Timing is everything! The Pearson family has morphed from kids to adults before fans’ eyes throughout the course of This Is Us.
The NBC drama introduced viewers to Jack Pearson (Milo Ventimiglia), Rebecca Pearson (Mandy Moore), Kevin Pearson (Justin Hartley), Kate Pearson (Chrissy Metz), Randall Pearson (Sterling K. Brown), Beth Pearson (Susan Kelechi Watson) and Toby Damon (Chris Sullivan) as grown-ups upon its debut in September 2016.
Since then, the show welcomed baby, kid, teen, middle-aged and elderly versions of the beloved brood. Whether portrayed by the same actor (shout-out to Moore for slaying as Rebecca at any age) or a variety of performers, each iteration gives fans a new vantage point to understand the characters and their complicated family dynamic.
Viewers met the Big Three as babies and adults in the series premiere. They had to wait longer for others. Rebecca first appeared as a young girl in season 1, while Jack debuted as a young boy in season 2. Beth and Toby received the bottle episode treatment with hours in season 3 dedicated to their upbringings, giving fans a glimpse at their characters as children and teenagers.
Of course, some are destined to remain forever young. Jack died in the ‘90s, which, to this day, instills worry about his future with the show. Ventimiglia shot down the chatter in a May 2019 interview with Us Weekly. “It’s so funny! Why do people say that?” he pondered at the time. “We have three more seasons of Jack!”
He continued: “[Creator] Dan [Fogelman] told me in the beginning, ‘Even though you’re dead in the first episode … you’re not going anywhere. You’re gonna be there the whole time.’ I’m like, ‘I get it.’ I make the bad correlation like [Game of Thrones’] Ned Stark. It’s not, like, he gets his head chopped off and he’s gone. You don’t see Sean Bean anymore. No, no, no, Jack’s still around.”
Fogelman, for his part, revealed in May 2018 that he “already shot pieces of the final scene of the series.” Given his trajectory, fans should expect if other iterations of the core cast are supposed to show up, it’s been mapped out.
“We’re pretty far out,” the producer told reporters at a For Your Consideration event. “We know where it ends and we know the path for each season. We’ve always had a plan, we didn’t want to get stuck. … The show won’t overstay its welcome, we have a story to tell, we want to do this the right way.”
Scroll to see photos of This Is Us characters as their younger and older selves.