In their final TCA appearance, the creator and stars of NBC’s This Is Us today reflected on their six years together on the show and the series’ upcoming end.
Creator/executive Dan Fogelman also addressed a couple of subjects about Season 6 that have come up often in the past few months, the storyline about the divorce of one of the show’s main couples, Kate and Toby, which was foreshadowed last season, the use of flash-forwards in the final season as it builds towards the series finale as well as whether the story of the Pearsons could continue beyond the end of This Is Us this spring.
Fogelman on Kate & Toby’s upcoming divorce:
“I think divorce is something first of all, we’ve always just tried to make the show about what happens to people, and divorce is something that happens almost as frequently as it doesn’t. And it hasn’t happened on this show.”
“The way Toby and Kate always came together, I’ve always thought was beautiful and romantic, but it was also kind of imperfect. It was two people who often needed different things at different times and there were lots of conversations early on about whether they were good for another. And, then, circumstances can also start alleviating things. I mean, their kind of the distance is alleviating.
“There’s a beautiful script that’s been written, that I won’t say too much about, but that’s one of the ones I’m most proud of… I think Mandy’s directed recently a really beautiful episode that Chrissy co-wrote and that starts this journey and we have some really big stuff for them coming up.”
On flash-forwards in Season 6:
“We’re definitely building towards (“Rebecca’s deathbed scene) and we’re definitely going to spend more time there in the course of the season than we’ve ever spent there. Typically our flash-forwards into the future, there’s actually three future areas we’ve been in. One is we’ve seen glimpses of Kate’s second wedding. We then see in that kind of what we call the ‘death house.’ And then we also obviously have our late Jack Jr. in the much even deeper future as a young musician, aspiring.”
“We’ve typically gone to them for the most part as kind of flash forwards of, like, here’s an endpoint of a journey, but we haven’t lived there a time. It’s fair to say that in the course of the end of the season, we’ll live there more.”
On potentially doing a This Is Us movie in the future:
“I say no to nothing. I’m very aware that a midlife crisis is right around the corner for me and that whatever I do next I’m going to hate in comparison to this show and these actors. So I say no to nothing.”
I suspect that these actors are going to be flooding your TV screens and movie screens for years to come. I think they’re both in front of and behind the camera, as it turns out, because they’re all becoming beautiful writers and directors and producers as we speak.”
“So, when I want to do something again for This Is Us with these guys, I suspect they’ll all be very busy and winning awards and Emmys and Oscars and this stuff, but sure. If we can figure out a movie down the road, I’d love to get back together with these guys and do it. I don’t know what that would be. By the end of this season, I think we’ll have told the complete story, so I’m not sure. It’s like, if you’re doing the movie of like what would have happened if Jack survived the fire or something, but I don’t know I don’t know that that’s.”
Justin Hartley quickly jumped in. “Well, there’s your movie. You just wrote it,” he quipped.
Fogelman had a quip of his own. “I see on my computer the president of NBC is literally texting me right now, ‘Yes, to the movie.’”