Why We Love Susan Kelechi Watson on 'This Is Us'
Susan Kelechi Watson Plays:
Beth Pearson, the even-keeled, ultra-patient wife of Randall (Sterling K. Brown), on NBC’s three-hanky hit This Is Us. The mother of two has handled plenty of domestic curveballs with grace, including taking in (and then losing) Randall’s terminally ill biological father, William (Ron Cephas Jones), and serving as a rock through her hubby’s nervous breakdown, which culminated in him quitting his lucrative job. But the latest revelation—he wants to adopt a baby—could be the trickiest yet. “Beth had been looking forward to seeing what life holds now that their two daughters are in school, and here’s another disruption to that,” Watson says.
Where You’ve Seen Her Before:
As teacher Ellie on The Blacklist and as Louis C.K.’s deliciously withering ex-wife on Louie.
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Why We Love Her:
’Cause she actually makes being married look appealing—a rarity on TV. Watson has infused Beth with a proprietary blend of poise, mettle and pragmatism. It’s no wonder that Randall is still so hot for her. “They are serious relationship goals,” co-showrunner Elizabeth Berger says. “They make each other laugh and feel like a team as they move through each day, and you can tell they’ll always have each other’s backs.” And can we talk about that aspirational family abode? It’s only fitting, then, considering Randall’s unemployment, that Beth will be kicking her career as an urban planner into a higher gear. “They’ve gotta make that mortgage payment!” Watson jokes. “It will be interesting to see how the dynamic changes with her doing more of a nine-to-five.”
Hear Her Roar:
Just because Beth is supportive doesn’t mean she’s deferential—particularly when it comes to the matter of kiddo No. 3. “She’s not someone who follows her husband’s wishes blindly,” co-showrunner Isaac Aptaker says. “It is very important to give Beth a strong point of view on this, and her own way of coming to terms with it.” We would expect nothing less.
This Is Us, Tuesdays, 9/8c, NBC
This article also appeared in the Oct. 2-15 issue of TV Guide Magazine.