Have you guys heard about This Is Us? It’s like, really good.
But you already know that. Or someone has told you it’s really good. And today, I’m going to not only tell you about how good the show is, but how spectacular Mandy Moore is as the family matriarch. Why? Because it’s Mandy Moore Monday, of course!
A while back I kicked off the Mandy Moore Monday series, and by series, I mean this is only the second installment (did you miss my revisit to her severely underrated album Coverage?!). So why not shine a light on Mandy’s most recent star turn as Rebecca Pearson in this past TV season’s hit drama? Plus in full disclosure, we’re in the middle of Emmy nominations voting, so I figure we could at least give Mandy a little push for a nomination.
I think that it was easy for critics to brush Mandy off as not as serious actress back when she was younger, due to the whole pop star/Candy-ness of it all. I thought she was fantastic in A Walk To Remember, but that’s just a “movie for teenagers”. She got some street cred as a bitchy Christian school girl in Saved!, and perhaps the most successful film (and the one that’s gotten her the most residuals) is Tangled, and that just featured her voice. But with her first major TV drama (besides a fantastic/heartbreaking arc on Grey’s Anatomy), Mandy’s finally getting to show off her legit acting chops, and I could not be more proud. In This Is Us, she’s been able to prove she’s a dynamic actor, one who can let us watch Rebecca start off as a young woman not interested in kids, to a devoted mother, to a wife who wants to see what life would be like if she chased her dreams, to a widow just trying to stay connected with her kids.
Here are just a few reasons why Mandy Moore should not only be praised on this MMM (Mandy Moore Monday), but hopefully come Emmy time, too.
When She Looked Good In Every Decade
Aging a young person isn’t easy, and if done wrong, it can look unbelievable. Perhaps most importantly, bad makeup takes the viewer out of the fictional world and into reality & endless criticism (def not talking about you, Deathly Hallows). Moreover, This Is Us requires a lot of emotional scenes, so if she’s put in makeup that doesn’t allow her to show every face acting emotion, it’s a maj fail. But Mandy’s makeup artist Zoe Hays made sure the goal wasn’t for Rebecca to just look old, but for her to simply look 30 years older. Helen Mirren, 71, served as Zoe’s inspiration for Rebecca’s sixty-something look, since she’s a “sexy, mature woman and there’s never any doubt that she exudes that.” And together with Zoe, Mandy has done an excellent job in acting as Rebecca in her 30s, 40s, 50s & 60s, something that only a classic beauty and talented actress can pull off.
When She Finally Got To Sing
As someone who greatly enjoys Mandy’s voice and music career, obviously I was waiting for the writers to incorporate her singing into the show. And they did it in a smart way, by having Rebecca be an aspiring singer when she’s younger, but have put those dreams aside once the triplets come along. Of course, Mandy hits it out of the park when she takes the mic, and it means even more in the story when we find out that her voice is literally what brings her and Jack together in the first place.
When She Had Romantic Scenes With Milo
Ross and Rachel. Jim and Pam. Luke and Lorelai. Jack and Rebecca. These two will go down in TV history as one of the most beloved yet complex couples ever. And that has a lot to do with Mandy and Milo’s chemistry. When they were first announced as the co-stars in this show, I thought it was a no-brainer – so much so that I thought that they surely must’ve worked together before. Nope. In my head, it was Jess Mariano married to Jamie Sullivan and somehow that works. You can tell just by watching them in every scene that there’s an ease to their back-and-forth, and it particularly shows in their romantic scenes. There’s a real love there, not just Jack and Rebecca, but a mutual love and respect between Milo and Mandy that makes it so enjoyable to watch.
When She Had Not-So-Romantic Scenes With Milo
And that chemistry works just as well when we see Jack and Rebecca hit their rough patch in the later years. I’m no actress, but I imagine the best comes out when you wholeheartedly trust your acting partner. Mandy and Milo not only have this connection as friends IRL, but they each have a personal relationship with their fictional personas. So in combining those two factors, you’re left with two humans who aren’t afraid to go all out and lay it all on the table in these heated scenes, adding that extra level of realness that can sometimes feel like we’re intruding on this couple’s intense arguments.
When She And Milo Made-Up
Back to the romantic thing because, honestly? OTP: I’m gonna be a 12 for you baby. #IShipJabecca
When She Had To Cry In Prosthetics
The situation Rebecca knowingly but herself in is a tricky one, and I feel like there’s no “right” way to go about telling your adopted son about his drugged out father. In this confrontation scene, Mandy has an excellent scene partner in Emmy winner Sterling K. Brown, but it’s Mandy’s silent remorse realization she may have fucked up big time is what is the most impressive.
When Her Acting Partner Was A Fake Pregnant Stomach
Having a one-sided conversation with three babies is normal for pregnant women, but having a one-sided conversation with a large, prosthetic belly is a whole other thing. Mandy killed this monologue as a loving, regretful, hopeful, uncertain mom-to-be, who promised to do right by her kids. It’s not easy to convey all those different feelings in one monologue, but she delivers it in a subtle and moving way that as a viewer you can relate to, no matter if you’re a parent or not.
When She Was A Queen This Entire Episode
If she’s nominated, this better be the episode they submit. But in the meantime, just watch this again. The walk to the corner store though!