×
You will be redirected back to your article in seconds

Remote Controlled: ‘This Is Us’ Cast Spills on Season 2 Twists, Jack’s Death and Emmys

Welcome to “Remote Controlled,” a podcast from Variety featuring the best and brightest in television, both in front of and behind the camera.

In today’s episode, Variety’s executive editor of TV Debra Birnbaum talks with “This is Us” stars Sterling K. Brown, Chrissy Metz, and Milo Ventimiglia. The three actors have all been nominated for Emmy Awards — out of seven acting nominations for the show and 10 overall.

“For any show, that’s huge. For a network show to be part of the conversation in that way is absolutely outstanding,” says Brown, pointing out that he was disappointed that the writers didn’t get recognized. “We ain’t coming up with this stuff on our own. … As time goes by, I hope the writers get their due.”

Ventimiglia says that the awards recognition hasn’t changed them at all. “The heart you put into the work is the same as before,” he says. “Showing up with this group of people … it’s a joy.”

Ventimiglia’s Jack so far has only interacted with Randall (Brown), but the actors say they hope they all get to work together in the upcoming season. “I feel like there is a version of time travel with the show,” says Ventimiglia. “It’s on Dan’s mind because I’m definitely in Dan’s ear saying, ‘Hey, I really want to work with everyone, please.'”

Adds Metz, who plays Kate, “The fans really want to see us together.”

They’re back in production on the second season, and they assure that the show is “cooking like Crisco,” says Brown. “You have the smallest amount of fear that there will be a sophomore slump, and you read 201 and you’re like, ‘No.'” He adds, “The stories shift and we go deeper into the past and further into the future.”

Ron Cephas Jones, whose character William passed away last season, is still part of the show, they reveal. “The scenes they come up with for Ron … it’s just right,” says Brown.

Brown says he’s been spending a lot of time in the writers’ room, which has a diverse makeup of scripters of different genders, races, and sexual orientations. “They all throw it all it into the salad bowl, and it all gets shaken around, and you get this beautiful, nutritious, entertaining meal,” he says.

Season 2 will bring the celebration of the 37th birthday of the Big Three, with explorations of the cliffhangers that ended the first season. Kate is exploring her singing career, Randall and Beth are looking into adoption, and Kevin is working on his movie career. “I will be doing a little singing,” says Metz. “It’s an exciting thread and through line for the character.”

As for Jack and Rebecca, “Mom and Dad are trying to figure out how it all went wrong,” says Ventimiglia, who says his storyline picks up right after the big fight. “It’s heartbreaking. And it’s so relevant to what a lot of us experience as people.” He adds, “Jack and Rebecca are working their way back to each other.”

And there’s the inevitable question of Jack’s death. “With Dan Fogelman’s style of writing and storytelling, with every answer there are 20 more questions,” says Ventimiglia. “Very quickly, you’re going to know what happened. … But if you pay attention, really close attention, there are markers and symbols that will help you understand the greater mystery of Jack dying.”

You can listen to today’s episode here:

New episodes of “Remote Controlled” are available every Friday, and you can find past episodes here.

Popular on Variety

More TV

  • Elite Season 2

    San Sebastian: Spain’s SVOD Players Debate Competition, Brand, Talent

    SAN SEBASTIAN  — Executives from HBO, Netflix, Amazon and Movistar+ and “Elite” co-creator Darío Madrona took to the stage to field questions on the Global Impact of Spanish Series. Here, briefly, are five takeaways: 1.Spain First “La Casa de Papel” was watched by 34,355,956 Netflix accounts over its first seven days,  after a July 19 [...]

  • Samsung Makes Bid to Keep Viewers

    Samsung Makes Bid to Keep Viewers From Skipping Fox Ad Breaks

    Fox is hoping to knit together the seconds-long divide between a TV program and the commercials that support it. During ad breaks for a few football broadcasts, tomorrow’s run of the Emmys and Wednesday’s season premiere of “The Masked Singer,” the network will kick off ad sessions with special show promos that display artistic renderings [...]

  • Patria

    HBO Europe Unveils ‘Patria’ Footage to Captive San Sebastian Audience

    SAN SEBASTIAN — Amid large expectation, HBO Europe has revealed first footage giving a first sense of tone and pace of its Spanish original series “Patria.” A packed-to-overflowing press conference on Saturday morning at the San Sebastian Festival can be read as one sign of the potential popularity of the eight-part series. The panel sneak-peek [...]

  • Topic Studios

    Layoffs Hit Topic Studios as TV Division Relocates to West Coast (EXCLUSIVE)

    A small round of layoffs has hit Topic Studios this week in the television division, insiders familiar with the company told Variety. One of the insiders said three executives at the New York-based producer and distributor are out: senior vice president of scripted programming and Viacom alum Lisa Leingang, vice president of development Mona Panchal [...]

  • Peter Weber and Mike Johnson

    'The Bachelor's' Mike Johnson on Diversity and New Leading Man Peter Weber

    ABC named its newest star of “The Bachelor” this week, officially making Peter Weber the leading man for Season 24 of the long-running dating show. Social media backlash ensued following the announcement due to ABC’s selection lacking diversity, yet again. Since the dating franchise began in 2002, there has been only one “Bachelorette” of color [...]

  • ABC Studios Logo

    ABC Studios Head of Alternative Fernando Hernandez Exits

    ABC Studios’ head of alternative Fernando Hernandez has departed from his post at the Disney-owned television studio, a source familiar with the situation told Variety. The Hollywood Reporter first reported the news. Hernandez’s exit follows an executive shuffling at the top in recent months that has included the departure of Amy Hartwick, ABC Studio’s head [...]

  • Rob Cowan, Greg Silverman'The Conjuring 2'

    Greg Silverman’s Stampede, School of Rock Team for Unscripted Series (EXCLUSIVE)

    Former president of Warner Bros. Pictures Greg Silverman is partnering with School of Rock through his content creation company Stampede. The collaboration with the music school will create exclusive content, starting with the development of an unscripted series.  School of Rock operates a network of performance-based education franchises that offer students of all ages guidance [...]

More From Our Brands

Access exclusive content