This Is Us Finale: What Was Said in Randall and Kevin’s Eulogies


This Is Us Finale: What Was Said in Randall and Kevin's Eulogies

When This is us Imagining how Rebecca’s funeral would go in the series finale, creator Dan Fogelman recalled how his grief at the death of his own mother seemed to have erased so much of her funeral service.

“I lost my mother and sat up all night before deciding people were waiting for the perfect eulogy from me and it had to be the right level of emotion and wit and it had to be well written and I had to it deliver it well,” the EP told reporters in a conference call on Tuesday. “My experience of the day – and honestly the week or two after that – as I described in the script, was floating through space and time and hearing nothing. I worked so hard on this eulogy and I can’t remember a single word I said.”

Viewers of Tuesday’s episode (read a synopsis) saw a similar thing happen to Randall, who was speaking alongside his siblings at their mother’s funeral. But given the show’s stylistic and editorial choices, audiences weren’t privy to what was said or how it was delivered.

“I wanted to capture that visually,” Fogelman said. “It was always about a son floating in slow motion through his mother’s funeral and a bomb went off and he couldn’t hear anymore.”

However, on the day of shooting, he still let Sterling K. Brown, Justin Hartley and Chrissy Metz stand before the gathering. When TVLine spoke to Brown and Hartley on Sunday and Monday, respectively, we asked them to tell us what they said when it was their turn to praise their on-screen mom.

TVLINE | We saw you at the lectern but didn’t hear what you said. Did you actually give a eulogy as Randall?
STERLING K. BROWN | So, the pad of paper I had there [Randall] speaking to Beth, I would actually start jotting things down between takes. Between takes I was like, “OK, if I were doing this, what would I say?” And so I started composing. And then the funeral scene was the next day or two days later, and I asked my husband in props, I said, “Rick, do we still have the block?” And he says, “Yeah, absolutely.” And I flipped to my page and had about a few pages written and started writing a little more. It was just kind of an exercise, what would I actually say if I had to be put in that position? And so I said a few things.

And it was funny, because at one point Dan came out and said, “If whoever texts Emmy that we’re getting is because of something you wrote on a piece of paper, I’ll…” [Laughs] He didn’t say anything drastic, but he said something like that.

TVLINE | Justin, Sterling wrote something. What did you do when you got to the top?
JUSTIN HARTLEY | A freestyle.

TVLINE | For real?!
HARTLEY | Well, it wasn’t in the script that I would go there. It wasn’t written at all. And then that day, Ken [Olin, director] and Dan were like, “Justin, get up there and say something.” I’m like, “Fk, OK.” So I’m going up there — I didn’t have any dialogue that day, I was basically an extra. And then you want me to go upstairs and give this eulogy and give a speech or something? [Laughs] It’s actually quite simple, because I mean, I’ve been living this character for six years. Even on days when I’m not working I still think about him and the show and all that stuff. So it’s really easy to go back in time and give a speech about how amazing Mom was and what she wants for us and how she wants to be remembered and all those things.

TVLINE | Do you remember how your castmates reacted to what you said?
HARTLEY | Yes, my instructions, unbeknownst to anyone, were to get people to be emotional and then also to get people to freak out. So it was a tall order… But I said some heartfelt things that I think I wanted my to say daughter my funeral, hopefully.

Be sure to check out our firing This is us recent post with questions, our chat with Mandy Moore (who attended Rebecca’s funeral!) and our deep dive into the show’s final flash-forward!

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