‘This Is Us’: Why Michael Angarano Isn’t Playing Older Nicky Pearson

Michael Angarano

Michael Angarano | Jason Merritt/Getty Images

This Is Us has been pretty clever when approaching timelines. There have been multiple actors playing the same role because of age differences. But there have also been actors who simply used makeup to pass off their character being a different age. Michael Angarano was a new addition to the show but he isn’t playing the older version of Nicky Pearson. Here is the reason why and more.

Randall, Kate, and Kevin have met older Nicky Pearson

Kevin (Justin Hartley) revealed that his uncle was not only alive but where he lived in the current timeline. So he goes to meet him with Kate (Chrissy Metz) and Randall (Sterling K. Brown.) We then see Nicky (Griffin Dunne) is living alone in a trailer as a 70-year-old and it’s obvious that Michael Angarano, who played the younger version of the character, isn’t playing him. So why the switch?

They thought it would be too big of a stretch for Michael Angarano to play a 70-year-old man

Griffin Dunne as Nicky Pearson

Griffin Dunne as Nicky Pearson in ‘This Is Us’ | NBC

Mandy Moore has gotten praise for playing the 60-year-old version of Rebecca along with the younger versions. But the show obviously didn’t go down the same road with Michael Angarano.

This Is Us executive producer Issac Aptaker explained the difference with Entertainment Weekly. “Mandy is such a chameleon,” said Aptaker. “We’re always amazed with what our hair and makeup department are able to do with her.”

He then said, “Michael is an incredible actor, and I thought he gave an amazing performance when he’s playing Nicky in his 40s. But at a certain point, he has such a baby face, it just breaks, and hair and makeup can only do so much. We didn’t want it to feel like kids playing old characters in a high school play.”

Griffin Dunne previously played Angarano’s father in Snow Angels

Griffin Dunne and Angarano previously worked together in the 2007 movie, Snow Angels. But that’s not the reason why he got the job of playing older Nick Pearson.

“We were looking for someone who (a) had the chops and (b) felt like they could play an older Michael,” explained Aptaker. “Once they said the name [Griffin Dunne], we were like, ‘Let’s look at them side by side, because that’s the only way you can know.’ We saw it, and we were like, ‘Oh my god! Yeah!  Amazing!’ And we all love him. He’s had such an amazing career, we’ve all loved him in so many things that we were just excited he was willing to come out to California and do it.”

Now that the show has met the character in his older years it won’t be jumping back so Angarano won’t be seen for some time. So the age difference for Michael Angarano seemed too great to pull off. The show happened to cast Griffin Dunne who already played the actor’s father in a previous project.

Read more: Before ‘This Is Us’: How Actor Michael Angarano Got His Start

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