Back in 2016, a show premiered that captured the hearts of viewers, and surely made them cry every single week with new episodes full of family, love, and so much more - and that show was This Is Us, a series that is going to be entering its sixth and final season in 2022, as it's not appearing on the 2021 fall TV schedule.
However, with such a large ensemble cast full of talent, you’re sure to have seen some of these actors and actresses before, such as Mandy Moore or Milo Ventimiglia. If you’re wondering why some of these faces may look (or sound) familiar, here is where you might have seen the This Is Us cast prior to their roles on the hit NBC show.
Milo Ventimiglia (Jack Pearson)
I’m pretty sure we all have a slight crush on the patriarch of the Pearson family, Jack, as played by the talented Milo Ventimiglia. Before his part on the show, Ventimiglia appeared in a variety of roles, from TV to film.
In terms of TV, one of his biggest roles was Jess Mariano in the Gilmore Girls cast, a role he reprised in the Netflix special, Gilmore Girls: A Year in the Life. Milo Ventimiglia also had a major role on the NBC series, Heroes, playing Peter Petrelli from 2006-2010. His other roles in television include The Bedford Diaries, MOb City, and The Whispers.
Ventimiglia has appeared in a number of films, including the crime-horror movie, Pathology, Rocky Balboa, Creed II, Kiss of the Damned, the comedy-drama, The Art of Racing in the Rain, and more. With Season 6 coming soon, I can’t wait to see Jack Pearson one last time.
Mandy Moore (Rebecca Pearson)
There can’t be a patriarch without a matriarch of some sorts, and that is the lovely Rebecca Pearson, played by Mandy Moore. For a long time, Moore was in the music business, a career that she still does to this day. Her most recent album was released in 2020. But ,that doesn't mean that she still hasn’t done a lot in Hollywood.
Moore was a part of The Princess Diaries cast, starred in the romantic drama A Walk to Remember, Chasing Liberty, Saved!, Racing Stripes, License to Wed, the horror film 47 Meters Down, the dystopian movie The Darkest Minds, the war movie Midway, and more. She also voiced Rapunzel in Disney animated film Tangled, and reprised her role in the Tangled TV series.
Mandy Moore has also been elsewhere on TV. She’s had several guest roles on shows like Entourage, Scrubs, Grey’s Anatomy, The Simpsons and more. She also had a recurring role on Red Band Society, along with voice roles on High School USA! and Tron: Uprising. With someone as multi-talented as she is, it’s not a surprise that she has rocked her role as Rebecca for this long.
Sterling K. Brown (Randall Pearson)
My personal favorite out of all the Pearson children is Randall for so many reasons - but maybe it’s just because he’s played by the smooth-talking Sterling K. Brown.
Brown has appeared in a few big films during his career, such as Whiskey Tango Foxtrot, Marshall, the Marvel film, Black Panther, and was a part of the Frozen II cast. He’s actually going to be in an upcoming film called Rise very soon. But television is where he's been seen the most.
Sterling K. Brown’s biggest role prior to This Is Us was playing Roland Burton on the drama show, Army Wives for 107 episodes. Other work includes a recurring role on Supernatural as Gordon Walker, Starved, Third Watch, and Person of Interest, as well as several guest appearances. He also portrayed Christopher Darden on Ryan Murphy’s The People v. O.J. Simpson: American Crime Story, and has a recurring role on the Netflix animated series, Big Mouth.
Chrissy Metz (Kate Pearson)
Kate Pearson is a fighter in This Is Us, and she is played by Chrissy Metz. Relatively speaking, Chrissy Metz hadn’t done as much work prior to her role in This Is Us, but has been in some bigger projects since she got the starring role.
Before This Is Us, Metz appeared in minor roles in Loveless in Los Angeles and The Onion Movie. After, she had a part in the Netflix original film, Sierra Burgess is a Loser, and the Christian drama, Breakthrough.
Metz also had success in television, appearing in a variety of guest roles from Entourage to Huge, but also had a recurring role in American Horror Story: Freak Show as Barbara/Ima Wiggles. Recently, she appeared in the Muppets Haunted Mansion cast.
Justin Hartley (Kevin Pearson)
Kevin has grown so much over the years on This Is Us, as portrayed by Justin Hartley. The actor appeared in a variety of films, including the Christmas movie, A Bad Moms Christmas, The Exchange, and an upcoming film titled, Injustice, where he’ll play Superman. But, television is definitely a place where Justin Hartley has shown his skills.
Prior to This Is Us, he was a series regular on Passions, a recurring/main character in the CW show, Smallville, where he played Green Arrow, had a main role on Emily Owens, M.D., recurring roles on Revenge and Mistresses, and was a series regular on the long-running soap opera, The Young and the Restless. Talk about someone with a lot of range and talent.
Susan Kelechi Watson (Beth Pearson)
You cannot sit there and tell me that there is a better relationship on TV than Beth and Randall Pearson. Beth is just too damn amazing of a woman, and she is played by Susan Kelechi Watson.
Believe it or not, Watson has only been in one feature film, A Beautiful Day in the Neighborhood, starring Tom Hanks. However, she’s also appeared in a variety of TV shows in guest roles, such as Limitless, the Showtime series, Billions, NCIS and more. She also had recurring roles in Third Watch, Louie, The Blacklist, and The Following, Coming up, she will be providing her voice for an animated film called Rumble.
