Ron Cephas Jones Interview: ‘This Is Us’
“Everything that William had done had already been laid down in season one and then he passed away, so it’s just more about continuing to be who William was,” actor Ron Cephas Jones says in an interview with Gold Derby about his continuing role on “This is Us” (watch the exclusive video above). Jones explains about playing cancer-stricken William Hill in flashbacks for the recent second season and upcoming third season, “When I’m doing the scene, it’s before I passed away, so it’s not like my consciousness feels like I’ve gone anywhere. Only the audience knows that; the character… doesn’t and so William is present.”
Although Jones was credited in all 18 episodes of the second season, he only appeared in six. He recounts, “You get an idea about how many episodes; you don’t know what episodes they are going to be, so right off the jump, they say, ‘Well, we’re going to use you for six of these episodes in this season,’ but you don’t know what six.” Having received his first Emmy nomination last year, for Best Drama Supporting Actor, Jones is nominated for Best Drama Guest Actor this year. He submitted his performance in the season premiere for consideration because he had “a beautiful monologue” and “one of the highlights of season two was that first monologue.”
Production on the third season of “This is Us” began in July and will continue through February. “It’s going to take so many different twists and turns and have so many surprises in it,” Jones teases. “I’ve done three episodes so far and all of them have been wonderful with some really good juicy stuff in there,” he continues, adding that the season will “fill in those spaces of William’s life that we missed in season one and season two.” Jones has also been shooting a new drama titled “Are You Sleeping” that is executive produced by Reese Witherspoon for Apple. “They had interest from the work that I did in ‘This is Us’,” Jones says about how he found his next series-regular role as a character named Shreve Scoville. “He’s the head of a motorcycle club out of Oakland and he’s a much darker character than William is and Octavia Spencer plays my daughter and she’s the lead in it,” Jones explains.