This Is Us had more than a few viewers in tears as it bid farewell to Mandy Moore's Rebecca Pearson in the show's penultimate episode Tuesday night, but it was the actress playing Randall Pearson's adopted daughter Deja that turned the most heads.
Set years in the future, the episode saw the Pearson family gathered in their rural Pennsylvania compound to visit with Rebecca on her deathbed. While makeup and prosthetics were used to age the show's adult cast, the Pearson grandchildren were recast with more age-appropriate actors, as has become custom for the timeline-hopping show. Or were they?
Viewers quickly took to social media when future Deja entered the scene looking very much like her teenage self, only older. So much so that many wondered: had the show somehow digitally aged Lyric Ross — who's played the character since her introduction to the series in Season 2 — or does she have an older sister who stepped into the role?
Turns out no, future Deja was played by La Trice Harper, who first appeared on the show in a February episode. At the time, This Is Us writer and co-executive producer Julia Brownell addressed Deja's twentysomething doppelganger in an interview with Glamour magazine, saying "It’s credit to our amazing casting department. When they come across actors they think have a resemblance, they put them in their back pocket. So when we’re like, 'We need a future Deja,' they’re like, 'We have just the perfect person for you!'"
The show's viewers seem to agree. "I continue to be impressed with the casting of older Deja. She even has the younger version's cadence of speaking down pat," one fan wrote in our forums. Another agreed, "I kept wondering if that was Lyric Ross, aged up a bit. Kudos to the casting director."
This Is Us airs its series finale on NBC Tuesday May 24 at 9:00 PM ET.
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Jed Rosenzweig is the Founder and Publisher of Primetimer.
TOPICS: This Is Us, NBC, Julia Brownell, La Trice Harper, Lyric Ross