‘This Is Us’: Teenage Kate Left an Easter Egg for All Griffin Dunne Fans

This Is Us knows how to tell multi-layered stories. Some of the show’s stars have a “six degrees of separation’ connection to other cast members. In a recent episode, teenage Kate Pearson (Hannah Zeile) mentioned something seemingly unimportant in a passing conversation.

The small detail is big for the actor who plays Nicky Pearson, Griffin Dunne. Did you spot the Easter egg?

Uncle Nicky and teenage Kate exist in two separate timelines on ‘This Is Us’

Griffin Dunne
Griffin Dunne attends the Premiere of Netflix’s ‘The Irishman’ | Axelle/Bauer-Griffin/FilmMagic

This Is Us told pieces of Nicky’s story as a child before, but the focus of season 4 revolves around the adult version, played by Dunne. Nicky, a recovering alcoholic, is just now getting to know his extended family and it’s as uncomfortable to watch as it likely feels for the character.

Kevin (Justin Hartley) comes to Nicky’s aid and together, the two battle their long-running demons. Nicky seems to be the parts of Jack that Kevin needed as a teen, and now, as an adult.

Teenage Kate (Zeile) exists in the world before, during, and in the years after, Jack’s (Milo Ventimiglia) death. Her character struggles with self-esteem and overeating to cope with the greatest loss of her life.

Recently, her new boyfriend, Marc (Austin Abrams), came into Kate’s life and took control. Some speculate it’s going to end badly. Before we get to that, there’s one conversation the two had that connects Kate to Griffin Dunne’s real life.

Why does Griffin Dunne look familiar?

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“I was wrong. I wasn’t broken." #ThisIsUs

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If you’ve been watching This Is Us trying to figure out why Dunne looks so familiar, let us help you out. Dunne is the face of many beloved projects over the years.

Dunne’s life and career are enveloped in entertainment. Aside from starring in classics like An American Werewolf in London, After Hours, Dallas Buyer’s Club, and My Girl (hello, Mr. Bixler), he was involved in a few of Madonna’s videos, Frasier, Alias, and dozens more big-name TV shows and movies.

According to IMDb, Dunne has also produced with a partner, Amy Robinson, through their company Double Play Productions.

How Is Griffin Dunne connected to teenage Kate on ‘This Is Us’?

During a conversation between Kate and Marc, Kate admitted she wanted to see the feature-length film that starred Sandra Bullock and Nicole Kidman, Practical Magic. Marc quickly shut the idea down, saying Kate wasn’t a “13-year-old girl,” leaving Kate noticeably disappointed.

Fans know series creator, Dan Fogelman, doesn’t use throwaway lines. The script is written so that everything means something. Such was the case with Practical Magic. Griffin Dunne directed the 1998 film, bringing the past and present full-circle.

This makes the point that when This Is Us is on, you’ve got to give it 100 percent of your attention. Otherwise, you’ll miss out on the coolest theme of the show.