The music producer and husband of Alicia Keys notes in a new interview that he doesn’t think the late rapper got a lot of ‘the…
This article contains spoilers for This Is Us.
The story on This Is Us centers around one strong couple — Jack and Rebecca Pearson, played by Milo Ventimiglia and Mandy Moore — and the family that’s growing generations around them. At the time of this writing, Season 5 is well underway … so we know a lot about the fictional Pearson family’s love stories and heartbreaks. Jack and Rebecca’s kids (rightly) idolize their parents’ love — but if we’re being honest, Kate (Chrissy Metz), Kevin (Justin Hartley), and Randall’s (Sterling K. Brown) love stories are pretty iconic themselves, and the heartbreaks they’ve faced can be hard to watch.
Basically, it all makes for some critically-acclaimed and award-winning, yet gut-wrenching television. As One Love puts it, the hit NBC series has “captured our hearts” in part because “we’re not seeing the all-too-familiar fairytale romances this time — these are relatable stories full of passion, turmoil, and all kinds of ups and downs.” (Seriously, you’ll want to keep those tissues within arm’s reach when you tune in, folks!)
Off-camera, the series’ cast has equally compelling relationship stories. But while some of these romances are as sweet as could be, others are full of such drama that they could inspire a daytime soap opera. We’ve learned all that we could about the real-life partners of the cast of This Is Us, because sometimes the truth is stranger (or, more romantic?) than fiction.
Mandy Moore and husband Taylor Goldsmith found love through Instagram
Celebrities slide into Instagram DMs, just like us! When Mandy Moore posted on Instagram about an album by Taylor Goldsmith’s band, Dawes, in May 2015, he seized the opportunity to connect. Goldsmith told CBS This Morning that he messaged her, “If you ever want to come to a show, here’s my email.” Moore took him up on his offer, and the rest is history — meaning that things went smoother for this couple than flirting via social media often goes for the rest of us.
Moore and Goldsmith were married by November 2018 in an intimate ceremony surrounded by family and friends. Moore was previously married to musician Ryan Adams (they divorced in 2016), which may be part of why she chose to wear a custom pink Rodarte dress instead of white to her second wedding. “I’m kind of confident that it’s not going to be the stereotypical white wedding dress, because it just doesn’t feel the most me,” Moore told People while she was still planning the big day.
The couple announced they were expecting a baby in September 2020 on Instagram and welcomed their son, August Harrison Goldsmith, into the world on Feb. 23, 2021. “He was punctual and arrived right on his due date, much to the delight of his parents,” Moore wrote on Instagram. “We were prepared to fall in love in all sorts of brand new ways, but it goes beyond anything we could have ever imagined.” Theirs is a rock star fairytale.
This Is Us star Milo Ventimiglia is a single man
Jack Pearson may be one of the most swoon-worthy men on TV — and his portrayer, Milo Ventimiglia, seems pretty great, too. But unlike his alter ego, Ventimiglia is actually single. As of 2021, we can’t even link the actor’s name with anyone he’s casually dating.
According to Hollywood Life, he was most recently spotted at lunch with Orange Is the New Black star Diane Guerrero in late 2019, but they are reportedly “just friends.” In 2017, Ventimiglia was linked with Kelly Egarian, a marketing coordinator (via PopSugar). But his older relationships with some former co-stars are more well-known. He once dated his Heroes co-star, Hayden Panettiere, from 2007 to 2009, but perhaps his most reported on relationship was with Gilmore Girls co-star, Alexis Bledel. The pair even spoke about marriage, as Bledel told People in 2005, but they split a year later.
“I try to minimize myself so people can see the character and can really dive into the work,” Ventimiglia explained to People of staying private about his love life in 2017. “I try and remain as anonymous and invisible as I can so it doesn’t take away from the experience of the men that I play.” But that’s not to say he isn’t thinking about the future. “I’d love to have kids,” he revealed to the New York Post at the time, but added that as he’s gotten “older,” he’s realized, “I think it’s more about having that right partner … having kids will be the joy from having a great partnership.”
