The second season of This Is Us is officially underway, and we couldn’t imagine the Pearson family without all of its members. Despite the perfect chemistry of the cast, one star almost quit acting before the show came along, and the drama wouldn’t be the same without her.
While the focus on This Is Us is usually on The Big Three, led by Jack (Milo Ventimiglia) and Rebecca (Mandy Moore), there is another Pearson family, Randall’s (Sterling K. Brown) family, with wife Beth (Susan Kelechi Watson), which has won over the hearts of America as well. What you might not have known is that Watson, who plays a fierce mother of two who helps Randall through all his life changes in season one, almost left show business before the role came along.
“A month before I booked This Is Us, I was like, ‘Maybe I should move to Montreal and work in a coffee shop,'” Watson told MTV News after this week’s season 2 premiere. “I had friends who were praying for me. I was leaning on a support system to believe for me when I was finding it difficult to still believe the dream for myself.”
The good news is that Watson had a shift in her perspective on acting, and an inner change that led her to keep fighting as an actress, and eventually to landing the role of Beth on the NBC drama.
“All of the sudden I just believed again, like, I didn’t come this far for it not to happen. I’m going to enjoy this again,” she recalled. “It’s the best thing I have to give. So I had to get my personal joy back, and then things started to change.”
Whatever Watson did on a personal level to lift her spirits and keep herself in the acting game paid off, because fans — ourselves included — couldn’t imagine This Is Us without the actress. She might not be an original Pearson, but Watson’s role as Beth Pearson, who is Randall’s perfect mate, is one we can’t help but love, week after week.
This Is Us airs on Tuesdays at 9 p.m. on NBC.
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