Mandy Moore glimpses her old age with ‘This Is Us’ Season 3. ‘It was heartbreaking’

Mandy Moore of "This Is Us"
Mandy Moore has been nominated for a lead actress in a drama Emmy for portraying Rebecca Pearson in NBC’s “This Is Us.”
(Ricardo DeAratanha/Los Angeles Times)

The third season of NBC’s time-jumping family drama saw Mandy Moore looking to the future.

After two seasons that had viewers focused on how the show’s beloved patriarch Jack Pearson (Milo Ventimiglia) died , the drama introduced a new mystery heading into its third season: “Who is her?” The flash-forward mystery was a Season 2 finale cliffhanger, in which future Randall (Sterling K. Brown) tells now adult daughter Tess (Iantha Richardson), “It’s time to go see her,” to which she replies, “I’m not ready.” By the third season’s end, viewers learned heris an ailing, octogenarian Rebecca Pearson (Moore), the matriarch of the family.

“I’m glad it wasn’t a secret or a plot reveal that was dragged out for season after season,” Moore said when she visited the L.A. Times video studio. “In typical ‘This Is Us’-fashion, it continues to leave the door open with more questions in a different direction than you may have been considering. I love that we may have discovered Rebecca at this juncture in her life. [But] where is Kate? Why is Nicky at her bedside instead of second husband Miguel?”

Already accustomed to the aging up process when she plays present-day Rebecca, who is in her late 60s, Moore described getting prepped for octogenarian Rebecca as emotional.


“Although we don’t have any real clues as to is this her final moments?” Moore says, “you can obviously tell there’s some fragility there. A lot of fragility ... it was heartbreaking.”

With all the glimpses into the future as Rebecca, Moore says getting older and thinking about the future aren’t life realities that scare her.

“I really do embrace it and look forward to it,” she says. “I would not for any amount of money go back to my 20s. I didn’t know who I was. I was flailing around. I love her. I love that younger iteration of Mandy. She’s what brought me to this place now.”

Moore also reveals some clues about the upcoming season of “This Is Us,” which premieres Sept. 24, suggesting “it’s going to freak people out.” The full conversation can be found below.