‘This Is Us’: How Mandy Moore Has Changed Since Playing Rebecca Pearson on the Hit Series

Before Mandy Moore starred on This Is Us, she was known for her hit single, “Candy,” and starring as Lana Thomas in The Princess Diaries. However, as the patriarch on This Is Us, Mandy Moore recently described how she changed since playing Rebecca Pearson.

Mandy Moore on This Is Us with Hannah Zeile
‘This Is Us’ Season 5 with Mandy Moore as Rebecca and Hannah Zeile as Kate | NBC/NBCU Photo Bank/Getty Images

Mandy Moore prepared extensively for Rebecca Pearson’s storyline on ‘This Is Us’

In the season 3 finale of This Is Us, Mandy Moore portrayed a much older Rebecca Pearson. Fans could surmise that she was on her deathbed, and her family was coming to say their final goodbyes. At that point, viewers did not know that Rebecca would see some early signs of Alzheimer’s in season 4.

However, Moore knew what was going to happen in the future of the show. She began researching the disease by reading books, listening to podcasts, and watching documentaries. The actor met with several neurologists and recalled “asking a ton of questions.” Moore was intent on portraying the illness accurately.

RELATED: Miguel on ‘This Is Us’ — Here’s When His Backstory is Finally Coming

“I’m glad that the audience of a show like ours on network television that reaches so many people, we’re able to tell the story that mirrors so many people living in this country and around the world,” she told Today. “It’s high time that Alzheimer’s gets the attention that it deserves because it’s not going anywhere.”

‘This Is Us’ Season 4; Mandy Moore’ wept’ after the movie theater scene

Although Mandy Moore hasn’t had a family member with Alzheimer’s, her role in This Is Us brought her a lot of grief.

“I think from diving deep into this research and just being a human being,” she began. “You can’t help but find empathy for what people are going through and what families are going through. It needs all of our attention at this point.”

In another interview, Moore described how difficult it is to hide her grief for Rebecca while acting. During This Is Us Season 4, Moore recalled when her character finally told Randall (Sterling K. Brown) that she was sitting in a movie theater and couldn’t remember what movie she went to see.

Mandy Moore and Sterling K. Brown on This Is Us
‘This Is Us’ Season 4: Mandy Moore as Rebecca, Sterling K. Brown as Randall | Ron Batzdorff/NBC/NBCU Photo Bank/ Getty Images

“I think she had been denying herself for as long as things sort of started to feel off,” Moore told the Los Angeles Times. “I remember after we were done with the scene, we went to lunch. We were moving on. I was done working for the day, and I just wept. I was just like, ‘I’m so heartbroken for this woman.'”

Moore is more reflective about her life and how they spend time together

Throughout her research and playing Rebecca Pearson, Moore has learned not to take any moment for granted. Portraying an 82 or 83-year-old version of herself on her deathbed certainly hit home. In Today’s interview, she explained how important it is to eat well, exercise, and rest.

“They have a great bearing on our brain health,” Moore said about the importance of eating right. “The more knowledge we have, the ability to have this dialogue about dementia and about preventative measures, it’s only going to help things.”