During last night’s episode of This Is Us, fans finally got to learn more about Jack Pearson’s time in the Vietnam war. And it was here that viewers were introduced to Jack’s brother, Nick Pearson – also known as Nicky.
While the episode did answer some questions, there are still plenty of unsolved issues in Jack’s past that we can only hope to learn more about as This Is Us continues.
Nicky, played by Michael Angarano, was drafted and deployed. Jack volunteered to go along with his brother. Viewers also learned that Nick was often sick and spent most of his childhood in and out of the doctor’s office. While Nick was convinced he would die in the Vietnam war, Jack volunteered to protect his brother.
The reason that Jack couldn’t enlist was due to a pre-existing heart condition. When he passed away last season from a heart attack, it seemed to be sudden. But now, viewers are learning that he actually suffered from a heart condition. Even though Jack tried to drive Nick across the border to Canada to avoid him going to war, Nick snuck off and went to war because he felt it was his turn to be the hero.
There are still some questions about Jack and Nick’s relationship with their father, Stanley Pearson. While he turned abusive and later became an alcoholic, something Jack battled as well, it’s unknown how all of this plays into the storyline. Plus, viewers still don’t know how Nick died or how he got promoted to staff sergeant.
As for the man behind Nick Pearson, Michael Angarano has an extensive resume in television and acting. He’s was born in Brooklyn, New York, in 1987 and has been acting since he was a child. He even auditioned for the role of young Anakin Skywalker in The Phantom Menace.
While little is known about his personal life, he was linked to Kristen Stewart before she signed on to do the Twilight movies. They broke up just as she wrapped filming on the first movie, and shortly thereafter, she started dating Robert Pattinson.
You may recognize Michael Angarano from some of his earlier works, including Music of the Heart, where he played Meryl Streep’s son. He also starred on Cover Me: Based on the True Life of an FBI Family, where he played Chance Arno from 2000 to 2001.
In 2007, he played Scott Wallace in the television series 24, during a four-episode guest appearance. Between 2001 and 2017, he played Elliot on Will & Grace, and he played Eddie Zeidel on I’m Dying Up Here between 2017 and 2018. His IMDb actor credit lists 63 projects, so if you feel that he looks familiar, it’s likely you will have seen him somewhere before.
This Is Us airs Tuesdays at 9/8c on NBC.