For the distant observer, it may seem like This Is Us is just another family-drama series like many that came before it. Of course, the show is indeed centered on family dynamics, but you need to watch only one episode – preferably the first one – to realize why your friends won’t stop talking about it.
Created by Dan Fogelman (Crazy Stupid Love), This Is Us plays with its timeline in order to dial emotions up to a hundred. It has earned itself multiple wins and nominations across several awards and it reaches its final run (Season 6) with a devoted fanbase. It’s never too late to catch up with the Pearsons, and that’s why we’re doing this cast and character guide to help you to find your way through the story.
‘This Is Us’ Final Season Will Be Its “Most Emotional”, Says Star Chrissy Metz
Rebecca Pearson (Mandy Moore)
The matriarch of the family, Rebecca has been through it all, from raising three children in the ’70s to losing loved ones in critical moments and facing many problems that come with old age. But she never forgot to be a cheerleader and to give family moments the importance they deserve. She’s the mother many would like to have.
Mandy Moore came to prominence at an early age, scoring a platinum-certificated album as a recording artist at only 15. Later, she doubled down as an actress and achieved international fame for her role in teenage drama A Walk to Remember. Moore has not dropped her singing career and her latest album, Silver Landings, was released in 2020. Recently, she has reprised her voice role as Rapunzel in the Disney animated series Rapunzel’s Tangled Adventure.
Jack Pearson (Milo Ventimiglia)
The father of the Pearsons is very much alive and very much gone from the lives of his wife and children, depending on how you look at it. Providing a paternal image that we don’t normally see represented on TV or in movies, Jack is the spouse you’d want by your side when raising multiple kids.
Milo Ventimiglia conquered hearts and minds of his fanbase way before being cast on This Is Us. He rose to prominence after playing one of Rory Gilmore’s (Alexis Bledel) love interests in Gilmore Girls. After that, he played Peter Petrelli in NBC hit series Heroes, which went from acclaimed to panned in its final seasons. In 2022 he is set to reunite with Gilmore Girls creators Amy Sherman-Palladino and Daniel Palladino as a guest star in The Marvelous Ms. Maisel.
Randall Pearson (Sterling K. Brown / Niles Fitch / Lonnie Chavis)
The adopted son of the Pearson family grows up to become a father of two and a loving husband. During his adult life, he finds and reconnects with his biological father, who is going through some issues of his own.
Sterling K. Brown has been nominated at the Emmys for every season he’s worked on This Is Us, but his very first win came before the series – he won for his role as Christopher Darden in American Crime Story. Before the NBC hit drama series, Brown was in other shows like Army Wives and Person of Interest. Recently, he participated in Marvel’s Black Panther and did voice acting on Frozen II.
Niles Fitch plays the teenage version of Randall on This Is Us. Fitch also worked on Army Wives and has been on several other shows like Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt, Atypical, Mistresses, and Ghost Tape. He was also in the Denzel Washington-led movie Roman J. Israel, esq. and will star alongside Jennifer Coolidge and Anthony Mackie in the upcoming horror-comedy We Have a Ghost.
Lonnie Chavis plays the youngest version of Randall. He guest starred on The CW’s Supergirl and starred in the Showtime comedy series White Famous along with SNL alum Jay Pharoah. Recenlty he was in Disney’s Magic Camp and starred in the horror movie The Boy Behind the Door.
Kate Pearson (Chrissy Metz / Hannah Zeile / Mackenzie Hancsicsak)
One half of the Pearson twins, Kate struggles with body issues for most of her life, and has a hard time accepting herself as she is. At the same time, she is a fierce supporter of her family and will do anything for any of them, even though she doesn’t show the same kindness to herself.
Like her fellow costar Mandy Moore, Chrissy Metz is also a singer. She is a firm advocate for Christianity and participated in religious films like Breakthrough. She was also featured in TV series such as Entourage, My Name Is Earl, and American Horror Story. Recently, she lent her voice to the artistic panda Mei Mei in the animated series Kung Fu Panda: The Paws of Destiny.
Hannah Zeile plays the teenage version of Kate, and she was previously in Anger Management. She also guest starred in The Joel McHale Show with Joel McHale, but This Is Us marks her first major TV role.
Mackenzie Hancsicsak plays the younger version of Kate and it is also her first major role in television. She made her feature film debut with My Girls With Summer Sisters, a family comedy about female empowerment, encouragement, and support at an early age. Hancsicsak also did voice work for Rapunzel’s Tangled Adventure animated series.
Kevin Pearson (Justin Hartley / Logan Shroyer / Parker Bates)
The first Pearson kid (by just a few minutes), Kevin struggles with abandonment issues because he feels his parents were always more focused on Kate and Randall. As an adult he stars in a hit sitcom “The Manny” but then has a hard time getting out of its shadow.
