Mandy Moore wants your blessing. In an interview with Us Weekly, Moore said she doesn’t know exactly when things turned romantic between her This Is Us character, Rebecca Pearson, and her late husband’s best friend, Miguel (Jon Huertas), but she is confident that nothing sketchy happened before Jack (Milo Ventimiglia) died.
“I’m obsessed with Jon Huertas — we all are,” Moore told Us. “And he is such a good sport about the fact that people are so down on him. I think people have to have faith in Jack and Rebecca, and realize that there’s nothing untoward that happened.”
Moore said she has “a vague” idea about when Rebecca and Miguel first hooked up, but says the show’s cast doesn’t know the specific details until they get the scripts. Still, Mandy has faith that the upcoming scripts will stay true to the This Is Us characters that viewers have come to know and, sometimes, love.
“I think people should have faith in the type of people they are and that we would act accordingly,” Mandy said. “In my mind, I’ve always sort of [assumed] that there’s no overlap [between Jack and Miguel]. Hundred percent.”
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Mandy Moore points to Episode 15 as an eye-opener when it comes to Huertas’ controversial character.
“I know, in particular, in episode 15, for me, I walked away from the script going, ‘If people aren’t in love with Miguel at this point …,” Mandy teased.
Mandy Moore’s TV husband, Milo Ventimiglia, has offered similar sentiments about that particular episode. According to TV Guide, at the This Is Us screening for Television Critics Association members, Ventimiglia predicted fans will have a change of heart about hHuertaas’ character in a few weeks.
“If after episode 15, you don’t love Miguel or understand him or give him a chance, you might just be an unhappy person in general,” Ventimiglia told reporters.
“It’s sad, because I don’t believe that it’s Miguel’s fault. People fell so in love with Jack and Rebecca that they couldn’t see anyone else.”
Indeed, This Is Us fans were not happy when they found out that Jack was no longer with Rebecca in the present day, and that Moore’s character was instead married to her late husband’s best friend.
But at the TCA panel, Mandy Moore staunchly defended Huertas’ This Is Us character.
“People just assume that Miguel slithered his way in,” Mandy Moore said. “There’s no way. I know it’s not true, even if I don’t know [the specifics].”
Mandy Moore also pointed out that Pearson’s marriage was not exactly perfect, reminding fans about Jack’s drinking problem earlier in the season. Mandy also referred to Episode 15 as a pivotal one for This Is Us fans.
“We learn in the second episode [about] the alcohol,” Mandy Moore said. “We’re shooting episode 15 right now and there are definitely issues that come to light that are not pretty. Frankly, they are traits that Rebecca is not attracted to and does not like at all.”
Earlier this week, Ventimiglia dropped a big clue about his character’s relationship with the man that would go on to marry his wife.
“What people need to understand is, Miguel and Jack are best friends. Jack is not around — and I can’t say anything more than that — but Miguel loves Jack and Jack loves Miguel. They are brothers, so to say,” Milo told Entertainment Tonight.
“The nice thing [and] the exciting thing is to be able to explore their friendship in younger years, maybe even before Rebecca. Did they know each other beforehand? What’s their relationship after?”
Ventimiglia’s comment about “after” means that Jack may have been alive when his wife and bestie got together.
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Indeed, Ventimiglia makes it sound like at least he is giving Huertas’ character his blessing.
“If you don’t love Miguel by episode 15, you should just turn the show off,” the actor told ET.
“[He’s getting the short end [of the stick] because everyone loves Jack and Rebecca that they can’t see this version with Miguel. He’s got a heart of gold and he has a big, big moment coming up in episode 15 that is really going to solidify people going, ‘OK, OK. I’m OK with it. I got you.'”
Mandy Moore agreed that fans will have a change of tune about her character’s second husband after that particular episode.
“If people aren’t fond of Miguel, then we haven’t done our jobs,” Mandy Moore told ET. “I walked away from reading that script and was like, ‘OK! Done deal. I love him.’… I hope people give him a chance.”
This Is Us fans know that in the 1980s, Miguel is married to Shelly (Wynn Everett) and has two kids with her. But the synopsis for the upcoming episode titled “I Call Marriage” reveals that the couple “break some devastating news to Jack and Rebecca, which makes them worry about their own relationship.”
Sounds like at least one This Is Us couple is headed for divorce.
But as fans know, another couple is headed for a funeral. According to Entertainment Tonight, a preview clip from the upcoming episode “Three Sentences’ will give viewers a glimpse at Jack’s funeral with a montage that features a photo of the late Pearson patriarch and the urn containing his ashes. The sequence will play out as the Pearsons’ adult daughter Kate (Chrissy Metz) thinks about the past.
“Next week is a big week,” This Is Us creator Dan Fogelman told TCA reporters. “There’s a hinge in this family and it’s kind of the before with Jack and the after. That’ll be interesting in future seasons as we go forward to show where that hinge was, what happened to the family before and after.”
The showrunner added that viewers will eventually learn when and how the Pearson patriarch died and how Mandy Moore’s character ends up with his best friend, but that the story will unravel over “many many episodes.”
Take a look at the video below to see Mandy Moore talking about her character’s “soulful connection” to her first husband on This Is Us.
[Featured Image by Jesse Grant/Getty Images for NBCUniversal]