Audiences have had the pleasure of watching This Is Us’ Pearsons grow over the course of six seasons — in some cases from infancy to old age. But in the years since the Big Three came into our lives, it hasn’t just been the characters’ lives that have changed, but the actors’ too. Last year something happened for Mandy Moore that altered her entire perspective on the character of Rebecca Pearson: she became a mother herself.
That’s right, the actress who plays Pearson matriarch Rebecca — the elderly woman whose grown children are gathering around her deathbed — is experiencing real-life parenthood for the first time. Mandy Moore has portrayed Rebecca at many ages, from young adulthood to a woman in her 80s suffering from Alzheimer’s, but she told Hoda Kotb and Jenna Bush Hager on Today that becoming a mother makes her want to change everything about This Is Us’ earlier seasons:
Mandy Moore may be questioning the acting choices she made from 2016 until last year, but she clearly doesn’t give herself enough credit. You don’t become one of television’s most beloved mothers by merely “faking it.” Rebecca has carried some of the series’ most emotional storylines, with her husband Jack’s death (and now also the passing of her second husband, Miguel), and the steady worsening of her dementia.
One person who has not underestimated Mandy Moore’s talent is Sterling K. Brown. The Randall actor has been singing the praises of his TV mom, and he hopes people are listening, as he made a tearful plea for his TV mother to be recognized with an Emmy Award.
While she may not have been able to draw on real-life experience until recently, It's possible that playing Rebecca has taught Mandy Moore a thing or two about motherhood. The mama bear sure came out in the actress late last year when a photographer started following her and her infant son on one of their walks. She took to social media to tell him he could “kindly fuck off,” and while I’ve never heard Rebecca Pearson drop an F-bomb, I’d think twice before crossing any one of the Big Three.
As the sixth season proceeds steadily to the series finale, Mandy Moore isn’t the only one with regrets. Creator Dan Fogelman said he wishes he’d adjusted the timeline earlier in the series so that there was less jumping into the future. Milo Ventimiglia, as well, had a heart-wrenching regret about Jack never being able to patch things up with his brother Nicky.
Just like Mandy Moore’s double-guessing herself, I’m going to say that those things aren’t as much of a concern for This Is Us fans as a whole. My biggest complaint is that we have to say goodbye at all. The final episodes of This Is Us will air at 9 p.m. ET on Tuesdays on NBC. See our full spring finale schedule, and check out our 2022 TV schedule to see what premieres are coming up soon.
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Heidi Venable is a Content Producer for CinemaBlend, a mom of two and a hard-core '90s kid. She started freelancing for CinemaBlend in 2020 and officially came on board in 2021. Her job entails writing news stories and TV reactions from some of her favorite prime-time shows like Grey's Anatomy and The Bachelor. She graduated from Louisiana Tech University with a degree in Journalism and worked in the newspaper industry for almost two decades in multiple roles including Sports Editor, Page Designer and Online Editor. Unprovoked, will quote Friends in any situation. Thrives on New Orleans Saints football, The West Wing and taco trucks.