Mandy Moore had a strong physical response to the penultimate episode of This Is Us – The actress says she “wasn’t braced” for how Rebecca Pearson’s journey would conclude.
In an interview with Entertainment Weekly, Moore opened up about the challenge of coming to terms with this arc.
“I don’t know if there is a way to brace anybody,” said Moore. “I wasn’t braced for it. I wasn’t ready. I had no idea what I was about to read or what we were all going to endeavor to do. I didn’t know how [series creator] Dan [Fogelman] was going to flesh out the end.”
She continued, “I would encourage people to come in with an open mind, and I’m sure they know where this is heading, but I think it’s surprising. I imagine that this is [a] very real way for some people to imagine the end of their life.”
During a panel for PaleyFest in Los Angeles, the show’s creator, Dan Fogelman, mentioned Moore’s reaction to the penultimate episode of the series. “The second to last script I sent out to the cast and it made Mandy throw up,” he said, according to multiple outlets.
Moore confirmed that reading the second to last episode did make her physically ill. “It was so beautiful and upsetting that that was my physical reaction,” she said.
Moore’s costar Chrissy Metz added that she had a physical response to reading the episode as well. “I couldn’t breathe. I couldn’t catch my breath,” she said.
This Is Us is often applauded for its emotional family plotlines, which have featured the ups and downs of relationships, divorce and grief.
“This show has been pigeonholed as the sad show and maybe you cried once this episode, but you were laughing your asses off the whole episode,” Chris Sullivan said on the panel. “I think what happens is we cry once and we forget about all the laughing that we just did.”
It’s far from the first time cast members have found themselves emotional over the show. Moore called the show’s ending “bittersweet” on the Critic’s Choice Awards red carpet. “I think we’re all super emotional about it at this point, but like trying to keep it together,” she said of the cast. “I’m trying to just stay present and appreciate, you know, all the time that we have left with one another.”
Moore added: “My life is fundamentally different in every way than it was six years ago. So grateful for this opportunity. It’s gonna be really hard to let go.”
“I still think you might need a day off from work, yes,” she added. “The finale is a bit more of a hug, a little bit more of levity.”
But the penultimate episode? “It destroyed me,” she said. “I have a feeling it might destroy people too.”
Fogelman said the show’s final episode was just written recently. It’s planned to air May 24 on NBC. “We’ve taken it very seriously. I wrote the final two episodes. I feel very confident,” he said.
Keep following us for more news about the world of This Is Us and its cast with upcoming projects!