This Is Us, Chris Sullivan


This is us still crying over the This Is Us Christmas episode. Oh boy. The fall finale—This Is Us goes on hiatus until Tuesday, Jan. 10 at 9 p.m. on NBC—featured a bevy of happenings, from Randall (Sterling K. Brown) literally talking a coworker off the ledge to William's (Ron Cephas Jones) relationship reveal and everything in between, but those weren't the biggest shockers. No, that came at the end of the episode when—spoiler alert—Toby (Chris Sullivan) collapsed, seemingly suffering a heart attack.

Sullivan told E! News fans won't have to wait very long to find out Toby's fate and that he understands the reasoning the put his character in life or death jeopardy.

This Is Us


"I think in telling a good story there has to be ups and downs with any character, and you can't just have everything go swimmingly and you can't just have characters who are supposed to be in a romantic relationship just getting into an argument every episode," he told us. "There has to be other tension and things introduced. But I don't know if we knew they were going to go this big this soon!"

Sullivan took to Twitter after the episode to start hashtag campaigns include "#PrayforToby" and "#SaveTheToby." He also shared behind-the-scenes photos, including one of episode director Helen Hunt (yes, that Helen Hunt) taken from the hospital table, and the silly family portrait that may get your tears going all over again. But hey, nothing bad ever happens on Christmas Eve, right?

On the This Is Us after show, creator Dan Fogelman gathered the stars to discuss the happenings, including the frosty relationship between Rebecca (Mandy Moore) and her daughter Kate (Chrissy Metz).

"This is very much my family growing up," Fogelman said. "I remember, it's laden and it's loaded and it's hard to explain, but I think when you talk to a lot of women who battle a weight issue, not that it's only about weight, but who have had kind of, statuesque, kind of thin mothers as part of their inception—I think it's something organically…So there's resentment and then there's a mother who is always trying too hard and pushing too hard in the wrong way, even though they mean well, they don't quite know what to say."

The cast also tackled William's relationship reveal. In the episode, viewers met Jesse (Denis O'Hare), William's lover he left behind to go live with Randall.

"You know what? I wasn't shocked by it or anything like that, I immediately went into, ‘OK, how did William get there?' And so I had this process where I was like it made sense to me, it started to really make sense to me where William was in regards to his looking toward the after-life already, but more importantly the love I think that he was seeking, that he hasn't had in his life, I think Jesse somehow brings that into his life," Cephas Jones said. "It becomes far beyond the sexuality for William, it becomes deeper, sort of like a deeper love that all of sort of look for in our life."

This Is Us returns Tuesday, Jan. 10 at 9 p.m. on NBC.

(E! and NBC are both part of the NBCUniversal family.)

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