‘This Is Us’ Star Mandy Moore Learned This Important Lesson From Playing Rebecca
There’s a unique perspective that Mandy Moore has experienced from playing Rebecca Pearson on This Is Us that not all actors can claim. Her role as Rebecca spans the decades, from her story as a young woman to a flash-forward as an elderly woman.
Moore’s transformation as Rebecca through the years is impressive
Seeing Moore’s character age throughout the series to reflect her story over the years is impressive — and no small feat to pull off.
In 2017, Moore shared some of the process that the hair and makeup team has to put into aging the actress, as she told Refinery29: “It takes about three and a half hours.”
When everyone else is finished for the day, Moore has a process for removing her aging makeup as well, noting, “You wrap for the day, and everyone’s like, ‘Bye!’ But you still have an hour-long process of taking off the makeup.”
She continued, “It’s a lot of chemicals. You have to put on a greasy remover lotion in order to remove the prosthetic pieces and the ager, which goes on like a glue that you have to dry with a hair dryer. It makes the skin look crepe-y and older. Then, I have to wrap my face in hot towels, and we just keep doing that over and over again.”
As you’d imagine, the process “ruins” her skin, she shared, and the producers work to give her skin a breather. Moore noted: “They’re usually pretty good about that. They’ll make it so I have a day on and a day off from that makeup. It gives my skin a chance to breathe and acclimate.”
She’s played a huge range of ages
Getting to play a character who fans see at ages between 16 and 85 gives her a whole lot of perspective.
In an Aug. 2019 interview with The Wrap, she explained, “It’s a lot,” adding, “I’m sort of the one character on the show who is jumping around in time. I played 16 and 85 all in one season, and every other age in between.”
She continued: “I think a lot of the story focused on the immediate aftermath of Jack’s passing and this grieving widow trying to pick up the pieces of her life and figure out how to be a single parent when she leaned so much on the superhero that was her husband. And the kids are graduating and life is in flux in so many ways. So that was a heavy burden to carry.”
One important thing Moore learned from the experience
It’s also showed Moore a glimpse of the future, in a way, and has helped her realize something that is difficult for some women to get a handle on — how to embrace the aging process.
She told The Guardian in a Nov. 19, 2019 article about fashion that “playing a character who gets visibly older [in This Is Us] has given me the opportunity to fast-forward in time — and my goodness, I should be so lucky if I look like her!”
She added: “Rebecca is beautiful, but it’s helped me embrace aging at a time when I might not have. I don’t think I will dress like she does when I reach that age, though — I hope that I’m a little more chic, although who knows what that will look like 30 years from now.”