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Watch ‘This Is Us’ cast reveal which characters they relate to

The show's stars shared surprising answers about how well they identified with other members of the Pearson clan.

The stars of "This Is Us" do an amazing job portraying their onscreen characters, so it may come as a surprise that, in real life, several of the actors can identify even more with other members of the Pearson clan.

During an interview with TODAY, Milo Ventimiglia, who plays family patriarch Jack, revealed that he connects strongly with Jack — but he also can relate to other male characters on the show.

"Of course, yeah, I can’t walk away from Jack. I mean, I got a beard and the hair and whatnot," Ventimiglia said, laughing. "But, you know, I definitely can connect to every single character on this show."


Sterling K. Brown as Randall, Susan Kelechi Watson as Beth, Milo Ventimiglia as Jack, Justin Hartley as Kevin, Mandy Moore as Rebecca, Chrissy Metz as Kate, Chris Sullivan as Toby.NBC

"I mean, the human struggles of what everyone experiences ... I mean, there’s moments where, let’s say, William and that desire to hang on to life, but it just slips through his fingers like smoke. I mean, I definitely feel that one all the time," Ventimiglia continued. "Randall’s want to always do good, definitely identify with that ... Kevin, I mean, I’m an actor. I 1,000% identify with Kevin in like maybe, maybe a micro way, micro way. Which probably means like, massive way.

"There’s not one person, one member of the cast, that I think I couldn’t see myself in, in any given moment," he added.

Caitlin Thomas, who plays Kevin’s ex-fiancé Madison, finds herself relating to Randall's wife, Beth, who’s played onscreen by Susan Kelechi Watson.

“Just because I am a new mom and also a working actor. So I feel like, as we’ve seen in Beth’s story, she’s kind of always trying to find the balance between her dance studio and her passion in life and being a mother," said Thomas. "So, I think identify a lot with that kind of struggle and finding that balance."

As for Watson, she said she spent the first four seasons of the show identifying with Kevin, who's played by Justin Hartley.

"I definitely understood his journey. And you know, I would always tell Justin, I was like, ‘You’re my favorite.’ I could always identify with what he was going through," said Watson. "And I could I understand there was something about him that I don’t know if it was his need to want to go deeper or his need to, like, really find himself, his need to just not be this one thing as an actor and to go deeper into himself and kind of build a family and all these things ... That felt really honest."

"For me, I was like, 'OK, I totally get that,'" added Watson, who added that Hartley "plays the hell out of" the character.

Interestingly, Watson's connection to Kevin isn't a one-way street. Hartley revealed that he can identify with Beth. "I feel like she’s doing a lot of juggling... She manages a lot of things. People rely on her quite a bit. She gives good advice," Hartley explained.

Hartley also feels a connection to the character of Uncle Nicky, played by Griffin Dunne, because, he said, Nicky has "grit."

Meanwhile, Dunne, like Watson, found himself identifying with Kevin.

"You know, being an actor, but I think (Kevin's) vanity and neurosis and ambition and conflict with his own ambition and his sort of problems and in relationships, his sort of problems strike me as familiar," he explained.

Though Chris Sullivan, who plays Kate’s husband Toby, is also able to put himself in the shoes of other characters, he feels he was tailor-made to play Toby.

"I think that’s part of the fascinating part about the show is the writing is so specific and the characters are so detailed that there’s some little way for anybody to connect and to find their way into the story," said Sullivan.

"But I mean, obviously, Toby, and I —  Toby is the closest character I’ve ever played to myself," he continued, adding, "I don’t know if that’s a coincidence or, or if that’s just how it’s evolved over the seasons, but yeah, I think Toby and I are probably still pretty close."