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Why Mandy Moore Doesn't Remember Filming This Is Us Finale Scenes

Mandy Moore as Rebecca on This Is Us.
(Image credit: NBC)

The second-to-last episode of This Is Us saw Rebecca taking a walk through a train en route to join her husband Jack in the afterlife. Along the way she had powerful conversations with people she’d encountered along the way, including Randall’s birth father William Hill and Dr. K, who delivered her babies. It was an emotional episode for Mandy Moore, who opened up about the scene that made her actually throw up when she read the script. The series finale, however, didn’t have the same effect on the actress. In fact, she doesn’t even remember filming most of the finale scenes.

There’s a reason for that, though. Mandy Moore took viewers on quite a journey as Rebecca (which is worth an Emmy Award, if you ask Sterling K. Brown) in Season 6. The premiere featured the matriarch starting to struggle with Alzheimer’s when she couldn’t remember the word “caboose.” Her story came full circle when she reached the end of the train in the penultimate episode and peacefully passed away, surrounded by her children. The actress explained to Deadline why she doesn’t have much memory about what happens next:

To be honest, a lot of what is in the finale for Milo [Ventimiglia] and I was filmed years ago. So, I don’t even remember what it was. We had a couple of things we shot for this that I’m excited to see. But I read the script and I’m excited to see everyone else’s work. I think it’s really beautiful. In my own selfish way — maybe because my character passed on in the last episode — I felt like last week was the finale and this one feels more like an epilogue in a way. I think it’s a really beautiful way to tie things all together and tie them up in a very satisfactory fashion.

So not only is the hard part for Mandy Moore done since Rebecca died in “The Train,” but some of her scenes for the last episode were shot years ago, causing her to forget the details about the material for the finale, called “Us.” 

We know that creator Dan Fogelman has been planning the series finale for years, but it’s interesting to learn that they’ve actually been shooting for it in past seasons as well. With as much timeline jumping as This Is Us does, these actors are no strangers to the makeup chair. I’m intrigued about which finale scenes would have had to be filmed alongside scenes from other seasons, rather than putting the actors back in whatever age makeup the finale required.

Will we dive deeper into some experiences we’ve already been through, or see past scenes expanded in some way? That was certainly the case in “The Train,” where we re-experienced the night Jack died with the added context of Marcus Brooks and his family being in the hospital then too. 

A couple of the cast members have dropped some clues about what to expect. Justin Hartley said the finale will show viewers 10 to 12 years into the future, as well as conversations about what’s coming next for the Big Three. Chris Geere, meanwhile, said their last day’s production schedules had “everyone in the last scene.” 

I’m excited to find out what that means, even though I’m not at all ready for the series to be over. Don’t miss This Is Us’ final episode, airing at 9 p.m. ET on Tuesday, May 24 on NBC. As other shows are wrapping up their spring seasons, be sure to check out our 2022 TV schedule to see what new and returning series are premiering soon.

Mom of two and hard-core '90s kid. Unprovoked, will quote Friends in any situation. Can usually be found rewatching The West Wing instead of doing anything productive.