'This Is Us' Star Susan Kelechi Watson Reveals More Family Drama Is Coming
She's practical, she's passionate and she's fiercely protective of her family. Those are just a few of the reasons audiences have taken to "This Is Us" character Beth Pearson, the level-headed wife and mother navigating the interpersonal dramas of the family she married into. Another is the intensely convincing performance of actress Susan Kelechi Watson.
Watson was previously best known for her stint as Louie," now she has a major breakout role in the first season of NBC's family drama as Beth. Her character has gracefully –- if not always agreeably –- handled her husband Randall's discovery of his birth father, William, and integrated him into their home, even as Randall still wrestles with the fractured dynamics among his adoptive family.
And as the actress reveals, there's much more to be learned about Beth ahead, including her own family baggage and how she handles delicate information that could rock her husband's world.
Moviefone: What's been the fun of figuring out who Beth is, and mapping out her relationship in the Pearson clan? I'm sure it's only going to expand as we see her interact more with the other family members.
Susan Kelechi Watson: Right –- the fun about Beth is watching her unfold. I think we get to see her through the lens of who she is right now as a wife, mostly, and how she relates to her family. I think it's going to be really interesting to start seeing where she came from as well, and tracking her family and her dynamic, and how she's come to be the woman that she is today.
Is that going to happen soon? Is that around the corner?
Yeah, I think it's around the corner, and to the right. You know what I mean? I don't think it's right around the corner, but I know that it is coming within this season.
What can you tease for her as far as upcoming episodes?
I would say that Beth and William begin to get deeper involved in their relationship. I think that there are some things that will unfold that Beth will take some issue with, so they'll have to figure that out. So the dynamic -– it's sort of like we think things are finally getting sort of peaceful, and people are kind of figuring it out, and then there's another turn and something happens.
Like most family dynamics, it's complicated. They've only just met, so there's so much to learn. So it's how she sort of struggles with trying to keep the things that he reveals to her under wraps.
We've seen that she's sort of yearning to get back to work.Does that come into play?
It does, yeah. I think, right now, she's trying to tiptoe out the door. She has her own startup. We'll find out more about that. She's trying to get that off the ground, and would really love to be full throttle into that. So we'll see how she begins to do that and begins to shift her sort of dual home life/work life into more of a work life.
Obviously, you've got a great job, great show, great co-workers. What's been, aside from that, the real great gift from this experience? In the way that people have embraced the show, what's kind of been the big fulfilling thing for you?
I think it's definitely audience feedback, and the people who are big supporters of the show. Their feedback has been really inspired. I think that it's been affirmation, or confirmation, of what we've been doing. So I think that's been just such a great part of it that I didn't think about as much, so when it happened, it was definitely the icing on the cake.
What are the topics that are asked about when people Tweet at you or they recognize you when you're out and about? What are the topics that they most want to talk to you about?
One of the things that people Tweet about the most is they'll say that Randall and Beth are, like, relationship goals! For them, it's like #relationshipgoals. What people mostly want to talk to me about, really, they just say how much they identify with the story, mostly. Which is, there's nothing more you can ask for. If it's a story about people, for people to say, "We get it, I think we're episode by episode we're achieving the thing that we're trying to do."
Lastly, have you encountered any celebrity fans of the show? Somebody really famous who stopped you and was like, "I love the show, I love what you're doing?"
Yeah, yeah. They haven't stopped me, but social media-wise, people have said things. That's always sort of surprising, because you just don't realize who's watching. Jennifer Lopez Tweeted that she loves this show, and she wanted all her fans to watch with her. Sarah Silverman Tweeted recently. I had Essence Atkins reach out on one of my pages.
It's lovely to have that kind of support from people who are obviously busy doing their thing, and really doing wonderfully at what they do, and for them to reach back and say, "Hey, I'm watching this. It's a part of my life now." That's really cool.