‘This Is Us’: Sophie Was ‘Facilitating That Storyline’ for the Pearson Family, According to Alexandra Breckenridge


  • Alexandra Breckenridge compared playing Sophie on This Is Us to Mel on Virgin River.
  • The actor identified one major difference: her This Is Us character isn’t the show’s “focus.”
  • Breckenridge admitted she doesn’t like to dwell on her approach to a specific role.
Alexandra Breckenridge as Sophie Inman in 'This Is Us' Season 6. She's wearing a yellow cardigan, holding a bag and jacket, and smiling.
Alexandra Breckenridge in ‘This Is Us’ | Ron Batzdorff/NBC

This Is Us Season 6 pulled out all the stops before bringing the beloved NBC series to a close, and that meant returning to supporting characters like Sophie Inman (Alexandra Breckenridge), as well as wrapping up the Pearsons’ story. Reflecting on her time on the show, Breckenridge compared the experience of playing Sophie to her lead role on Netflix’s Virgin River. In doing so, she identified one key difference.

Alexandra Breckenridge compared her ‘This Is Us’ and ‘Virgin River’ roles

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Virgin River Season 4 debuted this July, throwing fans back into Mel Monroe’s story. And with Alexandra Breckenridge also reprising her role as Sophie in This Is Us Season 6, it’s been a busy year for the actor. Of course, the two projects are very different, especially when it comes to the characters she’s playing.

During an interview with Narcity, Breckenridge compared her two roles. The most noteworthy difference she pointed out is the fact that Mel is the lead of Virgin River, while Sophie’s mostly there to offer support in This Is Us.

“Mel is really the main focus of Virgin River from the beginning,” Breckenridge explained. “But in This is Us, Sophie is not the main focus. It’s more the Pearson family.”

That changes Breckenridge’s approach to the part, as she’s pushing a story forward — but not necessarily her own.

“From that perspective, as an actress, I’m really just facilitating that storyline,” she added.

Whether she’s playing Sophie or Mel, Alexandra Breckenridge doesn’t like to dwell on the approach

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Although Alexandra Breckenridge views her This Is Us and Virgin River roles very differently, the actor admits she doesn’t like to dwell on the approach — whether she’s portraying Sophie, Mel, or someone else entirely.

“I don’t write anything down, I don’t think about it too much,” she told Narcity. “I get the script, I know where they are, I know where they come from, and I sometimes have a playlist.”

That’s certainly one way to avoid complications, and it seems to have worked for Breckenridge so far. Her reappearance in This Is Us Season 6 Episode 14 proved a heartwarming affair. It was also emotional for the actor, enough so that it elicited tears.

‘This Is Us’ Season 6 made the Sophie actor cry

Alexandra Breckenridge may not dwell too heavily on portraying characters like Sophie Inman, but that doesn’t stop the This Is Us star from getting emotionally invested.

Speaking with Glamour, Breckenridge revealed that she had a strong reaction to Sophie and Kevin’s reunion in season 6. It even made her tear up:

“When I read this script originally, I went on this huge emotional roller coaster, watching Kevin with all these different women. I was like, What’s going to happen? Even though I knew what was going to happen. And I definitely cried a little bit when I was finished with the episode, but I was just really excited.”

Breckenridge isn’t the only one who cried during the last season of This Is Us. Mandy Moore has also been vocal about the difficulties of bidding farewell to the NBC show. Clearly, the stars were just as attached as the fans. And at least we can revisit the Pearsons’ story after it’s over.

This Is Us Season 6 is currently streaming on Peacock and Hulu.

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