EXCLUSIVE: Mandy Moore Shoots Down Milo Ventimiglia's Claim He Wasn't the First Choice for 'This Is Us'
By Philiana Ng
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Mandy Moore isn’t buying that producers were initially looking for someone else other than Milo Ventimiglia to fill the role of Jack Pearson on This Is Us.
“That’s not true!” the 32-year-old actress told ET’s Katie Krause during a press junket for 47 Meters Down on Friday, referencing Ventimiglia’s recent comments where he suggested creator Dan Fogelman“wanted somebody completely different.”
When asked why Ventimiglia would make those remarks, Moore chocked it up to the Gilmore Girls alum’s humility.
“Because he’s Milo and he’s sweet and has no ego,” she said. “When I went in to test for it and there were a couple of other guys, I knew going in that he was the one that they wanted. So that’s just Milo deferring -- he’s just too sweet.”
So was she the first choice to play Jack’s wife, Rebecca? “No!” Moore said emphatically, downplaying the notion. “Auditioning for any project is such a crapshoot and I just feel lucky that, somehow, I lucked out and got to be a part of it.”
Fogelman recently revealed in a Los Angeles Times interview that there’s a very good chance “some scripts” for the second season will need to be placed “on lock down.” Moore shared that scripts may have key characters’ names changed in an effort to keep a level of security intact, though other measures may also be taken.
“We’re lucky enough to have success with the show and I think there is so much interest out there, that [Dan’s] like, ‘Yeah, we’re gonna have to keep things a secret.’ I was like, oh great, I’m going to be the one that totally leaves the script somewhere and someone reads it and I get in trouble,” she said.
“I’ve been very good about not letting people know, but most people aren’t curious about that. You want to watch it unfold in real time,” Moore added.
In 47 Meters Down, Moore and her co-star, Claire Holt, play two sisters who get trapped on the ocean floor surrounded by sharks. The two actresses spent eight hours a day for eight weeks underwater -- a total of 320 hours -- for the movie.
“There was an inherent challenge being at the bottom of this tank every day and spending that much energy,” Moore recalled. “I don’t think either of us was really prepared for surfacing at lunchtime and being that bone tired. We both collapsed. I’ve never slept so well!”
She explained that though they received substantial scuba training, they’re not officially scuba-certified yet. “We got ‘Hollywood certified,’” Moore said, revealing that they completed an intensive two-day training session.
Holt and Moore also spoke of the significance of being a part of a film that centered on two strong female leads.
“We were very fortunate with this film to be able to portray strong female characters and they were the heroes of this film and they propelled the story forward,” Holt said. “You’re always searching for those opportunities, and I feel like I’ve been lucky enough to play some really strong female characters.”
“That’s what we demand. I’m proud to be a part of a film that has two female leads and that’s always empowering, but like Claire said, there’s always room for improvement,” Moore added. “I think we could see more. These kinds of films shouldn’t be an anomaly. It’s fantastic to celebrate Wonder Womanand it deserves all those accolades, but it shouldn’t be such a rare circumstance.”
47 Meters Down hits theaters June 16. This Is Us returns Tuesdays this fall on NBC.