Sterling K. Brown's marriage basically defies fate
Sterling K. Brown plays This Is Us‘ Randall Pearson, whose relationship with wife Beth (Susan Kelechi Watson) is #MarriageGoals — and Brown’s real-life marriage to Ryan Michelle Bathe is aspirational, too. Their road to bliss was notably rocky, however.
Brown and Bathe dated sporadically after meeting at Stanford University in 1998. Bathe, who’s also an actor, told People that she knew Brown was special. “I snuck in, and I saw his audition [for Joe Turner’s Come and Gone], and I thought to myself, ‘If this man can do this at 17 years old, my God. What could he do when he becomes a grown man?'” We now know Bathe’s instinct was correct, but she listened to her family instead of trusting her heart when it came to Brown.
“So, in my family, people feel like they have ‘the sight,'” Bathe said on the OWN series, Black Love. “And so the vision was, ‘He is this horrible person, you need to be deathly afraid of him, he’s evil.’ They basically gave me the full-court press.” Bathe said these reports from her mother and grandmother were “terrifying” and led to a breakup. It’s unclear at what point in the relationship this was. The couple was apart for 3.5 years at one point, but eventually married in 2007. They now share two sons, Andrew and Amaré.
As Brown told Good Housekeeping in 2018, “Sincerely, she is infinitely more talented than her husband. My life would be so small without her in it.”
The third time's a charm for This is Us actor Justin Hartley
Justin Hartley’s character, Kevin Pearson, is finally slowing down, as of Season 5, and seems to have found love with Madison (Caitlin Thompson) — who was a one-night stand before getting pregnant with his twins. Their relationship started off shaky, but Hartley’s actual relationship history is arguably more complex.
Hartley, who has a daughter with ex-wife Lindsay Korman-Hartley, married actor/real estate agent/reality TV star Chrishell Stause in October 2017 (via People). While they were married, Stause found her own success as a real estate agent on the Netflix reality series, Selling Sunset. However, she shared on Season 3 of the show that Hartley told her he was filing for divorce via text message after two years of marriage, and that “the world knew” just 45 minutes after she did (via People). …Which, ouch.
During an October 2020 appearance on Radio Andy, the This Is Us star said, “I’m really happy with where I am. I’m happy with my career, I’m happy with my personal life.” Noting that tabloid press “comes with the territory” of starring on a hit show, he added, “I’ve sort of always had this view that I will live … a public life, but I will be very private about my personal affairs.” Speaking of his personal life, after his second divorce, Hartley began dating actor Sophia Pernas. They made their relationship Instagram official on New Year’s Day 2021, with Pernas captioning a sweet selfie in part with, “Happy New Year from our quarantine den to yours.”
Chrissy Metz is not engaged (yet)
Chrissy Metz’s character on This Is Us, Kate Pearson, has been married to her husband, Toby Damon (Chris Sullivan), since the Season 2 finale, which was aptly titled “The Wedding.” As of Season 5, the couple has two kids: Jack and Hailey.
IRL, Metz went Instagram official with boyfriend Bradley Collins in October 2020, and believe it or not she met him in a very relatable way: on Bumble. The actor and singer told Andy Cohen on Radio Andy that she did take steps to ensure that people were contacting her for the right reasons, which is totally understandable. “I also didn’t put a ton on my profile because I thought it sort of weeds out the people who want to maybe talk to me for any other reason than a genuine reason,” she said. Luckily, Collins is in the entertainment industry as a music publisher, so Metz could trust his intentions were good. They even already shared some of the same friends prior to meeting
But as good as their relationship is, Metz was quick to clear up engagement rumors on The Covino & Rich Show in January 2021. “We went crystal shopping for a friend,” she said, before showing the hosts the honeycomb-shaped ring that was sparking engagement rumors. Revealing that it was a Christmas gift, Metz exclaimed, “I’m like, who thought that this was an engagement ring?” Can’t a girl just love bees in peace?
This Is Us' Jon Huertas is married in real life, too
On This Is Us, Jon Huertas plays Miguel Rivas, Jack Pearson’s (Milo Ventimiglia) best friend who was previously married to a woman named Shelly. Years after Jack’s death and his own divorce, Miguel marries Rebecca Pearson (Mandy Moore) and becomes a stepfather to her three kids.
