, Milo’s character Jack has won us over with his long locks and 80’s ‘stache. But the real-life Milo is pretty sweet, too! Physical, emotional and spiritual well-being are at the top of his priority list. The handsome star ditched meat, alcohol and doesn’t touch cigarettes, in an effort to maintain optimal overall health. He adopted a pretty rigorous workout routine in the aftermath of his breakup with Alexis Bledel, his Gilmore Girls costar, whom he dated for over 5 years. Whatever he’s doing at the gym is working! In 2016, he was featured in People magazines “Sexiest Man Alive” issue. We love that Milo prioritizes his self-care routine; he looks great and serves as a great example for his fans.
12. Chrissy Metz Is A Singer
This one really surprised me, too! It seems like the cast of This is Us are up to their ears in secret talents! Chrissy Metz, the actress who plays Kate, is a performer of another kind in her free time. Before landing her role in This Is Us, she appeared in American Horror Story as recurring character Barbara/Ima Wiggles, which spanned five episodes. She otherwise has had few acting roles, and is just getting warmed up in Hollywood. Before acting, she was focusing on her singing. She fronts her own band, called Chrissy Metz & the Vapors. The band plays a variety of styles, from alternative to blues to hip hop. Chrissy is responsible for co-writing most of their songs, and they have an EP out. Chrissy also has a country side-project called Chrissy Metz and the Rattlers. One thing’s for sure, the girl can sing! She definitely has a bright future ahead in both her acting and singing careers.
11. Jon Huertas Served In The United States Air Force For Eight Years
Jon Huertas plays Miguel, Rebecca’s second love and Jack’s best friend and coworker. He has been acting since 1993, when he first appeared in one episode of TV show The Webbers. Prior to this, he served 8 years in the United States Air Force, where he excelled as an aircraft nuclear weapons expert. Whoa! That is quite the background, and what a far cry from acting! During his time of service, he participated in Operation Just Cause and Operation Desert Storm, during the Panama Invasion and Gulf War, respectively. Oddly enough, many of his acting roles had him playing characters’ with Marine backgrounds. If the shoe fits! So far we are intrigued by Miguel, and want to know the story of how he and Rebecca came to be a thing!
10. Mandy Moore Has Had A lot Of Celebrity Relationships
Mandy Moore was famously married to singer Ryan Adams for close to a decade, but her dating life pre and post was very star-studded! From 2000 to 2002, she dated Wilmer Valderrama, whom she is still close friends with. Then, she spent a year and a half with tennis star Andy Roddick. That relationship ended in 2004. Zach Braff was next in line, a relationship that left her heart-broken when it didn’t work out. Who could blame her? We love Zach Braff! A brief romance with DJ AM finally led her to the man she would marry, Ryan Adams. After more than 7 years of marriage, the two divorced in 2015. She is currently dating a less-known singer, Taylor Goldsmith, who is the lead singer for the California-based folk-rock band Dawes.
9. Justin Hartley Has A Thing For Soap Opera Stars
Flashback to 1999! Do any of you remember Passions? The super-cheesy soap opera is where Justin Hartley made his acting debut. He played character Nicholas Foxworth Crane for four years, from 2002-2006. Off-screen, he had a real life relationship with Lindsay Korman aka: Theresa Lopez-Fitzgerald, the fiery and always-hyperventilating Latina who stole our hearts. The two were married in 2004, and have one daughter, Isabella Justice, together. Unfortunately, the relationship ended in 2012, when Lindsay filed for divorce. Not to fret, though! Justin found another soap opera lady to court. He began dating Chrishell Strause, of Days of Our Lives in 2014. Last year, the couple announced their engagement.
8. Ron C. Jones Was Aged Significantly For His Role
Ron C. Jones, who plays William Hill on the show, was aged quite significantly using make-up and grey hairpieces. The actor is only 60 years old in real life, but was made to look at least a decade older for the show. Not to mention, William was very sick, so the character had to reflect a more fragile and aging exterior. Like many of his costars, Ron C. Jones didn’t have a huge filmography before landing his epic role in This is Us. He had some one-off appearances in TV Shows such as Law & Order and Titus, and played the role of Mr. Dickson in Half Nelson. One thing is for sure, he played the role of William Hill with heart and soul. This endearing character will not soon be forgotten.
