Fogelman spoke in a panel at the South by Southwest Film Festival, confessing that he'd originally conceived the beloved show as a feature film. He even wrote 80 pages of a screenplay, according to Page Six.
The movie's plot revolved around six intertwined stories, ultimately revealing that the characters were septuplets. He said that he sat on the idea for six months, obsessing over those characters, until finally he pitched the story as a series.
Three of the show's stars, Milo Ventimiglia, Justin Hartley and Mandy Moore, were in Austin for SXSW as well, discussing the show throughout the day as the audience prepared for the season finale that night. In their talks with fans, they reportedly revealed that the original script had the family name as "Peasing" rather than "Pearson," so they had to digitally alter the dialogue in the series premiere.
At the festival, Ventimiglia spoke frankly about his character, Jack, including his battle against alcoholism.
“I’ve had handful of friends with drinking problems, I can only imaging how painful that can be to admit to a child,” he said. “I try to be honest and make people as real as I can.”
Ventimiglia said that the starring role has put him in the spotlight in a way that many other series he's appeared in haven't. He described a few encounters with crazed fans.0comments
“[My] craziest was a nine-month pregnant woman running at me like a freight train and screaming and flapping her arms,” he recalled. “I said, ‘Do not have baby on streets of Beverly Hills!’ She said, ’I won’t have the baby. I’m having it tomorrow, a scheduled C-section.'”
The season 2 finale of This Is Us airs Tuesday, March 13 on NBC. It promises more twists, drama and heartbreak even as fans are still reeling over the show's most recent developments.