‘This Is Us’ Cast Reflects on Season 1 Success and Winning Their Life-Changing Roles
There’s no question This Is Us is one of the biggest, if not the biggest, television shows on cable network right now.
From its all-star cast to its impeccable storyline, the breakout NBC drama completely wowed viewers throughout its uber successful first season.
Now, with Season 2 premiering in just a few short weeks, the cast is reflecting on the success of the show and how snagging these roles changed their lives forever.
When Chrissy Metz was auditioning for the role of Kate Pearson, a woman who is struggling to lose weight, the 36-year-old knew she was born to play this role.
"Here was this woman who was actually dealing with weight. Not like, 'Oh my God, I gained a pound,'” the actress told The Hollywood Reporter.
"She was a real woman who was really struggling, and all I could think was, 'Oh my God, I'm Kate.'”
The role of Kate came down to Chrissy and one other actress, a woman who would only be considered overweight by Hollywood’s standards.
"The other actress was a sort of 'Hollywood overweight person,'" NBC Entertainment president Jennifer Salke revealed.
Despite Hollywood repeatedly choosing thinner actresses to play roles suited for bigger women in the past, NBC knew Chrissy would bring authenticity to the role of Kate.
While weight will still be a major storyline for Kate moving into further seasons, the character will also delve into other parts of her life, like her singing aspirations.
"Thus far, the plan we had for the character and what Chrissy's been doing have been working in tandem, with a talk once a year of, like, 'Hey, here's what we're thinking,'" creator Dan Fogelman said.
"So we have a general long-term plan that we've all talked about, and we will adjust the plan as needed. I mean, that's life, right?"
And, to say This Is Us is a runaway hit may be an understatement.
In fact, 30-second advertisements for the Season 2 premiere went for $750K and the asking price for a spot in the post-Super Bowl episode was as much as $1.3M.
The cast knew the show would be successful before it premiered, but when the Season 1 trailer hit social media back in May 2016, it racked up over 15 million views in just 48 hours.
"We knew it was going to crush people, but that was crazy,” Milo Ventimiglia, who plays Jack, confessed.
The trailer was certainly a tear-jerker, but a shot of Milo’s backside gained a lot of media attention.
“I didn't imagine that that was going to be a thing that would blow up the internet.
“I joke about it a lot, but really, my initial conception of that character was that different,” Dan revealed, who had planned on making Jack a little doughier.
As for Sterling K. Brown, who landed the role of Randall Pearson while he was filming his Emmy-winning performance in The People vs. O.J. Simpson, he couldn’t have pictured a better role for himself.
"The perception in the country is that black men are absent when it comes to their families," the 41-year-old shared.
"So this is a wonderful image to put out into the world and an opportunity I don't take lightly."
Ultimately, Dan credits the success of This Is Us to the positivity it shares with the audience each and every week.
"In a time when you cringe every time you open your internet browser or get a news alert on your phone, it's refreshing for people to turn on a show where the message is inherently positive.
"The characters may be flawed, and sometimes deeply flawed, but they are inherently good."
This Is Us Season 2 premieres Tuesday, September 26 at 9 p.m. ET on NBC.