Laura Niemi got devotees of This Is Us excited when she posted a selfie on Instagram behind a trailer that had the name Marilyn Pearson on it. The actress played Jack’s (Milo Ventimiglia) mom during past flashbacks. Niemi has been on many sets during her lengthy career including Justified and Veep but believes the dynamic overall for the NBC hit series is special.
“Dan Fogelman created this amazing show, and he is so approachable,” she said. “It really is like a family. Everybody is grateful to be there. I think what is great about the third season is everyone is on top of their game. There is a real appreciation for everyone participating.”
The Pearsons are back.
Comparing the feel from the first season when the cast and crew were still finding their ground, Niemi believes it’s a well-oiled machine today. The characters are also more developed, making it fun for her to transition back into that world.
“Working with Milo this season so far, he just knows his character really well at this point,” she said. “There is an ease to it. There is not a question mark…The fan base is so insane. Everyone is just so excited about these characters and the show, what direction it’s going to go in.”
Casting news broke in August that viewers of the tear-jerking drama would see Nicky Pearson, played by Michael Angarano. Jack’s younger brother, who was presumed dead, as viewers find out more about what went on for the siblings in the trenches of the Vietnam War.
The images were shot by famed photographer Annie Leibovitz.
“I’m excited getting to dive into more of Jack’s character growing up,” Niemi said. “That’s where I come in. It has been wonderful. Also, my character is getting more fleshed out. You saw me in season one briefly. Now they are fleshing my character out. Marilyn has quite the journey this season.”
Marilyn is in a tumultuous and abusive marriage with a husband that provides a toxic family environment for his children. Throughout the series thus far it’s clear Jack’s upbringing had a significant impact in his life, good and bad. Niemi can relate to parts of what Marilyn endured.
View this post on Instagram
Niemi was particularly impressed with Rees’ ability to adapt the book of the same name by Joan Didion. She likened the complexity to that of Shakespeare.
“Dee Rees did an outstanding job and were able to break it down for the film,” she said. “We got to be in Puerto Rico, Miami. That’s how I spent my summer. That was pretty cool. Working with actors from all over the United States was great. I didn’t get a chance to work with Ben, but it was a wonderful experience all-around. We really bonded.”
This Is Us, Season 3 premiere, Tuesday, September 25, 8/7c, NBC