This Is Us’ Michael Angarano Promises There’s a Lot to Learn About Nicky

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This Is Us is celebrating Thanksgiving tonight, and the family drama is in full swing, even in Vietnam. 

“Tonight is more of Jack trying to warm up to Nicky, trying to clean him up, so to speak,” Michael Angarano told E! News when he visited us in studio for Monday’s episode of Daily Pop. “And you get to see more of Nicky’s reasoning for the way he is, the way he’s behaving, the way he’s treating Jack. You get a little more insight into it.” 

Nicky’s definitely not doing well in Vietnam, as we learned from Angarano’s first couple of episodes. He had gotten himself into trouble, and so Jack got him transferred to his unit, but it hasn’t helped much so far. 

“You’ll begin to understand the breadth of what he’s been through and what he’s seen, which I think is what, for most people who aren’t in the service or haven’t served or seen something quite on that level, it’s pretty incomprehensible what he’s been through,” Angarano said. 

That doesn’t mean that tonight’s Thanksgiving celebration will be totally dark, however. 

“They always give you something to chew on, so to speak,” he promised.

Angarano told us that the Vietnam storyline is kind of like “This Is Us on steroids,” taking the typical sibling dynamic and putting it somewhere very atypical. 

“You have the elements of the show of, you know, sibling dynamic and sibling relationship, which is really the foundation of the show in general, but now we place it in Vietnam in this really horrible war, and it’s like This Is Us on steroids,” he says. “It’s like quadruple the amount of conflict, it’s fearing for your life, literally, at every moment, but the foundation and the bedrock of the relationship is you understand what these two guys went through as children. You understand that they came from a pretty abusive household with an alcoholic father who shaped them into the men that they became.” 

What’s fascinating and what they’re also so good at is you have two completely different men who come from the same exact home, who are reacting so differently to this war, and that’s something that you can only understand when you see it compared to and contrasted to one another,” he continues in the video above.

Click play to find out why Angarano thinks Jack is such an icon, and to hear more about how the storyline hit Angarano personally. 

This Is Us airs Tuesdays at 9 p.m. on NBC. 

Watch Daily Pop weekdays on E! at 12 p.m.

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