Looks like the big family tree of This is Us will be growing more branches in the second half of Season 3. Audiences will learn details about Beth's side of the family when we meet her mom, who will be played by a famous face. Phylicia Rashad will play Beth's mom on This Is Us and you'll definitely recognize her from her time as another memorable TV mom. Rashad graced TV screens around the country throughout the 1980's (and throughout the 1990's, in syndication) as Clair Huxtable, the matriarch of the sitcom The Cosby Show. This TV season, she'll be playing Beth's mother Carol, according to Entertainment Weekly, in an episode that will center on Beth's backstory (Susan Kelechi Watson) and her family.
This season of This is Us has already given some more insight into Beth's family after her cousin Zoe (Melanie Liburd) was introduced at the end of Season 2. Fans met Zoe when she showed up at Kate and Toby's wedding to photograph it, but she became a much bigger part of the Pearson clan once she started dating Beth's brother-in-law Kevin. We also learned that Zoe was adopted into Beth's family and is really more like a sister to her, which made her relationship with Kevin all the juicier. But, since Zoe is like a sister to to Beth, that means that she's also probably like a daughter to Rashad's character Carol. Will that mean Carol will get involved in the Zoe/Beth melodrama? If fans of This is Us have learned from past experiences, they'll probably get the tissues ready for Carol's introduction on the show.
This is Us creator and showrunner Dan Fogelman retweeted the announcement of Rashad's casting and added that the cast and crew have already filmed this guest spot. He also urged fans to prepare for what sounds like a truly epic episode.
This actually isn't the first time Rashad and Watson have connected. According to The Glow Up, both Rashad and Watson attended Howard University (which happens to be the alma mater of This is Us character Randall, but that's beside the point). Entertainment Tonight reported that Rashad also helped to sponsor Watson on a trip abroad to study Shakespeare at Oxford University in London, England when Watson was a struggling young acting student. It sounds like Rashad has already acted as a mother figure to Watson by providing her with a life-changing opportunity. If Rashad hadn't been there for Watson back then, who knows if she'd be playing Beth on This is Us today. It is certain that with a connection that goes as a far back as theirs does, there is sure to be some intense mother-daughter chemistry between Rashad and Watson.
Rashad currently has a recurring role as Diana Dubois on Empire, so her guest spot on This is Us will be her second network role currently on air. No word yet on if Rashad will appear in more than one episode of This is Us, but since Beth's family story continues to get more and more detailed, chances are we'll be seeing a lot of Rashad's Carol in the coming episodes.
Season 3 of This is Us continues on Tuesday, Jan. 15, at 9 p.m. ET on NBC.