Buckle up, This Is Us fans: There’s more heartbreak on the horizon.
On Sunday’s night special post-Super Bowl episode, the hit NBC series finally aired the moment fans have been anxiously anticipating for over a year: the death of beloved-yet-flawed TV dad Jack Pearson (Milo Ventimiglia). His costar Mandy Moore, who plays wife Rebecca Pearson, opened up about the gut-wrenching scenes — and the many more to come — during an interview on the Today show Tuesday.
Moore, 33, admitted that she feels “tremendously relieved” now that the circumstances surrounding Jack’s death have finally unfolded.
“Milo and I, for one, have known since the very beginning — not all of the specifics around how he passes away, but it’s just nice to sort of pop that bubble a little bit,” she said. “Now we can move forward with the show and answer more pressing questions, as well.”
And fans weren’t the only ones sobbing during the emotionally charged episode: Moore said the entire cast got teary watching the episode at creator Dan Fogelman’s house last week.
“None of us could speak afterwards. We were sort of speechless,” she said. “And then we were recounting some of our favorite parts of the episode and favorite lines, and we would all start crying again. So it affects us, too. Pretty much all of the episodes affect all of us. We all cry!”
The series returns with an all-new episode Tuesday — and according to Moore, it’s going to be just as intense, if not more.
“I dare say, it’s even more heartbreaking,” she said.
But ultimately, all the tears are a gratifying reminder of how viewers connect with the show at such a high level.
“It’s incredible,” said Moore. “All of us were at the Super Bowl yesterday before the episode, here in Minneapolis, and just meeting people, everywhere we went, that were just as excited about the show or to talk about the show as they were about the game — it’s pretty mind-blowing to feel people’s direct connection to this family.”
“They always want to have in depth conversations with you, as well,” she added. “They don’t want to just sort of give a compliment in passing, they want to really connect with you and talk about what draws them in, and what family member reminds them of what character on the show — it’s really just remarkable.”
This Is Us returns with an all-new episode Tuesday at 9 p.m. ET on NBC.