“To me, it’s more about figuring out the fundamentals of who she is and bigger picture ideas of what she’s gone through” – Mandy Moore
Few actresses have experienced career comeback that This Is Us star Mandy Moore. Previously known as a teen pop singer and actress, over the past two years Moore has become a television star in This Is Us, the multi-generational NBC hit drama as family matriarch Rebecca. Moore has the challenge of portraying her character as both a young mother and as an older woman several decades later — and usually in the same episode.
On what she does differently to portray both versions of Rebecca, Moore tells Gold Derby:
“Well, I usually have a lot more time to prepare ‘cause it’s like three and a half or four hours of going through hair and makeup. So I definitely feel like I have a proper amount of time to focus and think about what we’re shooting because most of the time that I’m present day, something dramatic is happening. I’m either being confronted by my adult child for keeping him from his biological [father] his entire life at the Thanksgiving dinner table or his father has just passed away, the biological father, and I feel tremendous guilt that they didn’t have the relationship they should have. I feel like there’s always something really heavy going on when I’m in old age makeup and I just feel like she’s a fundamentally broken woman, even 20 years on after losing her husband. I felt daunted by it initially at first because I’m 34 and so the idea of imagining 30+ years of life that I haven’t lived and I don’t have children, I don’t have grandchildren, I haven’t lost a child, all of these fundamental pieces of who this woman is, I didn’t have a real point of reference. But I kind of have let myself off the hook realizing that this story is gonna continue to expand and this universe is gonna expand hopefully as the show goes on. To me, it’s more about figuring out the fundamentals of who she is and bigger picture ideas of what she’s gone through, and it also helps that the writing is so incredible. It’s so elevated, especially present day, I’m always working with Sterling [K. Brown] or Justin [Hartley] and Chrissy [Metz] and everybody’s so magnificent on the show. They show up and bring their A-game and you have no choice but to follow suit and try and stay in step with them, I guess.”