The 'This Is Us' Cast Weaves A Family Out Of Your Favorite TV Stars & Some Newcomers

Whether you caught on to the twisty clues in the This Is Us pilot or, like me, were so sucked into the drama of it all that you forgot to pay attention to details and got totally blindsided, the NBC drama made an impressive debut. Not only that, but the This Is Us cast is a good mix of actors we already love, and some we don't know quite as well. Even though the three stories didn't combine in the first episode, and may never now that we know what's up, the cast creates a family ensemble that is seamless from the start.

In case you missed it and don't mind spoilers (I warned you that there was a twist), This Is Us tells the story of three siblings who were born on their Dad's 36th birthday — the catch being that one brother, Randall, was adopted after the parents lost one of their triplets in labor and Randall was dropped off at the hospital after being left at the fire station. Together, they're "The Big Three," and This Is Us tells the story of these now 36-year-old siblings' lives in parallel with the lives of their parents.

There are some exciting guest actors coming up as well. Alan Thicke played himself in the pilot. Brad Garrett and Katey Sagal will be in an episode together. As for the main cast, here's a breakdown of who stars in This Is Us, who they play, and where you may have seen them before.

Milo Ventimiglia

I think I'm the only millennial woman who first knew this actor as Peter Petrelli on Heroes instead of as Rory's self-sabotaging bad boy love interest on Gilmore Girls.

Mandy Moore

If you don't remember Moore as a pop star and teen idol, you're missing out! She starred in A Walk To Remember, Chasing Liberty, Saved!, and has released several albums.

Sterling K. Brown

Even if you didn't watch American Crime Story: The People Vs. O.J. Simpson, you probably saw him accept an Emmy for his role as Christopher Darden. You may also know him from Person of Interest or Army Wives. He plays Randall on the show.

Susan Kelechi Watson

Randall's wife Beth is played by the New York stage actress, who has also been on Louie as Janet as well as The Blacklist and Third Watch.

Ron Cephas Jones

In real life, the actor who plays Randall's birth father is the father of Jasmine "And Peggy" Cephas Jones from Hamilton. He's also on pretty much every show this year — you can also see Jones on The Get Down, Luke Cage, and Mr. Robot.

Chrissy Metz

She was on a few episodes of American Horror Story: Freak Show but is otherwise relatively unknown!

Justin Hartley

The actor, who plays a popular but jaded multi-cam sitcom star, is a television vet as well. He played Oliver Queen on Smallville . He had major roles on Mistresses, Emily Owens, M.D. and Revenge. He also clocked nine years on Passion and two years on The Young And The Restless. It's almost impossible that you've never seen him before.

Chris Sullivan

Finally, Kate's love interest is played by another actor who has done a little of everything everywhere. He was in The Normal Heart, Stranger Things, The Knick, and even played a pirate in Peter Pan Live! alongside Christopher Walken and Christian Borle's biceps. The cast of This Is Us is a good balance of newcomers, veterans who haven't quite caught the spotlight, and established faves who already hold a spot in your heart. Combined, they make one heck of a strong family, and that's what the show is all about!

Images: Ron Batzdorff/NBC (9)