Ready or not, the Pearson family is expanding.
In the first two episodes of This Is Us’ second season, Sterling K. Brown’s Randall and wife Beth, played by Susan Kelechi Watson, had begun the process of taking in a foster child. And though perfectionist Randall had been apprehensive — hey, he doesn’t risk failure — their new addition will make her first appearance on the Tuesday, October 10 episode, teases Brown.
“The young person that we have that will have several episodes throughout the course of this season is astonishing,” the two-time Emmy winner exclusively tells Us Weekly. “They are bringing the heat and classing up the joint. You’ll get to see a bit of this individual in episode three but by episode four, when it’s done, you’re going to be calling me to ask about this person!”
Thanks to Beth, the trader-turned-stay at home dad inevitably found the strength to move forward. “When all else fails, the wife has his back,” explains the actor, wed to costar Ryan Michelle Bathe. “Any time he doesn’t believe in himself, she has a belief to carry him through until he believes in himself again. The nature of the Beth and Randall’s relationship is probably one of the things I’m most proud of on the show.”
The dad of Andrew and Amare, who will star in the upcoming real-life drama Marshall, opens up to Us.
Us Weekly: You’ve been playing Randall for a nearly two years now. What has he taught you?
SKB: Every character is you because you pull from yourself. But I think he’s teaching me what it means to be fully present. It’s something he’s learning for himself, too. He’s spent so much of his life focused on a goal and looking at the light at the end of the tunnel rather than actually valuing the journey. Now, as he’s taking the pressure off himself to be perfect, he’s learning how to be in the moment. That’s something you can never stop learning as human beings.
Us: Of the Pearsons, whose journey do you relate to the most?
SKB: I think I relate a lot to Kevin [Justin Hartley]. He’s an actor who is in love with Sophie [Alexandra Breckenridge] and he’s really looking to find that balance between his personal life and his professional life. But I also really just enjoy Toby [Chris Sullivan]. He is fantastic in holding Kate [Chrissy Metz] up and reflecting back to her the best parts of herself. Toby encourages her to go out into the world and be all that he knows she can be. I love that my sister chose such an awesome dude to share her life with!
Us: In your Emmys speech, you thanked the cast for being your family. Do you look at Chrissy and Justin as your siblings?
SKB: I think we are! We all have family that our own. Justin is from Illinois, Chrissy is from Florida and I’m from Missouri. But when we’re on set, there is nothing that tells me this woman is not my sister and he is not my brother. We just are.
Us: What do your kids think of the show?
SKB: The kids are totally unfazed! My son could give a flying fig newton about what I do for a living. As a matter of fact, the other day, I asked, “Hey big boy, do you want to watch This Is Us?” and he’s like, “Do I want to watch This Is Snooze? This Is Stupid?” I was like, “OK, you don’t have to be mean!”
Us: OK, be honest: Do you cry reading the script?
SKB: Yes, I tear up reading it and watching it! On set, I’ll come and watch other people’s scenes from time to time and it never fails to move me. It was always my hope to be part of something that even if I were not on it, I would want to watch it. That’s what’s been happening over these last couple of years. This show, I just absolutely adore it.
Us: How many tissues will fans need to get through the rest of this season?
SKB: It depends. Some people have salty tears and some people just get misty. Everybody’s tear ducts work differently!
This Is Us airs on NBC Tuesdays at 9 p.m. ET.
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