This story about Mandy Moore first appeared in the Down to the Wire issue of TheWrap’s Emmy magazine.
Much like Rebecca Pearson — the matriarch she plays on NBC’s “This Is Us” — Mandy Moore doesn’t always get her due. But after three seasons starring on the highly rated Dan Fogelman drama, the actress last month finally received her first-ever Emmy nod.
And while Moore will say your guess is as good as hers as to why she was able to break through with voters this season, when her co-stars Milo Ventimiglia and Sterling K. Brown were each repeat nominees, one reason has to be the fact she played Rebecca over more decades than ever before, and took on the “grieving widow” role following the death of her onscreen husband, Jack (Ventimiglia).
“It’s a lot,” Moore said. “I’m sort of the one character on the show who is jumping around in time. I played 16 and 85 all in one season, and every other age in between. I think a lot of the story focused on the immediate aftermath of Jack’s passing and this grieving widow trying to pick up the pieces of her life and figure out how to be a single parent when she leaned so much on the superhero that was her husband. And the kids are graduating and life is in flux in so many ways. So that was a heavy burden to carry.”
But playing Rebecca circa 2019 wasn’t much easier. “In the present day, I have a child who has relapsed, I have another child who is having a very high-risk pregnancy, I have another child who is running for city council in a different city and his family is in flux. This last season kept Rebecca on her toes, that’s for sure, in every way. But I would expect nothing less from the show. It’s the greatest challenge of my professional life, and I savor it every single day at work.”
One element she cherishes in particular is her bond with co-star Ventimiglia, one they have cultivated over the seasons of playing the couple at the center of this family saga. “It is so easy and seamless with him, and it has been from day one,” Moore said. “I knew from the jump that we were in this together, and it’s like we have our own unspoken language — we just sort of look at each other at this point.”
Watch TheWrap’s interview with Moore above.
Read more from the Down to the Wire issue of TheWrap’s Emmy magazine.