Mandy Moore Says She Hyperventilated When She Read ‘This Is Us’ Script

Mandy Moore says she cries just as much, if not more, than viewers do when they watch This Is Us. Moore, who plays matriarch Rebecca Pearson on the hit NBC drama, told Adweek that the entire cast wears their hearts on their sleeves as they try not to cry while reading the scripts.

“I don’t think I’ve cried as much as I did when I read that Episode 16 script,” Mandy admitted to Adweek. “I couldn’t catch my breath—I was hyperventilating—and I felt the same way when I actually watched the episode.”

Moore went on to say that tears are shed by all of her fellow cast mates during the This is Us table reads.

“No one comes out unscathed,” Mandy said.

This Is Us fans may want to stock up on the tissue and wine because the upcoming second season already sounds like a doozy. Mandy Moore’s TV husband, Milo Ventimiglia, told Entertainment Tonight that things won’t be easy for the Pearson family when the show picks up in September. Fans know that the Season 1 finale, “Moonshadow,” ended with Jack (Ventimiglia) and Rebecca Pearson separating after a blowout argument.

Moore told Entertainment Weekly the episode’s pivotal argument scene, in which Rebecca called out Jack for his “convenient” bouts of alcoholism and Jack reduced her to a “ridiculous” 40-year-old woman singing in a club, was an upsetting one to get through.

“The vibe on set when we actually went to shoot it was like, I don’t know, it was unlike anything I’ve ever really felt before,” Mandy told ET. “The crew was handling the scene with kid gloves, but it was also upsetting for everyone to see Jack and Rebecca in this place. Yeah, it was an uncomfortable situation all around for everybody, and I think that tension really permeated the entire set.”

Moore also said a little surprised that Jack didn’t fight harder when her character suggested he stay at his friend Miguel’s for a while.

“I think I wholeheartedly believed that he would fight for it,” Mandy revealed. “And the fact that he didn’t only further solidified like, ‘OK — then this is truly what we need to be doing right now. The man that I knew would fight for this relationship, for his wife, for the marriage.’ And the fact that Rebecca’s suggestion is taken with such a seemingly agreeable same-page stance says everything.”

While Mandy Moore described the “Moonshadow” finale episode as “a turning point in the story of this family” and said “it’s the perfect place to leave people,” she admitted that the final second of the show, which had her teardrop landing on the moon necklace Jack gave her, wasn’t scripted.

“I just saw that last shot, and it was the tear rolling down my face, then it landed on the necklace as I’m holding the necklace — all of that was not planned, I just did it in the moment,” Mandy revealed.

“I honestly wasn’t thinking anything, I didn’t plan anything, Ultimately, no matter how tumultuous the relationship is, the end or seemingly the end of something is tremendously painful, and it’s just sad. And I think in that moment, that’s all I was thinking about. How are we here? How are these two people whose lives are just so intertwined and built around one another — they’re the fundamental foundation of each other’s worlds — how did these two people get here? And it was just so unendingly sad to me. That’s what I was thinking about.”

Now, Jack’s death clock is ticking—fans know he dies in the mid-1990s era when the Big Three are teens, which is where the show left off—and with the state of the marriage in limbo, it’s possible Jack and Rebecca never get the chance to reconcile, which would be the biggest blow of all to This Is Us fans.

You can see Mandy Moore shedding real tears in the This Is Us finale scene below.

Mandy Moore returns to This Is Us this September on NBC.

[Featured Image by Alberto E. Rodriguez/Getty Images]

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