The cast and creator of “This Is Us” got Emmy voters a little misty-eyed at a recent FYC event. Gold Derby was on-hand at the Ace Hotel in Downtown Los Angeles for the panel discussion with creator Dan Fogelman and stars Milo Ventimiglia, Mandy Moore, Chrissy Metz, Justin Hartley, Susan Kelechi Watson, and Chris Sullivan. Though he was off promoting his new movie “Hotel Artemis,” co-star Sterling K. Brown joined midway through via Skype. Listen to the entire 59-minute discussion above.
The Q&A followed a screening of last season’s highly touted Super Bowl episode titled, appropriately enough, “Super Bowl Sunday.” In it, the death of patriarch Jack (Ventimiglia) was finally explained: cardiac arrest due to smoke inhalation after the family’s house caught fire. It was a mysterious story detail that had left fans scratching their heads and anxious for an answer since it was first hinted at in the show’s freshman season.
“There was a lot of pressure going into that episode,” admitted Moore, “because that question loomed large in the mythology of our show.” The actress, who plays Jack’s widow, Rebecca, “felt a burden to deliver” in the crucial scene where she learns of her husband’s abrupt demise while getting a candy bar in the hospital waiting room. She gave due credit to Fogelman, who wrote the “incredible script.”
For Ventimiglia, the episode was both emotionally and physically draining since Jack had just saved his family from their burning house. “That was real fire,” he revealed. Safety was a top priority because “we are working with elements that can run rampant,” but as much as possible the actor wanted to “actually live this experience of what it must’ve been like for the family to wake up to a fire.”
“This Is Us” broke into the Emmy race in a big way last year for its first season. It earned 10 nominations, including Best Drama Series, and it won twice. Brown became the first black performer to win Best Drama Actor since Andre Braugher (“Homicide: Life on the Street” in 1998), while Gerald McRaney prevailed as Best Drama Guest Actor over fellow “This Is Us” featured stars Brian Tyree Henry and Denis O’Hare.
Ventimiglia competed against Brown in the Drama Actor race, while Metz contended for Best Drama Supporting Actress and Ron Cephas Jones was up for Best Drama Supporting Actor (this year Jones will compete against McRaney in the guest category). The series picked up additional bids for Best Drama Casting, and Best Non-Prosthetic Makeup.
According to the predictions of more than 2,000 Gold Derby users, Moore and Hartley are expected to break through for Best Drama Actress and Best Drama Supporting Actor, respectively. Moore is ranked in fifth place (9/1), while Hartley is in third (6/1). Both Brown and Ventimiglia are predicted to return to Drama Actor as well; in fact, they’re neck-and-neck for the win, with Brown in first place (10/3) and his TV dad in second (9/2). Metz is also likely to receive her second consecutive bid: she’s got 6th place odds of 6/1.
Be sure to make your Emmy predictions today so that Hollywood insiders can see how their TV shows and performers are faring in our odds. You can keep changing your predictions as often as you like until just before nominees are announced on July 12. And join in the fun debate over the 2018 Emmy taking place right now with Hollywood insiders in our television forums. Read more Gold Derby entertainment news.