Mandy Moore admits that she and her co-stars were greatly affected by the recent This Is Us episode that aired immediately following the Super Bowl on Sunday night.
The 33-year-old actress -- who portrays family matriarch Rebecca Pearson on the beloved NBC series -- spoke via satellite with Today show anchors Hoda Kotb and Savannah Guthrie about the death of Jack Pearson (Milo Ventimiglia) finally being revealed, and what it was like to watch the tearjerker scenes with her co-stars.
"I think all of us are tremendously relieved," Moore said of having the mystery surrounding her onscreen husband's passing out in the open. "Milo and I, for one, have known since the very beginning. ...It's just nice to sort of pop that bubble a little bit, and now we can sort of move forward with the show."
Moore confessed that even upon knowing the fate of Jack, she still needed a moment after watching the episode.
"We watched the episode as a cast at [creator] Dan Fogelman's house last week, and none of us could speak afterwards. We were sort of speechless," she recalled. "We were recounting some of our favorite parts of the episode and favorite lines, and we would all start crying again. So, it affects us too."
The stars of This Is Us were in Minneapolis, Minnesota, for the Super Bowl, and Moore gushed over what a privilege it is to be on a show that has touched so many people.
"It's pretty mind blowing to feel people's direct connection to this family," she said. "They always want to have in-depth conversations with you as well. ...They really want to connect with you."
Moore's co-star, Ventimiglia, is featured on Esquire.com and also opens up about the avid following of the series.
"It's a lot of hugs,” the 40-year-old actor says of fan encounters. “People want to hug me, and they want advice. I guess I've taken over from Mr. Cunningham [of Happy Days] and Mr. Arnold [of The Wonder Years] as America's father, so people are often looking for that parental feeling."