If you’ve been living under a rock for the past few months, you’ve been missing out on one of television’s brightest new shows. NBC’s new show This Is Us has been the talk of the town during its first season; the drama has been nominated for numerous awards in its short time, including Best New Series – Drama and Best Supporting Actress at the 74th Annual Golden Globes.
But how much do you know about the cast behind this new hit? Though the show features many familiar faces, what are they like when the cameras aren’t rolling?
Click through to catch up on little-known behind-the-scenes trivia from the cast of your new favorite show, starting with its most recognizable star on slide #10.
10. Practice Makes Perfect
With the release of her debut single “Candy” in 1999, Mandy Moore became a rising star in the pop world. Before she dominated the charts, the star got her training at the Stagedoor Manor Performing Arts Camp in New York. Other stars that started out at the summer camp include Bryce Dallas Howard, Robert Downey Jr., and Zach Braff.
9. The DC Connection
Before there was Stephen Amell, actor Justin Hartley took the role of Green Arrow on several episodes of the hit CW show Smallville. Prior to landing the role, the actor starred in the title role of Aquaman. While the pilot episode had a great reaction from critics, the show didn’t get picked up.
8. Yo, Adrian
Actor Milo Ventimiglia had his breakout role as Peter Petrelli in the NBC series Heroes, but there was another major role that he managed to pick up along the way. In 2009, he landed the part of Rocky’s son Robert in the film Rocky Balboa. Sylvester Stallone originally wanted his son Sage to reprise the role from Rocky V, but he turned down the idea. His reason? Sylvester didn’t want to make his son feel as if he was still living in his shadow.
You’ve heard the following star’s voice all over TV a few years ago.
7. Hump Day
While Chris Sullivan has been getting praise for his portrayal of Toby, most people are already familiar with one of the actor’s finest roles. In 2013, he was the voice of the GEICO camel in their Hump Day commercials. Aside from GEICO, the California native landed voice roles in ads for Budweiser and Snickers.
6. Needed Encouragement
Mandy Moore has a history with show creator Dan Fogelman. In 2010, the singer/actress worked with him on the Disney film Tangled, which is the most expensive animated movie ever created. When This Is Us got the green light from the network, he encouraged the Orlando native to try out for the role of Rebecca Pearson.
5. College Friends
There’s a reason why Susan Kelechi Watson and Sterling K. Brown, who play Beth and Randall Pearson on the show, have such a strong chemistry on screen; both stars attended New York University together. Both rising stars also had recurring roles in the popular NBC crime drama Third Watch.
The following show fact involves some sneaky padding.
4. All Padding
On the show, Chris Sullivan’s character Toby is in a weight loss support group, but in real life, Chris looks a lot thinner than he does on screen. In an interview with US Weekly, co-star Susan Kelechi Watson revealed that Chris is wearing body padding on the set.
3. A Family Thing
When you marry another actor, you might get roles that simply make you laugh and confuse the audience. Since 2007, Sterling K. Brown has been married to college sweetheart Ryan Michelle Bathe, who starred with her husband on Army Wives. On This Is Us, Ryan had a recurring role of Yvette, who communicated with a younger version of Sterling’s character.
2. Music Stars
While everyone knows of Mandy Moore’s history as a singer, there’s another musician on the cast. Chrissy Metz, who plays Kate Pearson on the show, is the lead singer of the band Chrissy and The Vapors, who released the singles “Ladies Love Cool J” and “Trouble With the Winners.”
Chrissy chose the role for one specific reason.
1. Weight Loss
The one thing that sold Chrissy Metz on playing her character was losing weight. On the show, Kate is trying to drop the pounds in order to better herself. In real life, the actress managed to lose 100 pounds in five months before landing the role of Ima Wiggles on American Horror Story: Freakshow.
Midway through the first season, the show was renewed by the network for two more seasons, which means more people will get the chance to join the millions of devoted fans hooked on the series. If you missed the first season when it aired or just want to watch it all over again, you can stream it all on Hulu right now.
What are some of your favorite moments from the first season? What do you hope will happen in season two? Let us know in the comment section below, and don’t forget to share this with your friends and family!