'This Is Us' finally told us how Jack died — Milo Ventimiglia and Mandy Moore help us cope

Yvonne Villarreal, Los Angeles Times on

Published in Entertainment News

Of course, being in the presence of a raging fire can also make the "acting" part slightly hard to focus on.

"There were moments where Glenn 1/8Ficarra3/8 and John 1/8Requa3/8, the directors of the episode, were like, 'Mi, we have a hard time asking this, but can you actually slow down so we can make sure we capture you in this fire?,'" Ventimiglia recalled with a laugh. "I was like, 'Got it, got it. I'm moving a little fast. It's a little scary, guys.'"

Then there was the heart-wrenching moment in the hospital when Rebecca, jolted by the news that her husband had died in the short time she was gone from his room to make a phone call and visit the vending machine, saw her husband's body.

Moore said she didn't know Ventimiglia was going to be lying on the hospital bed when she filmed the scene.

"I was very quiet -- I was sitting in one of the rooms on the hospital set and I had my headphones in and was in my own world," Moore said. "Then they called me to shoot that particular scene to go into Jack's room and I didn't know he was going to be there that first take. It was startling, to say the least. It was very jarring. When I was just mentally prepared to go in and see an empty hospital bed and have to conjure up something from there, but to see Milo in it was just hard."

High intensity stunts and emotional breakdowns aide, the episode also had the unique challenge of incorporating footage from Super Bowl LII into the episode. Producer Nick Pavonetti worked with his team on adding certain markers -- from the pregame show, the kickoff and a big play from the first or second quarter -- into the episode, Fogelman said. There were dry-run rehearsals last week to see how quickly they would be able to clip the footage and get it into the feed that went out to the country.

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Next comes Tuesday's episode.

"The episode that airs 1/8Tuesday3/8 is maybe more sad somehow than last night's episode because it's the reality of: This man is gone," said Moore. "The patriarch of this family is gone, and this family has to figure out how they are going to move forward without the most incredible presence in each of their lives. It's pretty heartbreaking."

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