This Is Us is almost back and not a moment too soon, with the two-part premiere of this heartwarming (and often heart-wrenching) family drama airing tonight on NBC. One of the first shows to pick back up and film amid the Covid-19 pandemic, This Is Us shows us a thoroughly 2020 world with all the realities that entails — except, it seems, for Mandy Moore’s recently-announced pregnancy. She and husband Taylor Goldsmith are expecting their first child together, the singer and actress revealed in September, and naturally, we had questions about what that would mean for on-screen alter ego Rebecca Pearson, who we’d definitely assumed was done with her pregnancy days. With all the TV and movie magic these days (like making out with mannequins to avoid catching coronavirus), any number of options seemed possible. But it seems creator Dan Fogelman plans to take the old-fashioned approach and just shoot around her character when she starts to show too much. We appreciate the flexibility — but we also seriously don’t want to miss out on Rebecca’s journey as she gets older, for which Moore has shared such a clear vision.
At a press conference ahead of the season 5 premiere, This Is Us cast members and creators opened up about what we can expect from the coming season, including how they’ll work around Moore’s pregnancy.
“I did tell Dan before I told, like, most of my family just because I wanted him to know,” Moore admits. “You know, in preparation for writing this season, what to sort of expect.”
It might sound crazy — but with a devoted fan base like This Is Us has, Moore knows people are invested in Rebecca’s journey. And let’s face it, women have historically been given less than stellar treatment when announcing their pregnancy to employers.
Luckily, that wasn’t the case with creator Fogelman, who was more than happy to work around it.
“We are so far ahead in script that we can compensate for things as need be,” he explained. “I mean, there may be a brief period and window where you don’t see a lot of older Rebecca on the show because she would have some really complicated explaining to do. But other than that, we’re just kind of sticking with the plan and going to be happier for Mandy and Taylor.”
Again, two nice sentiments — but we’re worried about the comment in the middle. As fans know, the older Rebecca was recently diagnosed with Alzheimer’s disease and has been facing some cognitive decline, turning more to the aid of her sons. And Moore beautifully summed up the strength she wants to bring to Rebecca’s character at this time in her life.
“This is a woman who is still very much in the prime of her life,” Moore asserted, discussing how she prepared for the role with the context of Rebecca’s diagnosis. “And I think my biggest concern initially was I don’t want her to feel like some caricature of an old lady, just sort of, you know, creeping around. She’s living in her joy as a grandmother and as a wife and a mother.”
We very much want to see Mandy Moore bring that to life — and we hope that limiting her arc will be an absolute last resort after loose-fitting sweaters, big blankets draped across her lap, or strategically placed moving boxes. With Kevin and Randall more at odds than ever, this family can’t afford to be without Rebecca.
Click here to see all the celebrity couples who met on set.