On This Is Us, Mandy Moore plays one of the greatest TV moms in recent memory. As the hit series’ first season played out, Moore’s role as Rebecca Pearson kept fans laughing and crying—and it earned the star a Golden Globe nomination along the way. While Moore doesn't have kids yet IRL, she's certainly already honing her parenting skills onscreen. And every now and then, she channels her maternal instincts with her much younger co-stars when the cameras stop rolling.
At the beginning of the season, I think I was a bit timid to act as a surrogate parent because their actual parents were always around,” Moore told InStyle this week. “Plus they're super professional and sweet. But I do marvel at their excitement whenever a scene involves eating. Popcorn and candy were big favorites—Milo [Ventimiglia] and I have had to remind them to slow down because it takes a while to film a scene, and no one wants anyone to get sick.”
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Scroll down for our full chat with Moore about what she's learned from her own mom, how her style's evolved since she first became a household name back in 1999, and, of course, all things This Is Us.
Mother’s Day is coming up this weekend. Is there something your mom taught you that’s specifically resonated with you throughout your life? And in what ways do you think you take after her?
My parents, and mom specifically, always stressed the golden rule. And I think I got my fire—the desire to really tackle obstacles head-on—from my mom.
How does it feel to play one of the most-loved moms on TV right now?
I have to say, it's the honor of a lifetime to be a part of a show that has resonated so deeply and meant so much, to so many, so quickly. I've never played a wife or mother onscreen before, so this is all new territory for me.
Who’s your favorite TV mom of all time, personally?
Tami Taylor [from Friday Night Lights] and Carmela Soprano [from The Sopranos].
Just last weekend, This Is Us won the MTV Movie & TV Award for Best Tearjerker. Which scene from season one was the most emotional for you to watch?
The montage at the end of episode five where Kevin explains the meaning behind his painting to the girls gets me every time. That, and the entirety of episode sixteen when Randall and William go to Memphis. No words. I couldn't breathe!
Lonnie Chavis—aka young Randall—stole the show with his adorable acceptance speech for the award. What’s it like to play his mom?
Lonnie is a charmer. He is equal parts typical goofy 9-year-old and professional actor. He can be dancing and singing one second, and then completely engaged and tearing up in a scene the next. He's a natural and I love every second of working with him and his "siblings," Parker [Bates] and Mackenzie [Hancsicsak].
Have you read any scripts for season two?
We haven't read anything for season two yet, but I have an idea of where things start off—and it will definitely answer some lingering questions pretty early on in the season.
On Instagram, you recently shared that you’re a fan of crossword puzzles and that you were playing Zynga's new game, Crosswords With Friends. Of your This Is Us castmates, who would you ask to help you with a puzzle if you were stumped on a clue while playing?
I'd probably say Milo, just because we end up working together so much. He loves a challenge, and it would be a fun way to spend time during breaks on set.
When you’re not busy filming on set and you get to change out of your character's wardrobe to hit a red carpet, what’s your main style goal?
My main style goal continues to be comfort over anything else. As I've gotten older, heels really bother me so shoe comfort is essential. My style has certainly evolved over time, but I try to look at events as a chance to collaborate with my lady squad—my hair stylist, makeup artist, and stylist—and do something different whenever we get the chance.
And with summer just around the corner, is there anything you're obsessed with, beauty-wise?
I'm dying to try micro-blading! Other than that, I'm pretty obsessed with eyebrow gel, like Boy Brow by Glossier.