How This Is Us Built Beth's Ballet Past and Frank, Formidable Family

TVLine | 2/19/2019 | Kimberly Roots
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When This Is Us decided that dance was going to be an integral part of Beth’s past, the show’s Powers That Be wanted to ensure that their storytelling would be on point(e).

“I got a text from [series co-producer] Kay Oyegun that said, ‘Girl, can you dance for real?'” star Susan Kelechi Watson recalled. “I said, ‘Yeah,’ and she said, ‘But, like, for real? You like it?'” I was like, ‘Yeah,'” she says, laughing. “That’s when I had a hint of, OK, there’s possibly dance coming.”

Tuesday - Episode - Recap - Beth - Passion

Indeed, Tuesday’s episode (read recap here), which focused on Beth’s passion for movement and her family’s response to it through the years, required the actress to draw on her lifetime of formal dance training. “You should know that there’s always smoke and mirrors, where you’re taking an actor and making them look like they dance,” director Anne Fletcher added. Not so in this week’s installment: “Susan actually did all of her dancing.”

Some of the actress’ life experiences — as well as those of the show’s creative team —eventually became part of Beth’s backstory, and the process of creating that history was the topic at hand when Watson, co-star Melanie Liburd, co-showrunner Elizabeth Berger, Oyegun, Fletcher and series writer Eboni Freeman recently spoke to an audience of journalists about the episode. Here are some highlights from that discussion:

EVOLUTION - OF - BETH - | - Freeman

THE EVOLUTION OF BETH | Freeman, who also has a background in ballet training, said the writers really wanted to explore how the Beth This Is Us audiences know — “She’s the strong woman, she’s funny, she’s witty” — was...
(Excerpt) Read more at: TVLine
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