Justin Hartley started his career in the long-running NBC soap opera Passions. Then, he almost became DC’s Aquaman in a pilot that has since been scrapped. However, he was called back by The CW to integrate the cast of Smallville as billionaire hero Oliver Queen, the Green Arrow. After that, he went back to soap opera for a long stint in The Young and the Restless. He was then cast in This Is Us.
Logan Shroyer, the teenage version of Kevin, started out in kids’s series like The Thundermans and Gortimer Gibbon’s Life on Normal Street. During his stint in This Is Us he played minor roles on short films and specials, and was recently in the TV movie The Waltons: Homecoming.
Parker Bates made his television debut by playing the youngest version of Kevin Pearson. After that, he did voice work for Rapunzel’s Tangled Adventure animated series and was recently in Magic Max, a movie about a kid who finds a father figure in his second-rate illusionist uncle.
Beth Pearson (Susan Kelechi Watson)
Randall’s wife is not referred to by him as his “rock” by chance. On top of raising three kids, Beth is an extremely supportive spouse who agrees to take in an extra guest at her house even before knowing everything about him.
Susan Kelechi Watson’s first big recurring gig was in NBC crime series Third Watch. After that, she was in several police and investigative series such as Kidnapped, Blue Bloods, The Following, and The Blacklist. Recently, she starred alongside Tom Hanks in A Beautiful Day in the Neighboorhood, the Fred Rogers biopic. In 2021, she did voice work for Paramount+’s Rumble.
Tess Pearson (Eris Baker)
The daughter of Randall and Beth shows that she has an open and progressive mind from an early age. She is also very intelligent and has incredible aptitude for sports. She ends up teaching the Pearson family as much as they teach her about life.
Eris Baker started her acting career with This Is Us, and ever since her debut she has guest starred on Disney Channel’s K.C. Undercover, Comedy Central’s Drunk History and Netflix’s Alexa & Katie.
Annie Pearson (Faithe Herman)
The youngest child of Randall and Beth, Annie has an early encounter with the problems of life as her ailing grandfather is moved into her house before she even makes it to adolescence. However, she connects with him and learns about kindness and that the definition of family stretches far beyond what most people say.
Even though she’s only in her teens, Faithe Herman already has an extensive participation on blockbusters, and has a close connection with superheroes: she starred in 2019’s Shazam! and will also be in its sequel, Shazam! Fury of the Gods, which is set to premiere in 2023. She has also guest-starred in HBO’s Watchmen, and is set to participate in the upcoming horror movie Campfire.
Déjà Pearson (Lyric Ross)
Born from a young mother and victim of abuse, Déjà jumped from foster home to foster home before meeting the Pearsons. She ends up being adopted by them, even though she is reluctant at first. However, as an adopted kid himself, Randall helps Déjà feel welcomed in the family.
Lyric Ross had minor roles in series like Chicago Fire and Sirens before being cast in This Is Us. She made her feature film debut with Rogers Park and was recently in the courtroom drama Canal Street. She is set to star in The Class, a drama also starring Anthony Michael Hall.
Toby Damon (Chris Sullivan)
This Is Us is big on people being cheerleaders of one another, but no other character represents this better than Toby. He meets and falls in love with Kate, and he is a bottomless well of positivity when it comes to helping Kate be kinder to herself. He’s also fun and creative as hell.
Before This Is Us, Chris Sullivan guest starred on shows like Elementary, The Americans, and Inside Amy Schumer. His first recurring role was on Cinemax’s The Knick, in which he played a corrupt ambulance driver. In feature films, he was in Imperium, 2016’s sci-fi Morgan, and Guardians of the Galaxy Vol.2. Recently, he had a minor role on Netflix’s tick, tick… BOOM!.
Miguel Rivas (Jon Huertas)
The best friend of Jack, Miguel becomes a more frequent individual in the Pearson family in later years. Despite initially not being a member of the family, he participates in many events and is an important part of later chapters in the family’s history.
Jon Huertas already had an extensive career before joining the cast of This Is Us. He was in JAG, Sabrina the Teenage Witch, and in acclaimed series like The Shield, CSI, and Generation Kill. One of his biggest role was in long-running ABC series Castle, in which he played Detective Javier Esposito.
William Hill (Ron Cephas Jones)
Randall’s biological father reconnects with his son many years after abandoning him. He was trying to save his son from growing up in a cruel and unhealthy environment, and we later learn that, even though he did the unthinkable as a father, he also faced a difficult life without his kid.
Ron Cephas Jones was nominated four times at the Emmys for his performance as William. He is also a busy bee: he was in Mr. Robot, Netflix’s Luke Cage, The Blacklist, The Get Down, and most recently in Law & Order: Organized Crime – just to name a few. In cinema, he was in cult films like Across the Universe, Half Nelson, and Sweet and Lowdown. He is expected to return for the third season of Apple TV+ series Truth Be Told along with Octavia Spencer and Kate Hudson.