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Top 10 Behind-the-Scenes Secrets About This Is Us

VO: Emily Brayton WRITTEN BY: Savannah Sher
Even the biggest fans may not know these details. For this list, we’re looking at the most interesting and surprising information about the making of this acclaimed show. We’ll be discussing some plot elements, so a spoiler warning is in effect. Join MsMojo as we count down our picks for the Top 10 Behind The Scenes Secrets About This Is Us.

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Top 10 Behind The Scenes Secrets About This Is Us

Even the biggest fans may not know these details. Welcome to MsMojo and today we're counting down our picks for the Top 10 Behind-the-Scenes Secrets About This Is Us.

For this list, we’re looking at the most interesting and surprising information about the making of this acclaimed show. We’ll be discussing some plot elements, so a spoiler warning is in effect.

#10: Yes, Jack Says Rebecca’s Name

In the Season 2 episode “Super Bowl Sunday," you may have been a little too distracted with finally finding out how Jack dies to even noticed this subtle moment. When Rebecca is standing at the vending machine in the hospital, you can hear Jack’s voice say “Bec?” and she quickly turns around because she has heard it too. Just a few seconds later, the doctor arrives to tell Rebecca that Jack had a heart attack and died. Milo Ventimiglia confirmed that he in fact recorded several different versions, and that he thinks it’s Jack’s presence speaking to her.

#9: The Creator's Wife Is on the Show

If you want to know who is behind the show that makes you sob week after week, that would be Dan Fogelman. The creator of “This Is Us” not only previously worked with actress Mandy Moore on “Tangled,” but also cast his real-life wife, Caitlin Thompson, as a character on the show. Thompson plays Madison, Kate’s “frenemy” from her support group. And if you want to see some serious cuteness, follow her on Instagram to get a glimpse into their home life and to see their adorable dogs!

#8: The Cast Worked Together for a Raise

If you follow them on social media or watch interviews with them together, you know that the cast of “This Is Us” us pretty close. But on top of that, they also worked together in order to get equal pay after the second season of the show aired. In between Seasons 2 and 3, the cast renegotiated their contracts so that all five of the major players - Milo Ventimiglia, Mandy Moore, Sterling K. Brown, Chrissy Metz, and Justin Hartley - are making the same salary per episode - a cool quarter of a million dollars.

#7: They Shot Scenes at the Location of Justin Hartley’s Wedding

In Season 2, Kevin goes to a rehabilitation facility to deal with his alcoholism, and the entire family comes to visit in one emotionally turbulent episode. They shot the scenes at Calamigos Ranch in Malibu, California and just a week later, the actor who plays Kevin, Justin Hartley, got married there! This was totally a coincidence and wasn’t done intentionally to accommodate anyone’s schedule, according to a producer of the show. All Kevin’s most prominent costars made the trip back to Malibu for the occasion to see him tie the knot.

#6: The Wardrobe Department Keeps Every Outfit

One of the things that makes this show so interesting is the way scenes are presented out of chronological order, skipping from different time periods in every episode so we get to glimpse many different times in our characters’ lives. Because of this, the wardrobe department must be meticulous with everything the actors wear in every scene. After all, there’s always a chance they could revisit that moment in another episode down the line. While most shows only keep their clothing until the end of the season, they have to be stored indefinitely on “This Is Us.”

#5: Jack Wasn't Supposed to Be Hot

It may seem hard to believe, but when Dan Fogelman first conceived Jack, he imagined him as an everyman, a regular dad with a classic dad-bod. That all changed when Milo Ventimiglia read for the part, and they adapted his character into the hottie we know and love. One of the most, let’s just say memorable scenes in the pilot episode, is when Jack bares all on his birthday, and Fogelman said that when initially written, the scene was supposed to be funny, and wasn’t intended to cause an internet frenzy. Funnily enough, when Ventimiglia read that scene, he didn’t realize it would require him to actually be in his birthday suit!

#4: It Was Supposed to Be a Movie

Before working on “This Is Us,” Dan Fogelman had a career in both television and film. But when he initially came up with the idea of what would become the Pearson family, he imagined their story as a movie rather than a TV show. He quickly realized after starting the project that the scope of it was more appropriate for an episodic format. In an interview, he said, “I wanted to do this continuous story — which felt very much like the theme of the show.” And in the earliest versions, the couple was supposed to have octuplets, not triplets!

#3: Even the Cast's Family's Doesn't Know What Will Happen Next

Week after week we wait find out what will happen next on “This Is Us,” and it turns out that even if you’re related to one of the main actors, you have to wait just like the rest of us. The team behind the show is meticulous about keeping their plot points a secret (something we’ll touch more on later), and the cast can’t even tell their nearest and dearest about their upcoming storylines. When Kate reveals that she’s pregnant at the beginning of Season 2, actress Chrissy Metz says her family found out right alongside everyone else when the episode aired.

#2: There Is a Weight Loss Section in Chrissy Metz’s Contract

From the very first episode, Kate’s character’s story arc focuses heavily on her weight, attending support groups, a wilderness retreat, and even considering invasive surgery to aide in her weight loss journey. Something viewers may have wondered is whether actress Chrissy Metz has anything stipulated in her contract about maintaining or losing weight. There is a section in her contract that addresses weight loss, which states that she will get healthy alongside her character. Don’t worry, though, there’s no extreme dieting going on here - it’s all about doing it in a safe and healthy manner.

Before we unveil our top pick, here are a few honorable mentions:

There's a Hidden ‘Tangled’ Reference

Chrissy Metz Represented the Actress Who Plays Her Teenage Character

Kate’s Wedding Was Custom Made

#1: They Used a Code Word to Keep Things Under Wraps

For almost two whole seasons, fans of “This Is Us” waited with bated breath to find out how Jack died. There were hints for many episodes beforehand, but the producers, of course, wanted to keep the plot points a secret. So, they went to extreme measures to make sure nothing was leaked. The scripts were printed on red paper (which apparently can’t be photocopied) and they even used a code word when referring to the fire. They called it “The Marble,” and apparently someone was inspired by Beyoncé because that’s the same word she used for her album.


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