Michael Angarano will join the ensemble of NBC's family drama in season three playing the coveted role of Nicky, it was revealed Monday night at the This Is Us FYC Emmy event. Angarano, 30, recently starred in Showtime's I'm Dying Up Here and most famously played Jack's son, Elliott, on Will & Grace. He will recur on the series.
The character of Nicky has been shrouded in mystery, save for a few select season two moments. Though Jack (Milo Ventimiglia) has rarely spoken about Nicky or his relationship with his brother, he was first introduced in the season two episode, "Brothers," as a bespectacled young boy. In the same hour, an older Nicky is seen in an old wartime photo with Jack from their Vietnam days. It wasn't until the finale, "The Car," where Jack revealed that Nicky died in the Vietnam War, opening up just a little about his relationship with his brother to his young sons.
Before the panel, Ventimiglia revealed to ET's Keltie Knight that he had met Angarano earlier that day for a download session on Jack and Nicky's family backstory.
"I had breakfast with him this morning. I gave him some family history," the 41-year-old actor said on the red carpet. "He is a fiercely talented actor and I've known him for a very long time, so we're excited to have him."
Just last week, This Is Us co-showrunners Isaac Aptaker and Elizabeth Berger were coy about the arrival of Nicky when asked about how big of a role the character would be playing in the new season.
“I can’t tell you who we’ve cast just yet,” Aptaker said. “We are going to be spending a lot of time in Vietnam. We’ve hired [Vietnam War veteran] Tim O’Brien, who is a novelist, to come consult in our writers’ room. We really wanted him in there to really get the story right.”
“It’s exciting for us. There’s something very freeing about being past the mystery of Jack’s death and moving into this new chapter and getting to tell a whole completely different kind of story,” Berger added. “It’s different than anything any of our writers have done in the first two seasons. To be, all of a sudden, immersed in the Vietnam War is very special and different.”
This Is Us returns Tuesday, Sept. 27 at 9 p.m. ET/PT on NBC.