After seven years of anticipation, the cast of “This Is Us” has finally learned how the Pearsons’ story will end.
Mandy Moore, Sterling K. Brown, Milo Ventimiglia, Chrissy Metz, Justin Hartley, Chris Sullivan, Susan Kelechi Watson and Jon Huertas gathered with creator and executive producer Dan Fogelman at the Dolby Theatre Saturday night for the show’s PaleyFest panel.
While on stage, Fogelman revealed to the thousands of fans in attendance that he had completed the series finale episode the night before.
“It’s funny because I’ve been away for the last week. So, I just literally finished writing the final,” he told the crowd.
Ventimiglia chimed in and said, “We all got a text from Dan last night saying, ‘Guys, I just finished it.’”
Fogelman said he had been holding off writing the last words.
When asked by Access Hollywood’s Scott Evans, who was the moderator for the event, if fans would be satisfied, Fogelman replied, “We’ve taken it very seriously. I wrote the final two episodes. I feel very confident.”
Later in the evening, Fogelman confirmed that the final scene is exactly what he envisioned since he created the show eight years ago.
He also mentioned that Moore had a shocking response after reading the penultimate episode.
“The second to last script– I sent (it) out to the cast and it made Mandy throw up,” he said, as the rest of the cast laughed.
After pretending to puke elegantly, Moore explained, “It was so beautiful and upsetting. That was my physical reaction.”
Metz added, “I couldn’t breathe. I couldn’t catch my breath.”
But before fans can get to this allegedly stomach-churning episode, they will have to watch a few more storylines unfold this season like the unraveling of Toby and Kate’s marriage.
A majority of this farewell season has focused on their upcoming split and in episode 11, titled “Saturday in the Park,” the couple’s relationship will become more fractured.
During the panel, Metz opened up about filming the difficult scenes between Kate and Toby. She revealed that she became physically ill on set while shooting the major argument between Kate and Toby in episode nine.
“I side with both Kate and Toby because they’re both right and they’re both wrong,” she said.
Sullivan jokingly quipped that had a blast filming the emotional scenes.
In a more serious tone, he said that he and Metz rehearsed the kitchen argument scene before shooting it, which they don’t do very often.
“But there was a lot of dialogue and it was a lot to get through and we knew it was gonna be hard for us,” he shared.
Another featured storyline this season has been the beginning of Miguel and Rebecca’s romantic relationship.
Fogelman shared that “This Is Us” fans will also finally get the Miguel-centered episode they have been waiting for.
Without giving away too many details, the showrunner said, “I will just say that (for) our fourth to last episode John has been primarily shooting and the rest of the cast has been shooting less.”
Earlier in the discussion, Huertas spoke about his onscreen counterpart and how he has connected to him throughout the show’s run.
Huertas said that he has felt like an outsider in his life and “Miguel is on the outside of the Pearsons.”
He then praised the show, adding, “I’ll probably, you know, go to my grave knowing this was the best job I’ve ever had.”
Considering there are only eight episodes before “This Is Us” concludes, the rest of the cast also reflected on how they have been impacted by the series and what they will take away from it.
Brown choked up as he complimented his co-stars.
“While the times to come together and be in each other’s space may dwindle, we know that it won’t be forever. We are going to be a part of each other’s lives in perpetuity,” he said.
Metz joked that she was broke before being cast.
“But I also was broken,” she said as she began to tear up.
“Through Kate’s healing, I got healed,” she said as the audience applauded.
Sullivan echoed a similar sentiment and said being on the show has taught him to “zoom out.”
“When I came to the show, I was very self focused on my own pain, my misery, self pity, all of these things,” he said. “I had no faith that everything was going to be okay. I mean that pretty seriously. This show taught me how to navigate some of my life’s most difficult scenarios.”
He continued, “This show has provided me with a handbook for living that I didn’t have before.”
Commenting on “This Is Us” as a whole, Sullivan also addressed critics who he said have “pigeonholed’’ the series by calling it “the sad show.”
“I think what happens is we cry once and we forget about all the laughing that we just did,” he explained. “That’s another lesson from this show.”
“Just don’t forget about all of the laughter,” Sullivan told the crowd.