‘This Is Us’: Mandy Moore Reflects on Aging After Rebecca’s Death: ‘It’s Happening to All of Us’

NBC’s most recent episode of This Is Us featured Rebecca Pearson’s death. This Is Us Season 6 Episode 17, “The Train,” took viewers along for a literal train ride as Rebecca got to see various events and people throughout her life before she took her final breaths. Now, Rebecca actor Mandy Moore is reflecting on aging in society after her character’s death.

[Spoiler alert: Spoilers ahead for This Is Us Season 6 Episode 17, “The Train.”]

Mandy Moore detailed her ‘strange’ experience watching ‘This Is Us’ Season 6 Episode 17, ‘The Train’

Randall actor Sterling K. Brown looking at Mandy Moore playing Rebecca as she's lying in a hospital bed in 'This Is Us' Season 6 Episode 17, 'The Train'
Sterling K. Brown as Randall, Mandy Moore as Rebecca | Ron Batzdorff/NBC

Fans braced for an emotional experience with This Is Us Season 6 Episode 17, “The Train.” Mandy Moore warned fans it would be a tough one to get through, as she stated she even threw up when she initially read the script. Now, she’s reflecting on her experience watching the episode for the first time, which she did when it aired live for all to see.

“I mean, it’s strange,” Moore told The Hollywood Reporter. “I was sitting next to my husband watching it, and watching his emotions and feeling him made it even more emotional. It’s the end of an era. It’s saying goodbye to this woman I’ve had the pleasure of knowing and inhabiting for six years. And the fact that I’ll never get to do it again, it’s just this weird confluence of gratitude and sadness; it’s quite bittersweet.”

When filming the scenes with the Pearsons saying their goodbyes to Rebecca, Moore noted she had a really tough time tuning out her emotions. “Because, as much as I’d like to, I can’t be crying,” she added. “I can’t be present. So I had to put myself in the middle of the ocean on my own plane.”

Mandy Moore is reflecting on aging after Rebecca’s death

Miguel and Rebecca eating a meal together in 'This Is Us' Season 6 Episode 15
Mandy Moore as Rebecca, Jon Huertas as Miguel | Ron Batzdorff/NBC

This Is Us Season 6 Episode 17 brought Rebecca’s story to an end, and it was also likely the last time Mandy Moore had to be in makeup that aged her. Now, she’s reflecting on the experience of aging.

“It’s happening to all of us at all times,” she told Variety. “I know it’s a scary concept and I know we celebrate youth in our culture, but it’s an important conversation to have and done so well with our show. You’re able to see this isn’t just an 80-something woman who is finding herself in decline with Alzheimer’s. This is a woman who was a mother — a young mother and a young wife and a mother to teenagers and a mother to adults.”

Moore also told The Hollywood Reporter she wasn’t sure how she would pull off playing older Rebecca. But she kept her faith in show creator Dan Fogelman. “I just knew that whatever story we were going to choose to tell and however we were going to choose to tell it, would be done with compassion and grace and discipline,” she said.

When is the last episode of ‘This Is Us’?

The This Is Us Season 6 finale airs Tuesday, May 24, at 9 p.m. ET on NBC. The final episode, titled “Us,” will bring the Pearsons into the future way beyond Rebecca’s death. Mandy Moore told The Hollywood Reporter it’s safe to think of This Is Us Season 6 Episode 17 as the final chapter, and the finale is more like an epilogue, as it doesn’t carry the same emotional weight as “The Train.”

“We’ve been through a lot, but we’re not going to end on that particular note,” the actor noted. “We’re going to inject a little bit more joy in your life to say goodbye.”

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