This Is Us bowed for its fifth season on October 27 with a two-hour premiere.
After a longer wait than usual due to the COVID-19 pandemic delaying production, the hit show’s new episode last Tuesday grabbed a ton of attention as millions of viewers tuned in for more of the Pearson family’s riveting story.
When the program aired, plenty of questions from Season 4 of This Is Us were answered while even more questions popped up in Season 5, Episodes 1 and 2.
One that was especially shocking took place at the end of the second episode.
Meanwhile, certain aspects of the top-ranked NBC program have been spilled along the way. However, these situations have not been seen simply by watching the drama unfold on the small screen.
Instead, it was in behind-the-scenes occurrences that handily make whiz kids out of avid — and even rabid –fans of the wildly popular show.
So, consider the following trivia that won’t seem at all trivial to those of us who love everything and anything about This Is Us.
How This Is Us was named
This Is Us — which show creator Dan Fogelman originally wrote as a feature film — was titled 36. That number depicts the age of the main characters when their intricate story was introduced.
Fogelman admitted he had not been a fan of the initial title for the dramatic series, according to Glamour.
When the show’s boss was “in editorial,” he inserted the main title that declared the program was called This Is Us.
“I liked how it looked, and I put it in there,” he told the source, adding that there was quite a discussion about this change before it was made official.
In fact, the pilot was untitled.
How Chrissy Metz lived before This Is Us
Before becoming Kate Pearson, Floridian Chrissy Metz’s finances were in bad shape. Make that desperate shape.
In fact, according to multiple sources, including CNBC, when the 36-year-old actor — who is also a fine singer who once tried out for The Voice — auditioned for the This Is Us part, she only had 81 cents in her bank account.
No question she has much more money these days after becoming a break-out star as one of the Big 3 on the top-rated show.
Her first purchase after making the big time?
Alexander McQueen shoes.
How Chris Sullivan packed on the pounds for This Is Us
A lot of buzz surrounded Chris Sullivan in his role as Toby on This Is Us.
The TV star, who was quite trim when he auditioned for the hit show, was cast as a fat man.
To become his best version of Toby, Chris promised there was no trick photography involved. In fact, the affable actor admitted he wore a fat suit to fill out the part — and certain fans were outraged.
Indeed, that fakery has been a constant discussion point among fans.
However, Sullivan is not being sucked in even though he understands why viewers had become concerned, and so he talked about the reason for the extra padding.
“It’s a tool. It’s a costume that I put on,” Chris explained to Bravo TV’s Andy Cohen. “Logistically speaking, it allows me to travel back-and-forth through time [from thin to fat],” he added for good measure.
How Mandy Moore’s age as Rebecca is deceptive on This Is Us
Multi-talented Mandy Moore plays the family matriarch in all the show’s eras, starting as a young ingenue in her 20s and continuing to become a dying woman in her 60s.
Although Rebecca arguably becomes the eldest character on This Is Us, Mandy is actually the youngest actor among the present-day Pearsons.
The mother of Kate, Kevin, and Randall is currently 36-years-old, while Chrissy Metz is 40-years-old, Justin Hartley is 43-years-old, and Sterling K. Brown is 44-years-old.
Talk about range.
P.S. It takes four hours for Mandy to age into middle-aged Rebecca.
How Jack Pearson found his ride on This Is Us
On This Is Us, the Pearson family bought a new car before Jack died.
However, earlier in their story, they rode around in an older car. It was a black sedan. A Chevelle, in fact.
Initially, the showrunners wanted Milo Ventimiglia to be seen driving a Camero on This Is Us, but the actor begged to differ, as noted during a discussion on Access Hollywood.
Ventimiglia was adamant that the other Chevy brand was a much cooler choice, proving that to be so since he owned that particular car.
And that particular car (which, by the way, was named Evelyn) ended up being the vehicle Jack Pearson drove during a lot of his flashback scenes.
Since the vehicle was “period correct,” the powers-that-be had no problem with Milo’s choice.
Not only that, but the money Milo would have been given for using his vintage Chevelle was instead given to This Is Us crew via goodies from the coffee and burger trucks on set.
What a nice gesture, and what a terrific vehicle, too.
How Randall and Beth met on This Is Us and in real life
On This Is Us, the adult Randall (Sterling K. Brown) and his future wife Beth (Susan Kelechi Walson) met when they bumped into each other near the same name-tag table at a freshman mixer.
They were both enrolled at Carnegie Mellon University, according to IMDb. The school is in Pittsburgh, where Randall grew up.
In what was possibly sheer coincidence, the two actors also met when they were in college. In real life, the pair attended New York University’s Tisch School of Arts. in New York City.
How Jack Pearson demise played out on This Is Us
How Jack’s death occurred on This Is Us during Season 2 was a big deal among the show’s fans and the actors and others on the set.
In fact, the upcoming event was so important to everyone that the production team feared the information would be leaked to the salivating public before the seminal episode aired.
So, to avoid spoilers, all the people on This Is Us — from crew members to extras and so on — were made to sign nondisclosure agreements, according to The Hollywood Reporter.
Besides, script pages were edited, and codenames were used to curtail any unwanted intervention. And, scenes from the episode were not shot in order should any paparazzi happen to be looming during filming.
“It’s like suddenly we’re on Lost,” joked Mandy Moore.
How Kate Pearson’s character was developed on This Is Us
Kate Pearson, played by Chrissy Metz, is loosely based on the sister of This Is Us creator, Dan Fogelman, according to many outlets, including The Hollywood Reporter.
Not only was the inspiration for Kate based on a real person, but her relationship with Dan was also part of the program’s inner workings.
Apparently, the big boss was a success while his sis was struggling with weight loss. All of this helped to drive the story for the hit NBC show.
In fact, Dan’s sister Deborah works on This Is Us as a consultant who looks at the script before the actors go into action. She will flag things she thinks do not ring true.
“Let me tell you, there’s nothing better than telling a roomful of professional writers, ‘My sister had a note on page five,’” remarked Fogelman.
How Kevin and Justin were in the same place for opposite reasons on This Is Us
Kevin Pearson took a nosedive in his career after he shot a big-budget movie with Sylvester Stallone. During filming, the younger actor fell, reactivating an old high school knee injury’s pain.
To compensate, Kevin took pain pills. Lots of them.
That situation caused Kevin’s addiction to take hold of his life, which ultimately was contained during a stint in rehab.
Those scenes were shot at Malibu’s Casamigos Ranch, an upscale retreat that coincidentally (or not) was also where Justin Hartley wed, states Cosmopolitan.
How’s that for two opposing forces coming together as one?
How Madison is key off and on the screen during This Is Us
On This Is Us, Madison plays Kate’s best friend she met at a weight loss support group even though the former is rail thin.
Later, Madison enjoyed a one-night stand with Kevin, Kate’s brother. As a result, she became pregnant — with twins, no less.
In the jam-packed Season 5 opener of This Is Us, Madison and Kevin got engaged.
Meanwhile, the crux of the matter is that the woman who plays Kate’s buddy and Kevin’s fiance also plays This Is Us’s Dan Fogelman’s wife IRL.
Her name is Caitlin Thompson, and she will probably have a stellar future on her husband’s hit NBC program.
This Is Us airs Tuesdays at 9/8c on NBC.