Chris Sullivan (Toby Damon)
Oh, Toby. When we first met Toby back in Season 1 of This Is Us, I don’t think any of us could have predicted his story. Chris Sullivan has portrayed Toby since the beginning, and has appeared in a variety of movies and TV.
With movies, he played Taserface in Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2, a role he reprised in the Disney+ original series, What If…?, Imperium, I Trapped the Devil, Agnes, and more.
Sullivan has also appeared in many TV shows. He had a main role in The Knick, a recurring guest role in Season 1 of Stranger Things, a role in comedy series, Camping, and many guest roles for series like The Good Fight, Curb Your Enthusiasm, and The Americans.
Ron Cephas Jones (William “Shakespeare” Hill)
Ugh, just thinking about William from This Is Us breaks my heart, but that doesn’t mean I can’t write about the brilliance of Ron Cephas Jones playing him.
Jones has been in many movies, including Paid in Full, Across the Universe, Glass Chin, the Netflix Christmas film The Holiday Calendar, the Eddie Murphy-led Dolemite is My Name, and many others.
In television, Jones has had many roles in several shows, including Mr. Robot as Romero, The Get Down, the Marvel show Luke Cage, as Bobby Fish, the Hulu miniseries Looking for Alaska, Truth Be Told, and Lisey’s Story. He also guest starred on series such as Law & Order, New York Undercover, NYC 22 and more.
Jon Huertas (Miguel Rivas)
Miguel was Jack’s best friend in This Is Us, and later Rebecca’s husband, who is played by Jon Huertas. In terms of movies, Huertas has been in many, including but not limited to Borderline, Right at Your Door, The Objective, Stash House, Imprisoned, and Initiation.
Television is where Huertas has shined the brightest. His biggest role was playing Javier Esposito as part of the Castle cast. He’s also had recurring roles in Moesha, Undressed, the fantasy series Sabrina, The Teenage Witch, The Joe Schmo Show, Generation Kill, Elementary, and more.
Eris Baker (Tess Pearson)
We have watched Randall’s daughters grow up before our eyes on This Is Us, and Tess is one of the eldest, played by Eris Baker. Prior to her role on This Is Us, Baker didn’t appear in any films, sticking to television for her earlier years of acting.
She appeared in the Zendaya-led Disney Channel show, K.C. Undercover, had a guest role in Drunk History, and a guest spot on Alex & Katie. Hopefully son, we’ll get to see her in more projects after her awesome role on This Is Us.
Faithe Herman (Annie Pearson)
Another little girl that we’ve been watching grow up so quickly is Annie Pearson, played by Faithe Herman. Because she’s so young, Herman hasn’t appeared in as many projects, but still has been in some big films/TV.
She appeared in the comedy-drama, Bodied, and played Darla Dudley in Shazam! which she will reprise in Shazam! Fury of the Gods. With TV, she had a guest role on Criminal Minds, and a guest role on the HBO series, Watchmen.
Lyric Ross (Deja Pearson)
The adopted daughter of the Pearson family, Deja has grown so much too, as played by Lyric Ross.
Ross appeared in guest roles on Sirens and Chicago Fire before her role on This Is Us, and also appeared in the films Canal Street and Rogers Park. She will be in an upcoming film called The Class.
Asante Blackk (Malik Hodges)
Playing Deja’s boyfriend, Malik Hodges, in This Is Us is Asante Blackk, a main character since the beginning of Season 4.
Blackk has only appeared on television during his career, but has been incredibly successful. He starred as Kevin Richardson in When They See Us, for which he was nominated for a Primetime Emmy Award. He also guest starred on Live in Front of a Studio Audience: Good Times and Social Distance.
Griffin Dunne (Nicholas Pearson)
We first met Nicky in Season 3, and he’s only continued to become one of my favorite characters on This Is Us, played by Griffin Dunne. Dunne has appeared in a variety of films such as the werewolf movie, An American Werewolf in London, Cold Feet, Running on Empty, Bondage, War Machine, and the upcoming Wes Anderson film, The French Dispatch.
In terms of television, he’s had several recurring roles on shows like Law & Order: Criminal Intent, Trust Me, House of Lies, Damages, Manhattan, Goliath, Search Party, and more.
Caitlin Thompson (Madison Simons)
Last but not least, we have Madison Simons, all the way from Season 1 as Kate’s best friend, played by Caitlin Thompson.
In film, she appeared in the romantic-comedy, Crazy, Stupid, Love, Walking the Halls, Chapman, and more. With television, she’s had recurring roles in series like the college show, Greek, 90210, and Small Shots. Coming up, she will be in a TV film called Under the Bridge.
With such a large ensemble cast, it’s not a surprise that they’ve been in so many amazing movies and shows. With Season 6 coming soon, I’m looking forward to seeing all these lovely faces one last time together on the small screen.
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A self-proclaimed nerd and lover of Game of Thrones/A Song of Ice and Fire, Alexandra Ramos is a Content Producer at CinemaBlend. She first started off working in December 2020 as a Freelance Writer after graduating from the Pennsylvania State University with a degree in Journalism and a minor in English. She primarily works in features for movies, TV, and sometimes video games. (Please don't debate her on The Last of Us 2, it was amazing!) She is also the main person who runs both our daily newsletter, The CinemaBlend Daily, and our ReelBlend newsletter.