Jack Pearson’s brother has finally been identified. Producers for This Is Us have cast the role of Nicky, the younger brother of the Pearson patriarch (played by Milo Ventimiglia) who tragically died while the two served in Vietnam. Will & Grace alum Michael Angarano will recur in the third season of the NBC drama as Nicky Pearson, Deadline reports. The 30-year-old actor previously played Jack McFarland’s (Sean Hayes) son Elliott on Will & Grace, a role he reprised for the show’s 2017 revival, and he currently appears on Showtime’s I’m Dying Up Here.
While This Is Us fans got a glimpse of the Nicky Pearson character as a child in an episode last season, the addition of Angarano marks the first time viewers will see him as an adult, save for a previously seen photo that revealed he was in the military with his brother during the war. The scenes with Nicky come as producers tease a “heavy” dose of Jack Pearson’s time in the Vietnam War in next season’s flashback storylines.
Michael Angarano took to Twitter to post his exciting casting news. The actor posted the announcement about his high-profile role on the hit show, then revealed that his grandmother even told her dentist about it. You can see Michael Angarano’s tweet about his new role on This Is Us below.
This Is Us creator Dan Fogelman recently revealed that the show will be “diving heavy” into Jack Pearson’s experiences in Vietnam as his son Kevin (Justin Hartley) travels to the country to unearth unknown details about his father’s past. To that end, Fogelman brought in Vietnam War historian Tim O’Brien (The Things They Carried) as a script consultant.
This Is Us fans know very little about Jack Pearson’s Vietnam past. During the first season of the show, Jack downplayed his service in the war, telling elderly neighbor Mrs. Peabody that he worked as a mechanic. But in a later flashback scene, Jack was seen getting off of a military plane carrying an M-16 for frontline duty. In another episode of This Is Us last season, Jack revealed that his younger brother, Nicky, died in the Vietnam War but he gave no explanation as to the circumstances of his death.
This Is Us star Milo Ventimiglia told Entertainment Weekly his character may have lied about his service in the war to “put off other questions” about his painful past and the loss of his brother.
This Is Us Season 3 premieres Tuesday, September 25 at 9 p.m. ET on NBC.