‘This Is Us’: Is the Actor Who Plays Jack Damon Visually Impaired in Real Life?
This Is Us reintroduced viewers to the character of Jack Damon, played by Blake Stadnik, during “Four Fathers,” the third episode in the series final season. In the future, Toby and Kate’s son appears to have achieved extraordinary professional success as a musician. He is also happily married to Lucy (Auden Thornton). On the show, the character is visually impaired. Is Stadnik visually impaired as well?
Blake Stadnik is a musical theater actor
According to Good Housekeeping, Stadnik is a trained musical theater actor.
Stadnik hails from the same area as his fictional television family, Pittsburgh, PA. He graduated from Penn State as a musical theater major.
According to a report by the LA Times, Stadnik was able to navigate theater the stage by “remembering [stage] directions, practicing the movements and keeping it all in his head.”
“He can’t recognize faces, but he can see shapes. So he can detect where the other actors are and pick up somewhat on their body language, which helps serve as his stage cues,” the paper reported.
Stadnik has starred in Newsies, Sweeney Todd, 42nd Street, and Guys and Dolls.
Is Blake Stadnik visually impaired?
In searching for the right actor to play the role of Jack Damon, Toby (Chris Sullivan), and Kate’s (Chrissy Metz) son, This Is Us, showrunner Dan Fogelman and his team prioritized finding someone who was also visually impaired.
In an interview with Entertainment Tonight, showrunner Dan Fogelman explained why Stadnik was cast in the titular role.
“It was an interesting casting process because we wanted to cast a blind actor. We had started our casting process very early, even in our off-season. I was looking for a leading man who was without sight and who could be funny, charming, accessible, and sweet,” Fogelman explained of finding Stadnik.
“We wanted to find an actor who could be a leading man and [was] very handsome and very funny and looked great with his bare abs on national television, but also be able to stand in the Greek [Theatre] in front of a live audience and actually perform and sing a song. There were a lot of boxes to check,” Fogelman continued.
What ‘This Is Us’ fans know about Jack thus far
This Is Us viewers were initially given little information regarding Jack Damon’s adulthood.
In the series opener for season 4, This Is Us, viewers were introduced to adult Jack during a diner scene. There he met a waitress named Lucy. They hit it off right away, fell in love, married, and had their first daughter.
In the most recent episode of This Is Us, fans learned further about Jack’s life moving forward.
Jack experiences an injury related to a smoker purchased by Toby. The Damon family patriarch believed the item would create happy family memories for Jack, Kate, and Hailey. Instead, it spelled the beginning of the end of his marriage to Kate.
This Is Us airs Tuesdays at 9 p.m. EST on NBC.