“I can’t believe we’re not going back to set,” reveals Susan Kelechi Watson after wrapping up her final days of shooting “This is Us.” “I’m still trying to figure out what that even feels like. For the past six years I’ve been the one cast member traveling back and forth [from New York to Los Angeles] and I’m used to a time where I have to pack everything up and go. When they called the final wrap on me, it’s hard to describe. I couldn’t believe it. I’m still trying to wrap my brain around it.” Watch the exclusive video interview above.
“This is Us” is ending its run after six seasons on NBC. The family drama created by Dan Fogelman has earned 38 Emmy nominations with four wins to date. The series follows the lives and families of two parents, and their three children, in several different time frames. Kelechi Watson plays Beth Clarke Pearson, the loving, no-nonsense wife of Randall Pearson (Sterling K. Brown) and mother to daughters Deja (Lyric Ross), Tess (Eris Baker) and Annie (Faithe Herman).
The actress explains her inspiration to bring a sharp wit to her character of Beth, stating, “I think it’s probably a lot of my dad. My dad is probably the funniest guy I know. Him and my uncle Sonny. They knew how to tell a story and they understood timing. I just sat and absorbed. I have a very funny family. But when it comes to comic timing, I think about my family. I think about my dad. You could see the punchline coming. You almost know what he’s going to say, but the way he lands the plane is what makes you laugh. There’s a certain rhythm to it that I think I’ve just absorbed and I totally attribute it to him.”
This year Kelechi Watson also stepped behind the camera to co-write the episode “Our Little Island Girl: Part Two” with Eboni Freeman. “I had mentioned to Dan a few years earlier that I would love to write,” she reveals. “I knew that directing was an option, but I found out that possibly writing could be an option. He had read some of the other things I had written, so when Season 6 came he called me up and said, ‘Hey, do you want to start writing?’ He set me up with Eboni to co-write and she’s just an excellent writer. It was a great opportunity to partner with her. We ended up splitting the episode, then going off and writing, and then we came back together and wrote it all together. I didn’t realize the writing process takes weeks!”
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