When Mandy Moore and Susan Kelechi Watson sat down for a talk titled "Power Your Evolution" at PopSugar's Play/Ground event Saturday, it was a love fest for the two actresses who play matriarch Rebecca Pearson and daughter-in-law Beth Pearson.
“We’re so lucky to be a part of this and be on this journey together," Moore said. "It’s truly a family."
The two co-stars had plenty to say on life, acting and the NBC drama, which returns for its fourth season on Sept. 24. Here are seven tidbits we learned.
1. Moore already has a favorite lyric from her new music.
“Some of the songs are hopeful; some are talking about forgiveness,” Moore said of her recent recording sessions with husband Taylor Goldsmith.
When Watson asked for a favorite line, Moore responded, “There’s a song called ‘Forgiveness,’ and it starts out with, 'Forgiveness is not a favor,' and I just loved that idea.”
“Someone should put that on a T-shirt,” said Watson.
Moore also revealed, “It’s kind of all over the map at this point, but we have seven songs recorded and probably 15 written, and hope to have some music out sometime this year.”
2. One of Watson's scenes gave Moore "chills."
“I love working with you," Moore told Watson. "I wish we got to do it more. I remember the first season, I was so nervous. I’m like, 'I get to work with Susan and it’s just me and her,' and I was terrified.”
“I just want to be in your presence and take all your energy, because you’re so effortless," Moore added, before revealing one of her favorite scenes for Watson.
“That monologue — I’m going to go deep for people who maybe don’t watch the show — William’s funeral, I will never forget this," Moore said. "I watched this woman give that eulogy in the Pearson living room in your house. I watched you do it a dozen times. Every time, we were all in tears. I get chills thinking about it. It just was one of those moments where I was like, 'I want to do that.' You’re absolutely mesmerizing.”
Watson also shared praise for Moore.
“Mandy Moore, with all she’s done and who she is, comes onto a set like nobody in the world knows who she is," she said. "She is just the most generous and giving.”
3. Moore could've starred in "Mamma Mia!" and "Crazy, Stupid, Love."
When Watson asked Moore, "Was there ever a role that you turned down?" Moore replied, “I was never in that position to turn stuff down." But she did recall trying out for a couple of recognizable roles that didn't work out. "'Mamma Mia!,' I remember auditioning for that," she recalled. "I totally bombed the audition. 'Crazy, Stupid, Love.' — totally bombed that audition too.”
4. Jack Pearson was almost "schleppier."
"I remember reading with him and was like, 'Oh, this is right,'" Moore said. "‘Cause it’s awkward: You’re going in to work with a really handsome guy, and you’re pretending to be husband and wife; you’re pregnant with three of his children. And you don’t know each other.”
Watson revealed, "A little bit of 'This Is Us' trivia: Milo’s character was actually written as a kind of schleppier guy. ... And then Milo comes in and takes off his motorcycle helmet and everyone in the room is like, 'Oh, that’s Jack.'"
She added, “So, this power of bringing your full self to something, you never know when you’re going to change somebody’s mind.”
5. Moore has experienced a "monumental shift" in her own life.
"I am becoming a force by my own definition and that can change and fluctuate on any given day," she said. "I think this last year specifically has been a really monumental shift. It’s funny, I say this a lot, but there’s no substitute for time and the wisdom and clarity that comes with that. I feel so much more comfortable in my skin than I ever have."
6. Moore has learned plenty of life lessons from Rebecca Pearson.
When an audience member asked what lessons Rebecca has taught her, Moore replied, “I’ve learned that family can look any which way you want it to. I’ve learned a kind of strength and resilience I didn’t know was possible. I’ve learned that grief can take any form. ... There’s a treasure trove of life advice packed into each episode, and I feel so lucky that we get to live out these experiences and these stories.”
7. There's "a big surprise" coming in the new season of "This Is Us."
“It’s an exciting step in a different direction, I’d say, this first episode," Moore said. "I do know, there’s a lot to look forward to. There’s a big surprise in that first episode that people are not going to see coming.”