Plus, on the latest episode of EW's The Awardist podcast, Yellowjackets star Melanie Lynskey reveals how the show's script lured her back to work right after having a baby.
This Is Us - Season 3

As the end of This Is Us approaches, it's a natural time for audiences — and the actors who brought these fan-favorite characters to life — to look back on their journeys. For Milo Ventimiglia, whose Jack Pearson finally met his fate in season 2 but lived on in other timelines over the course of the show's six seasons, it's always been about Jack's "golden heart," but he admits Milo and Jack don't always see eye to eye.

"There have been moments where I don't agree with his actions personally. I would have handled things differently. But I'm sure there's things — if he were real and he were looking at my life — he'd wonder why I made that decision," he explains during the latest episode of EW's The Awardist podcast, recorded as part of this year's SCAD TVfest. "But Jack himself, I think, in those complexities and in those complications of life, [they] make him very human and make him very relatable. I think if he were too true, too perfect, he'd be unrealistic. He'd be unattainable."

As much as Jack's children and wife — not to mention the show's very loyal viewers — put him on a pedestal, Ventimiglia isn't sure he necessarily deserves to be up there. "Because we see, as an audience, moments where he is flawed, where he isn't making the right decisions, then I think we can actually aspire to be someone like him.... Jack has hard shoes to fill, even for a guy like me who plays him, because I think where you're saying people put him up on a pedestal, that transference kind of moves to me, and I'm like, 'Wait, wait, wait, wait, wait. I'm just a guy playing a character, doing my best to make him real and make him inspirational to people.' So yeah, it's tough. But at the same time, I think it's wonderful to know that there's a fictional character like Jack, hopefully inspiring the real guys out there that have these golden hearts to send some good into the lives of the people around them."

The golden hearts of the characters on Yellowjackets might be a little more questionable. Five of that Showtime series' actresses — Melanie Lynskey, Christina Ricci, Tawny Cypress, Liv Hewson, and Samantha Hanratty — are also featured on this episode (recorded at SCAD TVfest as well), where they discuss the many fan theories about the psycho-thriller drama, among other things. The show is not short on intense, sometimes savage scenes. Lynskey wasn't exactly looking for her next job after the FX limited series Mrs. America, but it found her and she couldn't say no.

"Undeniable is definitely the right word," she says of the script. "I read it. And I was just like, 'Ugh, well, I guess I'm going back to work.' I had a newborn — Christina will relate — I had a newborn child and you're just so tired. And I had done a whole show for months and months.... But I read it and I just felt like every single character was so well defined and it wasn't like stereotypes or even like archetypes. It was real people. And the women that I was reading on the page felt like humans to me. They felt like friends. They felt like people I knew. And the character of Shauna, I just was like, 'Oh, I feel like this could go in a million different directions.' Little did I know how many directions it was going to go in. But it just felt like such an opportunity. And the writing was so good. I'm a real snob about writing, and it was just so good."

EW's Samantha Highfill joins The Awardist host Gerrad Hall to further discuss Lynskey's career and potential as a Best Actress in a Drama nominee, as well as the show's shot at Best Drama in a field that also includes Succession and Squid Game. And Highfill shares why she thinks The Sex Lives of College Girls deserves more attention and should go the distance with a nomination as well.

Check out more from EW's The Awardistfeaturing exclusive interviews, analysis, and our podcast diving into all the highlights from the year's best in TV.

Related content:

Episode Recaps

This Is Us - Season 3
This Is Us

NBC’s beloved era-hopping drama tells the story of the Pearson family through the years.

  • TV Show
  • 6
  • Tuesdays at 09:00 PM
stream service