Mandy Moore and Milo Ventimiglia are just as upset about Rebecca and Jack’s current state as viewers are. The This Is Us costars opened up about the latest episode, “Now What?,” during NBC’s after show for the installment, which aired on Tuesday, March 7. (Spoilers ahead.) Watch the video above.
In the episode, Rebecca and Jack are barely on speaking terms as she heads out on a five-state tour with her band. The couple have been struggling to see eye-to-eye since Jack found out that Rebecca used to date her bandmate.
“To leave on a note of such — the air in the house is so heavy. There is so much that’s not being said between these two people,” Moore, 32, said during a sit-down with Ventimiglia, 39. “It’s the worst possible scenario. It doesn’t feel good, and I don’t think that they are accustomed to being in this place with one another.”
Jack’s goodbye to Rebecca — a quick peck on the check — was far from the warm displays of affection viewers are used to seeing from the couple. “I don’t think they know how to navigate these waters,” Moore added. “How am I leaving the house and he isn’t embracing me?”
Ventimiglia seemed just as torn up about it. “This has been bubbling up and boiling between them since [their friends] Miguel and Shelly broke up,” he said. “When they aren’t quite connecting, it’s unnerving.” (As fans know, Rebecca marries Jack’s best friend, Miguel, later in life. It’s still unknown whether the relationship developed before or after Jack’s death.)
Shooting the brutal scene was tough for both actors. “Mandy and I are very tight, our [set] chairs are next to each other, we talk a lot in between takes,” the Gilmore Girls alum said. “The days that we have to play very distant — they are just not fun to film.”
For Moore, filming William’s funeral was difficult, too. William (Ron Cephas Jones), Randall’s biological dad who left him on a fire station stoop as a newborn, died following his battle with stage 4 cancer in the February 21 episode. Rebecca kept William’s identity a secret for years and asked him to leave Randall (Sterling K. Brown) alone while he was growing up.
“Celebrating the life of a man — she completely altered the course of this man’s life and his relationship with his child,” Moore said. “I think the entire occasion was really unsettling, because there was so much to be said between Randall and Rebecca that hasn’t been addressed at this point. … It’s just so loaded.”
This Is Us airs Tuesdays on NBC at 9 p.m. ET.