You know a TV show is good when even its cast members are in awe of it. That's certainly the case with This Is Us star Eris Baker, who plays Randall and Beth Pearson's daughter Tess on the NBC hit drama. As fans know, part of what makes This is Us so amazing is how it manages to elicit big emotions in each and every episode, and according to Baker, fans are definitely going to get hit in the feels in the second half of Season 4.
Over the course of This Is Us, Baker's Tess has grown from a happy-go-lucky little girl into a teenager who's forming her own identity —specifically her sexual identity. At the end of Season 3, Tess came out as gay to her family, and most recently, the Season 4 fall finale saw her take a big leap by coming out publicly on Instagram. Looking ahead, Baker teases Tess might deal with some negativity as a result of this.
"There are so many people on social media [and] there are millions of opinions on there, so realistically thinking, I think that she will get hurt," Baker explains to Elite Daily.
But even if Tess faces hardships down the road, Baker points out her character will still have the love and support of the Pearson clan, which is always at the core of This Is Us. "She has such an amazing family," Baker says. "I think that they’ll remind her that as long as she loves herself, that’s all that matters."
Audiences saw this magical Pearson support system in action in the most recent episode. As Tess struggled with her decision to come out publicly, her uncle Kevin (Justin Hartley) was there to give her some meaningful advice.
"Their bond is beautiful," Baker says. "It’s weird because Kevin helped Tess, but Tess also helped Kevin. I feel like, Kevin is going through stuff, too and he takes his mind off of what he is going through when he’s with Tess.
It was sweet to see Tess and Kevin grow closer, but leave it to the This is Us writers to break audiences' hearts right after they warmed them. The end of the episode hinted that, in less than a year from the episode's current events, Kevin and Tess' dad Randall (Sterling K. Brown) won't be speaking to one another. Fans don't yet know what happened between the brothers to cause the rift, but Baker hopes it doesn't have too much of an impact on Tess.
"I do hope that, you know, Randall and Kevin not talking, that doesn't mean that Kevin can’t have a relationship with his nieces. I really hope so," she says.
Of course, Baker can't say too much about what's to come, but she does promise the next batch of episodes are definitely worth the long wait until the mid-season premiere.
"Oh my god, what’s coming is crazy," she teases. "It’s amazing and it’s sad and it’s powerful. It’s happy tears. I’m really excited for you guys to see the next episode."
No matter what's in store for Tess, Baker appreciates getting the chance to play the character.
"I am so happy that This Is Us is giving me this opportunity to play such an important role," Baker explains. "It’s teaching me some lessons I never would have learned if it wasn’t for This Is Us. I’m very happy."
Season 4 of This is Us continues on Tuesday, Jan. 14, 2020 at 9 p.m. ET, on NBC.