This Is Us took viewers on a ride to the future, and it left some fans thoroughly confused.
The most recent episode of the NBC drama, titled “The Ride,” featured a flashback to 1980 when Jack (Milo Ventimiglia) and Rebecca (Mandy Moore) drove the Big Three home from the hospital for the first time.
But it was a future-forward scene that really left viewers at a loss for words.
At the beginning of the episode, Deja, the adopted daughter of Beth and Randall Pearson, was seen as an adult wearing a lab coat while working in the labor and delivery unit at a hospital. Viewers later found out that Deja was also pregnant.
A later scene showed her being picked up by her younger sister Annie (Iyana Halley) to go to their uncle Kevin’s (Justin Hartley) house, for what could be the family’s final goodbye to Pearson matriarch, Rebecca. Annie seemed to be the only one who knew Deja was pregnant. The timeline appeared to be sometime around 2032, making Deja in her mid-20s. according to Bustle.
Adult Deja Was Not Played By Lyric Ross, the Actress Who has Played Teen Deja Since 2017
Although the 20-something version of Deja appeared to be a dead ringer for the younger character (played by 17-year-old actress Lyric Ross), it was not the same actress. The role of pregnant Deja was played by La Trice Harper, according to IMDB. Harper is best known for her role as Carmen in Artificial Uncovered.
In comments to a post on the This Is Us Instagram page, viewers were shocked to find that Deja was played by another actress because she looked so much like Lyric Ross. Viewers called the casting “spot on.”
“IDENTICAL mannerisms,” one fan wrote. “The @nbcthisisus casting directors are *too* good at their jobs!”
“I agree but do you think the makeup dept ‘aged’ the current Deja?” another questioned. “Her voice was so spot on.”
“She looks just like her,” another viewer agreed.
“Was it the same actress that plays Deja?” another added. “I thought it was the same.”
Producers For ‘This Is Us’ Were Worried That La Trice Harper Almost Looked ‘Too Much’ Like Lyric Ross
In an interview with Glamour, This Is Us co-executive producer and writer of the episode, Julia Brownell, admitted that the production staff was even taken aback by Harper’s uncanny resemblance to Ross.
“It’s credit to our amazing casting department,” Brownell said. “When they come across actors they think have a resemblance, they put them in their back pocket. So when we’re like, ‘We need a future Deja,’ they’re like, ‘We have just the perfect person for you!’”
She added that Ross’ doppelganger even sparked a conversation in the writers’ room.
“We even had a conversation in the room where we were like, ‘Does the actor (La Trice Harper) playing future Deja look too much like Lyric Ross?’” she revealed. “But then we were like, “We don’t care, because it’s just such a fun ride for the audience to be on.”
This Is Us airs Tuesdays at 9/8c on NBC.