“It’s so crazy,” proclaims Mandy Moore about being nominated for her first Emmy this year. “I’ve been in this business for 20 years, and this is not something that I ever expected, it’s not something that I was working towards,” she says. Watch our exclusive video interview with Moore above.
In “This Is Us,” Moore plays matriarch Rebecca Pearson, the matriarch of a close-knit family still coming to terms with the devastating death of husband and father Jack (Milo Ventimiglia). Moore arguably has one of the most challenging roles on the family drama as she plays the character in different periods of her life; sometimes as a young optimistic newlywed, sometimes as a struggling widow and single parent, and sometimes as an older, wiser grandmother.
“I feel like the specific challenge I have in playing Rebecca is jumping from every single decade. I think in Season 3, I played her from 16, which was insane, to 85,” the actress laughs.
“Losing a spouse, losing a child in childbirth, being remarried, having grandchildren and having adult children, and just every different color that just infiltrated her life,” she explains, “I am thinking about her physicality, her body, where things maybe hurt, and where she sort of carries some of her emotions and the things that have burdened her in her life,” Moore says.
“Season 3 allowed everyone to have the realization, most of all her adult children, that mom really was and is the glue of this family,” she explains. “Moms are often the unsung heroes of the family and don’t get all of the credit that they deserve,” Moore says. “It’s the appeal of the show. Rebecca is not an anomaly; she’s all of the moms out there. There’s nothing innately special about her necessarily but that is what makes her special. She’s everything for her family and her family is always first.”
Moore is nominated in the crowded Best Drama Actress category alongside six of her cast mates, including previous winner Sterling K. Brown and previous nominee Ventimiglia in Best Drama Actor, fellow first-timer Chris Sullivan in the supporting category and previous winner Ron Cephas Jones alongside first time nominee Michael Angarano and Emmy veteran Phylicia Rashad in the guest categories.
That so many of the cast have been nominated (or won) over its three seasons to date is testament that their fellow actors in the TV academy really appreciate the work they are doing on the show. The cast has also won the SAG Award for TV drama ensemble the last two years. “It truly is an ensemble and as an actor you have no choice but to step up and every actor you’re in a scene with is raising the bar and you are clawing your way to try to keep up with them,” she declares. “You’re never asleep at the wheel with ‘This is Us,’ none of us are. We have to constantly show up!”
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