Hannah Zeile, who stars as a series regular in the hit NBC series This Is Us, spoke with us about playing the teenage version of Kate Pearson (Chrissy Metz), working with the cast, and the twists and turns ahead in season 2.
Read on for our exclusive interview with Hannah Zeile.
To start off, can you talk a little about your character Kate and what originally attracted you to the role?
I think that Kate Pearson in her teens is a lot different than as an adult, which allows me to really develop my own character. Teen Kate has a fire within that makes her sassy and independent and so much fun to portray.
Where do you draw your inspiration for your character?
I’m definitely inspired by Chrissy and feel lucky to share a role with her. She is so talented and I’m inspired by all her performances and raw emotion.
What motivated you to initially pursue acting? Is there anyone who influenced or inspired you? Who would you love to work with someday?
Growing up, I always loved pretending to be my favorite characters from movies or TV. I love being able to step into someone else’s reality. I’m blessed to be working with all the talent on This Is Us, and I’d also love to work with Rachel McAdams or Bradley Cooper.
How’s the experience working with the This Is Us cast? Are there any fun memories that stick out for you from filming?
I can’t say enough positive things about this cast and crew. It is full of talented and hardworking professionals who are not only great at their jobs but are also good-hearted people. Logan [Shroyer], Niles [Fitch], and I were filming a scene where we were supposed to come through the front door, but the door locked when it closed. They just kept yelling “Action!” and we were outside trying to figure out some way to get in. This happened like three takes in a row and we found it hilarious.
As one of the most powerful and unique shows to debut in some time, This Is Us has become a smash hit for NBC. What do you think it is about this series that resonates so much with viewers and sets it apart from other programs out there?
I think Dan Fogelman and the team of writers are brilliant. They discuss real-life struggles that are often swept under the rug, but they do it in the most eloquent way.
How has the fan support been for you so far? Do you enjoy interacting with fans on social media?
The support is amazing! It’s so heartwarming that people love the show just as much as we love making it. I love interacting over social media! I especially try and respond to people through Twitter, and in general [I] let anyone who supports me and the show know how grateful I am.
This is Us is known to produce episodes that not only tug at the heartstrings, but feature twists and turns throughout the story. What can you tease about what fans and viewers can expect from the upcoming episodes featuring your character?
It’s hard because there is so much I’m not able to say! A lot of Teen Kate’s story line this season is establishing her different relationships with her mom, dad, and brothers.
What are you most excited for the viewers to see?
I’m just excited for everyone to slowly piece together the puzzle that is our show! I have some scenes coming that I’m excited to see onscreen as well.
What else are you working on? What can your fans look forward to from you next?
I’m currently keeping busy filming season 2, and I’m enjoying it all day by day. I think it would be really fun to work on a movie during my off-time, so I guess we will see where life takes me!
Thanks so much to Hannah Zeile for chatting with us about This Is Us season 2! We really appreciate it.
Keep up to date with Hannah Zeile by following her on Twitter.