Skip to main content

Now that This Is Us is finally delving into adult Randall Pearson’s (Sterling K. Brown) college love story, fans get to see teenage Randall work his magic on the previously reluctant Beth (Rachel Hilson).

This also includes how it affects his present-day relationship with his mother-in-law, Carol (Felicia Rashad). Who plays teenage Randall, and why does he consider one of the actors on set “Hollywood royalty?”

How teenage Randall ties into adult Randall’s story

Niles Fitch from 'This Is Us' on the red carpet
Niles Fitch attends Walt Disney Television Emmy Party | Leon Bennett/WireImage

Currently on This Is Us, adult Randall has just settled in as City Councilman. He uprooted his family to the district he now serves, and present-day Beth just opened her own dance studio.

The last episode showed how complex Randall’s relationship is with Carol, which extends back to Randall’s college days where he met Beth.

Present-day Randall is as much of a people-pleaser as the other versions of Randall through the years with one caveat: He’s beginning to understand his limits and will draw the line, respectfully, of course.

The loss of his father, Jack (Milo Ventimiglia), left a huge void in all the Pearson’s lives. Randall, however, is the one child who used his grief to uplift and re-focus his siblings while often ignoring his own grief.

This much was shown when Carol tried to take over Beth’s studio opening. Randall spoke up on Beth’s behalf, then apologized immediately after. If this isn’t the perfect explanation of the character, we’re not sure what is.

Who plays teenage Randall on ‘This Is Us’?

Niles Fitch plays teenage Randall on This Is Us and he captures the anxious, perfectionist essence of Randall in almost the exact same way Brown and younger version, Lonnie Chavis, has.

Cautious and exact, teenage Randall extends himself in any way others need him to, even at the sacrifice of his own needs and limitations.

Fitch’s work began in commercials. He eventually landed work on Tyler Perry’s 2011 series, House of Payne, and Army Wives, among other projects. He landed the role of Randall Pearson in 2016 and the rest is history.

As for what’s next, Fitch, he’ll star in Miss Virginia alongside Uzo Aduba, as well as Disney’s live-action original movie, Secret Society of Second Born Royals, where he’ll be the first black prince.

Who is Niles Fitch ‘starstruck’ by on the ‘This Is Us’ set?

Though it seems like Fitch is an old pro on the set of This Is Us, he recently told Pop Sugar who intimidates him on set (yes, even the mega-talented feel intimidation).

“I didn’t really know what to say to her,” he said of acting opposite Rashad. “I still don’t know what to say to her. She’s such a regal figure, and in real life, she just comes off like she’s Hollywood royalty.”

He’s not wrong. The former Cosby Show actress can hold her own. Fitch, however, does a fine job leveling up.

As far as Randall’s relationship with Carol in the early days of courting Beth, Fitch said there’s a strain because the two are “polar opposites.”

“Randall is a very happy [person], and Carol is more reserved when dealing with people,” he said. “[She’s] more of a closed book, while Randall is very open and accepting of everybody and understanding people’s stories.”

He continued: “Beth has both sides [of those personalities] from her father being the type of person that Randall is, and then her mother being [the opposite].”

Fitch concluded Beth’s decision comes in whether she’d prefer to deal with someone like her dad, or not. In the end, we know they end up together. Obviously Beth and Randall get past the roadblocks that happen in the flashbacks with Fitch.

If they didn’t, we’d have no “R&B” to get us through the tears.