‘This Is Us’: Why Mandy Moore Was Reluctant to Audition

TL;DR:

  • Mandy Moore faced multiple failed pilots before joining This Is Us.
  • The Rebecca Pearson actor admitted she was reluctant to sign onto the NBC series.
  • Moore expressed “unending gratitude” for her time as Rebecca Pearson.
'This Is Us' star Mandy Moore on the red carpet for the series finale premiere. She's wearing a black top and blue blazer, and she's standing in front of a photo of Miguel Rivas. She's smiling at someone off-screen.
Mandy Moore | Jon Kopaloff/Getty Images

Mandy Moore has become known for playing Rebecca Pearson on This Is Us, but the actor was reluctant to pursue a part in the NBC show. After auditioning for numerous failed pilots, Moore was concerned about whether or not the network would actually move forward with This Is Us. Fortunately, things worked out better than she expected.

Mandy Moore considered a career change before ‘This Is Us’

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That’s right, Mandy Moore wasn’t always a shoo-in to play Rebecca Pearson on This Is Us. She needed to audition for the role, and she was considering a career change before she stumbled upon it.

During a recent appearance on On Air With Ryan Seacrest, Moore admitted her acting career “wasn’t getting traction” ahead of the NBC show. The frequent rejection left her wondering what to do next.

“I mean, I’m 38,” Moore said. “I’ve been doing this since I was 15, and this was certainly this very unexpected chapter of my life. I mean, before the show came along, I was contemplating just kind of… not throwing in the towel, but like, maybe I need to change direction.”

Moore delved further into that experience during another interview, where she admitted her reluctance to audition for Rebecca went beyond individual rejections. With networks regularly shooting down pilots, she wasn’t eager for further disappointment — even if the script for This Is Us impressed her immediately.

Why Mandy Moore was reluctant to join the NBC series

https://youtu.be/K19nme01J3c

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It wasn’t just personal rejection that left Mandy Moore reluctant to pursue a role on This Is Us. Her hesitance also stemmed from networks’ tendency to cancel series in the midst of pilot season.

During an interview with AwardsWatch, Moore recalled how taken she was with the initial script. Believe it or not, that made her more nervous about auditioning for the NBC show:

“I had sort of been through four failed pilot seasons, where nothing sort of came to fruition. And I was so… I was just, not at my wit’s end, [but] I was just heartbroken. I was like, ‘I don’t know if I can keep doing this and feel like my soul is getting crushed.’ And I remember reading the script for This Is Us [and] thinking, ‘Oh my goodness, it’s so good, but it’s NBC and it’s pilot season and all of these things that I said I didn’t want to do anymore.'”

Fortunately, Mandy Moore weighed the pros and cons of joining This Is Us and realized she had more to gain than lose.

“Obviously, it worked out in my favor,” she mused. “So, I was so desperate for a job. And then the fact that this job came along and I got cast, I thought, ‘Even if it doesn’t make it on the air, it’s John [Requa] and Glenn [Ficarra], it’s Dan Fogelman. It’s such an incredible group of creatives. We will make something we’re proud of, undoubtedly.'”

The ‘This Is Us’ star called Rebecca Pearson the ‘role of a ‘lifetime’

Six seasons later, Mandy Moore and the creators of This Is Us certainly did make something worthy of pride. The NBC series has captured fans’ hearts and left many longing for additional content. And Moore herself looks back on her experience with fondness. During a featurette for NBC, the actor reflected on her time as Rebecca Pearson.

“I have unending gratitude for Rebecca Pearson,” she said. “What a gift to play this woman from her early adulthood to the very end of her life. She’s just set this gold standard for the kind of parent I hope I can be.”

After such a stunning performance, fans are equally as grateful that Moore wound up pursuing the role. And they can revisit her take on the character whenever they’d like.

All six seasons of This Is Us are currently streaming on Peacock and Hulu.

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