YEM Flashes Back to Interviews with This Is US Cast Members Before the New Season Premieres!

With the sixth and final season of This Is Us set to premiere January 4, 2022 on NBC, YEM wants to take you back to the interviews we’ve done with some of the cast members!

As some of you may remember, three young actors interviewed with YEM ranging from 2017-2020 and touched on fun topics from their experience on the show! Let’s look back on those experiences and refresh you all on what it may be like to be on such an iconic show as This Is Us!

Asante Blackk joined the cast of This Is Us in 2019 as the character Malik. Malik joined the show as Deja’s significant other and the romance became a fan favorite. Blackk’s interview touches on his time during quarantine and what it was like to film during a global pandemic!

Blackk told YEM that while filming the show, the cast got pretty used to wearing their masks and following safety protocols. However, something he said was interesting were the glass boxes they had them in when they weren’t on set. He said they were basically their own little greenrooms to make sure no one was exposed while the crew set up cameras and everything for filming. 

While filming another show called Social Distance, Blackk had an even more interesting time on set. He explained that everything was done remotely, so no director or cinematographer were on set and everything was on Zoom instead. He and his dad were in the show together (for the first time!) and they had to navigate all the technical work by themselves while getting help from others on Zoom. Pretty fitting for the title and the time era, right?

“It was a brand-new experience, but it was pretty fun,” Blackk told YEM. 

Akira Akbar also interviewed about her experience as the dynamic role of young Beth (Susan Kelechi Watson’s character) on the show. She got to play the younger version whose dream was to become a ballerina. Akbar also played Monica Rambeau, the precious niece of Brie Larsen’s Carol Danvers, in the biggest movie of the year, Captain Marvel! She said she is similar to her character Monica in that they both speak what’s on their mind and are honest.

Akbar also loved working on This Is Us and watched and liked the show before she got her role. With young Beth being a dancer, it also makes sense that she danced herself.

“I’ve been doing ballet since I was four, so doing ballet was really fun,” she said during her interview.

Hannah Zeile was the first to interview with YEM about her role as teenage Kate! Zeile talks in detail about her role and how she connects with the older and younger version of her character. She said it adds to much depth and her own understanding of Kate’s upbringing because she’s seen it played out on the screen. Zeile also told YEM how believable it is that she’s a younger Kate because she and Chrissy Metz have the same heart-shaped face and when she puts in her blue contacts they really look alike.

Zeile said she can relate to both teenage and older Kate during her interview. She said Kate is someone who internalizes things and doesn’t like to ask for help when she’s struggling. Zeile admitted she could be introverted and not ask for help when she needs it as well, but she said she was learning how to open up as long as it was to the right people. She also said she’d learned from playing Kate that it’s important to love yourself and have self-confidence.

“It can be hard, but I don’t think we should let our insecurities stop us from being great,” Zeile said.

Watch and read Blackk, Akbar, and Zeile’s full interviews here!

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