In real life, Huertas married Nicole Bordges in 2014 in Mexico (via The Things). Four years later, he told Esquire that, as an Afro-Latinx man who’s married to a white woman, he’s happy that This Is Us took time to explore interracial relationships in its later seasons. “A Latino married to a white woman is, in my opinion, the way the world is, so for me — as a Latino and afro-Latino — it was important that we are going to nod to that this year,” he said. “It’s taken three seasons to really nod to the Latino aspect of my character, and it’s something that I think is very important.”
Huertas and Bordges don’t have any kids together, as of this writing.
Susan Kelechi Watson is living the single life
Onscreen, Susan Kelechi Watson’s This Is Us character, Beth Pearson, is a steady force in the Pearson family, keeping her husband, Randall (Sterling K. Brown), and their three daughters grounded and moving toward their goals. But off-camera, Kelechi Watson is still searching for love.
She had it with actor Jaime Lincoln Smith when they got engaged in September 2019. In a since-deleted Instagram post, the star announced the engagement news and wrote (via E!), “Forever Ever… ‘They’ll say its love. And they’ll know its love. For when they call its name it will answer to love. Without hesitation’ ~me.” According to CNN, Kelechi Watson wore a “blue center stone surrounded by small diamonds on the band” around her finger at the time.
However, the engagement didn’t last for long, as Kelechi Watson subtly announced on her Instagram Stories in November 2020, while celebrating Joe Biden’s win in the presidential election. “And I thought becoming Single was gonna be the only eventful thing to happen to me this year #TwentyTwenty,” the post read (via Us Weekly). We aren’t sure what happened between the This Is Us star and Lincoln Smith, but we wish Kelechi Watson the best and hope she finds her person soon. After all, everyone deserves their own Randall IRL, too.
Caitlin Thompson is married to This Is Us boss Dan Fogelman
On This Is Us, Caitlin Thompson plays Kate Pearson’s (Chrissy Metz) bestie, Madison, who gets herself in a pretty awkward situation when she has a one-night stand with Kate’s brother, Kevin (Justin Hartley), and gets pregnant with twins. The onscreen couple is now happily engaged, as of Season 5, but it’s been a rocky road that Thompson isn’t necessarily used to in her own personal life.
Thompson has been married to This Is Us showrunner Dan Fogelman since 2015 (via PopSugar). Even though Fogelman put Madison and Kevin together, he once joked on Twitter that we might never see the two characters have intimate scenes. “Just FYI: Madison is my wife in real life @CaitwithaC,” he tweeted back in 2018. “And if you thought I was letting her sleep with @justinhartley on national television you’re nuts.”
The real-life couple welcomed their first child together in the summer of 2020 — so life might have inspired art in this case, as Thompson was probably pregnant herself while filming at least some of the scenes that featured Madison carrying her and Kevin’s twins, Nick and Frannie Pearson. “Two and a half months of baby bliss,” Thompson wrote on Instagram in August 2020, captioning a sweet photo of herself holding her baby boy. “Hey world, meet Benjamin.”
This is Us star Chris Sullivan is married in real life, too
Chris Sullivan’s Toby Damon and Chrissy Metz’s Kate Pearson found each other a little bit later in life on This Is Us. But by Season 5, they were a married couple adjusting to life with two kids. Though Sullivan has been married to his wife, Rachel Sullivan, for more than 10 years, as of this writing, his onscreen character experienced fatherhood before he did in real life.
But in July 2020, the Sullivans welcomed their son, Bear Maxwell Sullivan, according to People. While announcing the happy baby news on Instagram, Chris wrote in part, “Witnessing @therealrachelsullivan bring our first son into this world, after 20 hours of labor, was one of the great honors of my life. It was primal and intentional and I have never been more in love with this powerful woman.”
We’re wishing the new family the best — but we already know that these two don’t need help in the romance department. Back in 2018, the Sullivans teamed up with Match on Instagram to share their “Feel Better Want Love” technique, which helps them check-in with each other and stay connected to their partner’s emotional needs. Coincidentally, this seems like a move straight out of the successful relationships featured on This Is Us.
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