How each This Is Us star was cast and what they get paid per episode

For six seasons, you’ve been learning how the Pearsons came to be. But how did actors from all walks of Hollywood life — credits range from Heroes to The People v. O.J Simpson to Mr. Robot to Revenge — come together to form this unconventional, unpredictable family at the wide-open heart of This Is Us? Before you watch the series finale took place on May 24 where the stars of NBC’s time-warping family drama (plus creator Dan Fogelman) walk you through their casting experiences way back in 2015. Start scrolling, because you love flashbacks, remember? 

In the conception and casting stages, Miguel was the least fleshed-out character — his original name was actually Mike — making the role an amorphous challenge for Fogelman to cast. “I knew that I wanted him to be Jack’s buddy, and that he would wind up with Rebecca, and that would provide for the audience a jolt at the end of the second episode,”.

“I don’t think I’d fully thought through how big a part that would eventually become and how much that was going to demand. By the time we were [casting], I was going, ‘Oh, s—, this is another big character, potentially. We need somebody who can do this, but there’s not a lot on the page right now.

‘”After Fogelman met Huertas in the audition, the blanks began to fill in. “I remember thinking how charming he was and that he had a wildly different, but also somewhat similar energy as Milo and Jack,” Fogelman says. “And I was like, ‘Oh, this is just interesting.’ I remember that gut instinct because there wasn’t that much to read at the time. Just feeling good about him.”

The creator’s next concern was figuring out the best way to present that Rebecca-is-married-to-Miguel-not-Jack! shocker in the present day. “Jon’s origin story on the show was one of getting him to walk through that door and be instantly recognizable,” says the creator. “We had spent so much time getting Mandy’s age makeup correct, but we hadn’t had as much time with Jon because he was cast later.

I think we reshot his entrance into the doorway four times, just to go, ‘What are we going to do to make sure this is clear to the audience? I don’t want people to think that Milo has been put through weird age makeup when they’re calling him grandpa.’ Then I was working on having Randall call him ‘Miguel.’ It all worked out in the end, but we put the poor guy through his paces right after joining the show.”

Here’s How Much the ‘This Is Us’ Cast Makes Per Episode

Milo Ventimiglia

Season 1: $85,000 per episode

Current: $250,000 per episode

Net worth: $12 million

As one of the more established cast members of This Is Us, Ventimiglia, who plays Jackson Pearson, the Pearson family patriarch, was able to sign on for $85,000 per episode when the show first started, according to Variety. Known for roles on shows like Gilmore Girls and Heroes, Ventimiglia—along with his four other core cast members—was able to raise his salary to an impressive $250,000 per episode, according to The Hollywood Reporter. (With 18 episodes in the third season, Ventimiglia will make $4,500,000 if he appears in every episode.) In 2018, Ventimiglia also starred in Creed II, opposite Michael B. Jordan, and in Second Act, opposite Jennifer Lopez, rounding out his net worth to a cool $12 million

Mandy Moore

Season 1: $85,000 per episode

Current: $250,000 per episode

Net worth: $10 million

Moore was perhaps the most well-known name before This Is Us, so it makes sense that she joined Ventimiglia in the $85,000-per-episode salary range. Known for movies like A Walk to Remember and The Princess Diaries, as well as a successful music career, Moore, who plays matriarch Rebecca Pearson, had her salary raised from $85,000 to $250,000 for This Is Us‘s third season. 2018 also saw Moore’s return to film with roles in movies like The Darkest Minds and Ralph Breaks the Internet. She has also been the face of Garnier and Neutrogena. Net worth is $10 million

Sterling K. Brown

Season 1: $75,000

Current: $250,000

Net worth: $10 million

Out of the three Pearson children, Brown was the best known after his Emmy-winning role as prosecutor Christopher Darden in FX’s American Crime Story. When he signed on for This Is Us, around the time as American Crime Story, his higher-level fame was able to earn him a $35,000 raise above his siblings, rounding out his salary to $75,000 per episode, according to Variety. In the end, Brown, who plays adopted Pearson brother Randall, and the rest of the Pearson immediate family, were paid the same after negotiations the raised their salaries to $250,000 per episode. Like the rest of his core costars, if Brown is to appear in every episode, he will rake in $4.5 million. Along with This Is Us, Brown has also starred in 2018’s Black Panther and Hotel Artemis. He is also the only cast member to have won an Emmy for the role. His net worth is $10 million

Susan Kelechi Watson (Beth) – Watson went to great lengths — or at least cross-country — to nab the role of Beth. “Susan came in from New York to read for it, and we just loved her,”

“I had felt, to be honest, in my spirit that something really good was going to happen,” she says. “I was doing a flurry of auditions at that time, and this was one of them. It’s funny because I went in for this on the same day that I went in for another audition for a friend of mine — and completely bombed. After that was so terrible, I got a call that [they were interested in me for This Is Us], and that made me feel kind of better, but I was still feeling really bad about that horrible audition. I went in for this again with [executive producers/directors] John Requa and Glenn Ficarra. It was the scene where [Randall] is cracking up and he said, “It’s like an episode of What’s Happening!!” And I grew up watching reruns of What’s Happening!! and even when I was rehearsing that scene, I was laughing through that part. I just thought it was fun and funny and interesting — and I liked the fact that she was so supportive of her husband. I have played characters who are harsher — a little more rough around the edges — when it comes to the significant other. So it was nice to play somebody who was very supportive of her husband, who was just trying to support what he was doing and had his back.”

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Lee Clarke
Lee Clarke
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