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‘This Is Us’: The Cast Reveals What Makes Them Cry

Variety logo Variety 3/10/2017 Debra Birnbaum
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It’s not just you: Even the cast admits they can’t get through some episodes of NBC’s tearjerker hit “This Is Us” without breaking down.

Here, they reveal to Variety the moments this season that had them wiping away tears:

Milo Ventimiglia (Jack):

“There are so many. When William says to Randall the chemo’s not working, that hurt. The end of episode 15, when Kevin walks in on Randall having his breakdown as an adult. Kate at the camp in episode 13, when she’s remembering her father’s funeral. When I see the family together, like the end of the pool episode, when he pulls the cooler over, or the end of the birthday episode and they’re having the wrapping paper fight. I’m kind of a softie. We should probably count the moments when I don’t cry.”

Mandy Moore (Rebecca):

“Episode 16 [“Memphis,” where William dies]. I hyperventilated reading it, and I’m not even in it. It’s so true to life and what makes life so complicated. And complex and that balance of light and darkness. The way he passes away is heartbreaking.”

Sterling K. Brown (Randall):

“Episode 16 when we lose William. I can’t even. I shot an intense episode in episode 15 [the breakdown] and went straight from shooting that episode to William’s passing away. From one day to the next, I felt like my heart was just going to break. Because I love Ron (Cephas Jones) so much. The opportunities we’ve had to work together have been so tremendous. And what he brought to William. He has this fragility, this openness. I’m going to miss him.”

Justin Hartley (Kevin):

“I cry all the time when I’m working on the show. It’s tough to see them in pain, it’s hard to keep it together. I don’t think there’s an episode that’s gone by where I haven’t gotten a little wrecked, to be honest with you, and I’m not really a crier. I’ve never had so many women and men walk up to me and tell them that I make them cry and be happy about it. I’m not getting punched or slapped. It’s thank you for making me cry.”

Chrissy Metz (Kate):

“When Jack sleeps outside their bedroom [from episode 2, “The Big Three”] and he has the necklace and they sit there together. That love is so beautiful and so pure and so real. Having someone sit outside your bedroom sleeping, come on! Are you kidding? So romantic and sweet and tender. And then he gave her the necklace that she still wears. Even now that he’s gone, you know that it still means so much to her. That’s so emotional to me. Also when we discover that Kevin has been in love with Sophie, one of Kate’s dear friends and has been trying to woo her back into his life. You see this tender side of Kevin. Maybe why he tried to overcompensate with his career. But really at the end of the day, it’s about who you love and who loves you and what makes you happy. For me, it’s about nostalgia and memory. I’m a hopeless romantic.”

Chris Sullivan (Toby):

“The push-up scene [from episode 9 “The Trip,” when Jack did push-ups with Randall on his back] really connected with me. But my relationship with putting the show together is more on the lighter side of it. I joke with Justin that these six actors are doing “This Is Us,” and then there’s this guy over here. I’m not sure what he’s doing.”

Susan Kelechi Watson (Beth):

“William’s death, just in reading it, it’s the saddest thing. The episode where he leaves us, and where we have a memorial for him. Beth takes it hard. And Susan as the actor takes it hard. I absolutely love and adore working with Ron Cephas jones. It has been a highlight of what is already a gorgeous experience. In some way it’s equated for me – seeing Ron go and seeing William go. It hit me in this very real place. Thankfully we have the type of show where he can still be around.”

Ron Cephas Jones (William):

“I welled up thinking about it (the scene at the end of “Memphis,” when Randall holds William’s face in his hands). Just like when I first read the scene with Milo doing pushups with his sons on his back. You’re reading it and you’re bawling. It makes you realize why you love your family like that. It makes you realize how much your family can frustrate you. As an actor it’s more about staying out of the way and then opening up yourself, which is the difficult part. Sometimes even subconsciously you get in the way because you don’t want to feel the pain yourself. All those little moments I use to build William.”

WATCH: ‘This Is Us’ Cast on How Show Has Changed Their Lives 

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