7. Susan Kalechi Watson Played Janet on Louie
That’s where we’ve seen her before! Susan Kalechi Watson, Randall’s fierce and loving wife, Beth, has had a few TV appearances before landing her signature role in This Is Us. She played Janet in 12 episodes of Louie, the hilarious comedic drama based on the life of comedian superstar Louis C.K. She has also had appearances in several crime dramas, namely The Blacklist, Law & Order and NCIS. Playing super strong women seems to be her thing; we love how Beth has been Randall’s rock from the beginning of the season. This woman knows how to balance parenting, marriage and family- while keeping her composure and looking amazing in every scene. Beth, we love you.
6. Chris Sullivan is Also A Musician
Like many of his costars, Chris Sullivan’s acting career wasn’t fully kicked off until recently. Small roles from 2006-2014 kept him afloat, but his real debut was in the highly acclaimed Cinemax show The Knick, where he played Tom Cleary over 19 episodes spanning the 2014-2015 seasons. So what was Chris doing to keep busy when he wasn’t acting? Performing music, of course. This multi-talented gem is the frontman of a folk-rock band, Sully & The Benevolent Folk. He plays many instruments, namely the ukulele, guitar and banjo. And…he can sing! If he wasn’t already married, we’d say he’d make a very good off-screen match with Chrissy Metz- the two certainly have a lot of similar talents!
5. Milo Ventimiglia and Alexis Bledel Almost Got Married
Before we had Jack, we had Jess Mariano. As Rory’s second boyfriend on Gilmore Girls, he showed us the appeal of the quintessential bad boy character. In real life, the two actors had a steamy off-camera romance, as well. Spanning more than four years, the two managed to keep their relationship low-profile and (mostly) out of the press. During their time together, the pair were quite serious, and even discussed marriage. Despite never bad-talking his ex, Milo seemed to have a bit of a hard time getting over the split. Time heals all wounds, and Milo went on to date a slew of Hollywood ladies, including Emmy Rossum, Hayden Panettiere and Isabella Brewster. He is currently single. Alexis Bledel married Mad Men star Vincent Kartheiser in 2014.
4. Mandy Moore Wants To Make A Musical Comeback
Mandy Moore first hit the musical scene in the late 90’s as a pop sensation. Alongside Britney Spears and Christina Aguilera, Mandy Moore was seen as the “good girl” of pop music entering into the millennial age. Though she had many hits in the 2000’s, her last studio album was released 8 years ago, in 2009. She has been writing songs along the way, and has shown major interest in getting back in the studio to record. She has been able to sing a little bit as her character, Rebecca, who is also a talented performer. This has given her even more of an urge to get back to her first passion.Clearly perspectives change from early 20’s to mid-30’s, so we are really excited to see what Mandy is capable of!
3. Little Randall’s Career Is Exploding
One of the “Big 3” child stars, Lonnie Chavis, has seen more fame in the last couple of months than ever before in his 9 years of existence. The mini-Randall star has melted hearts and won us over with his super compassionate and super adorable personality. Lonnie has shown the world that big talent can come in a small package. In fact, he was just offered a position on Nickelodeon’s The Thundermans, a hit kids’ show that is going into its fifth season. The tiny actor has proclaimed that he is a super fan of the show, and can’t wait to star in it. For a 9 year-old, Lonnie is sure experiencing quite a lot of exposure. You can catch Lonnie in The Thundermans this summer.
2. Justin Hartley Is A Fitness Buff
This should come as no surprise, especially if you tuned in to last week’s episode of This Is Us! (spoiler alert: Justin has a topless scene). Milo Ventimiglia is not the only health-conscious star on the show. Justin is very serious about his health and fitness routine. He makes sure to eat clean (no white bread for this guy!) and makes regular fitness and exercise a priority. Along with a weight-training routine, Justin schedules in cardio workouts that include tennis, running and basketball. He works closely with personal trainer Tim Hamilton, but most of his success can be equated to good habits and willpower. Keep it up, Justin!
1. Sterling K. Brown Was Amazing In American Crime Story
If you haven’t watched American Crime Story: The People Vs. O.J Simpson yet, drop everything and login to Netflix (it’s now available.) This show was absolutely incredible, and Sterling K. Brown’s performance was fantastic. Playing the part of prosecuting attorney Christopher Darden, Sterling won us over with his emotional and convincing acting. He even won the Emmy for Best Supporting Actor for his role, which was much-deserved! Sterling has had a phenomenal last year, and we can expect only great things from him in the future. He is working on two fils that will be released in 2018, Black Panther and The Predator. He just wrapped up the filming of Marshall, which is scheduled for release this October.
Sources: lifeandstylemag.com, imdb.com, usmagazine.com